About a month ago I had a doctors appointment in Baltimore City. After the appointment we had to go to the airport and pick up my son. The GPS took us the shortest way through the city to the airport. It took us on a tour of poverty and instability. A tour of sadness and desperation. We drove past Mondawmin Mall, the meeting point of our looters and rioters from last night, past piles of garbage in what should have been back yards and littered along every street and stoop, bars on the windows of the homes that weren't boarded up. Whole city blocks broken and boarded with liquor stores open on each corner. People wandered around with angry faces or no expression at all. It's a place where hope does not exist.
In no way am I surprised at the events unfolding in this violent city. So far this year there have been 68 homicides. Life doesn't mean anything. It is not something to be protected and coveted, it is dispensable. Anger, sadness and oppression will eventually lead to a break. The break is happening. It has to. There is so much blame to go around and there is no easy fix. A system that has created apathy certainly can't fix it.
Through all the anger and violence I saw a shimmer of beauty, you see change needs a spark and maybe the CVS burning will ignite this community and it's leaders to start building their communities up instead of holding them down. I don't know what the answer is but I certainly know something has to give and people need a reason to take pride in their selves and value their lives. I hope for them.