Rioting and looting are not accepted forms of civil legal protests. They are secondary, spontaneous and opportunistic effects of the manifestations of under privileged and disenfranchised people reacting to a larger social, economic and political grievance.
Thus, the criminal acts of looting, burning and rioting across Baltimore City, Maryland, yesterday, and into last night, were in no part sanctioned by the legitimate and the credible ongoing peaceful civil protests by Maryland and national activists, to demand police accountability for yet another death of a minority man in the custody of police.
The looting and burning of my favorite pharmacy - CVS, and other businesses in Baltimore, was an opportunistic criminal act by selfish thugs not having any concern nor care of the bigger issues seasoned and senior activists are trying to address from Maryland, to New York, to Missouri, to Ohio, to Florida, to Wisconsin and elsewhere in America.
The message and the inherent fact that "Black Lives Matter" must not be tarnished by the violence openly witnessed on television networks yesterday. The fact that communities will no longer sit and accept procedural excuses for the death of unarmed minority men at the hand of police must not be lost in the violence witnessed in Baltimore.
Hence, the smoky acts committed by some youth in Baltimore City, should be taken as a caution of a still unfixed social order that begs to be righted. And as an example of potential troubles an unfixed social order could bring. The youth of 2015 are not the same as the water-hosed youngsters of the 1960s, so they cannot be beaten nor policed away in prescribed geographical sectors.
The know social concerns must be ameliorated. Too many minorities remain behind the economic progress curve. Too many minorities are shackled to a justice system that criminalize their economic positions. Too many minorities are jailed and criminalized through trivial cases. Too many minorities fall victim to under-trained racist police.
Moreover, with regards to the deployment of the National Guard in Baltimore City and the imposition of a curfew; these will not solve the anger nor the impulsion of some youth, rather such deployment and social restrictions, could result in more sophisticated organized forms of civil disobedience by under privileged people.
Therefore, it is crucial that Baltimore becomes the end ground of a broken system that has victimized minorities, and that Baltimore becomes the birth city of the new social change demanded by minorities. Let the review of the practices and training of police departments begin in Baltimore. Let the trust between community and law enforcement begin a new birth in Baltimore City.
Anything short of these benchmarks would sadly prolong an inevitable period of mistrust punctuated by acts of violence.