Freddie Gray is dead and Baltimore is in flames. People are pointing fingers in all directions and yet no one seems to have any genuine answers. The a 25-year-old Baltimore resident had his spinal cord snapped while in police custody on April 12. Six officers have been suspended over the incident and an entire metropolitan area has since erupted in violence.
John P. Angelos, the Executive Vice President of the Baltimore Orioles and son of majority team owner Peter Angelos, gave an eye-opening statement in response to Hollander’s critique of the demonstrations and also elegantly summed up the current state of affairs in Maryland’s largest city.
Please read the entirety of Mr. Angelos’ defense of protesters below. It is well worth the read.
“Brett, speaking only for myself, I agree with your point that the principle of peaceful, non-violent protest and the observance of the rule of law is of utmost importance in any society. MLK, Gandhi, Mandela, and all great opposition leaders throughout history have always preached this precept. Further, it is critical that in any democracy investigation must be completed and due process must be honored before any government or police members are judged responsible.
That said, my greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night’s property damage nor upon the acts, but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the U.S. to third-world dictatorships like China and others, plunged tens of millions of good hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American’s civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state.
The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance, and other abuses of the Bill of Rights by government pay the true price, an ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importance of any kids’ game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards. We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don’t have jobs and are losing economic civil and legal rights, and this makes inconvenience at a ball game irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.”
April 28, 2015