Apr. 30, 2015

About Freddie Gray and Baltimore...

By Marc Platt
April 30, 2015

President Obama laid it out perfectly in the Rose Garden earlier this week when he said something to the effect that our urban city streets should not be "...a pipeline from the streets to the prisons" for the young men of color.

A few things to note about the current situation in Baltimore.

1. It does not matter that this 25-year-old man had a long arrest record for minor drug offenses, etc.
2. The police department insinuating that Gray was responsible for his own death because he tried to hurt himself in the police van is laughable.
3. The Baltimore Police Department is apparently infamous for "Rough Rides" in which they let prisoners flail about in the vans while stepping on the brakes.
4. The Baltimore Police Department has had to settle several similar cases over the past five years in an amount of in excess of $5 million. They will inevitably give Gray's family a lot of dough.
5. Looking at the prospects of young men of color in our African American heavily-populated urban cities looks hopeless right now.
6. High crime rates are a cottage industry in these cities that have NO JOBS to offer these citizens. These police departments make a lot of money locking up these men and boys who have few options.
7. Baltimore has experienced a culture of violence for decades and the people who live there and many other cities just need someone to care once in awhile. 

It is understandable that young African Americans are fed up and want free stuff. Looting and destroying their own communities is not the answer, but there is a lack of family unity, because many of the fathersw are locked up.

Maybe it is time to start taking care of business and stop making money by locking people up and start bringing businesses in and EMPLOYING people. How about training centers for 21st century jobs?

I know I am dreaming, but these are the things that will have to happen in the future.

President Obama (and now Hillary Clinton) are endorsing FREE Community College Programs. This is a great idea that should be supported by EVERY ELECTED REPRESENTATIVE in our nation. This is the first best idea that makes sense across the board for re-training our citizens.