Baltimore, MD – Just One of the Many Grim, Social Tragedies in the US

The shame they had hoped would stay hidden. And quiet, docile, they had expected ‘these people’ would remain. Not so.

Grim, fickle fate awaited Freddie Gray of Baltimore, MD, and death was his destiny, shackled and shaken in a police van. And, ironically, for once, a tragedy yields a small success – the collaboration, conspiracy (?) of the authorities and the ‘legacy’ corporate media was exposed, and promptly and summarily discredited. The Washington Post would print the ‘official’ story, and would be immediately ridiculed for its grotesque misinformation. Even a Baltimore TV reporter from a less prestigious TV station, WBAL, would investigate and rebut the paper’s assertions.

And for the US President, not a good week, as, shortly after his star-studded gala event for his White House media, he castigated the ‘thugs’ involved in the protests, none of whom was clearly, could ever be, at the level of his friends, Prof Henry Louis Gates, ‘historian’ to celebrities or Prof Michael Eric Dyson, fumbling and foiled ‘intellectual hitman’ against Cornel West. Then, again, that was the same President who had failed to rise to the stature and authority of many of the leaders (e.g., Correa, Morales, Maduro, Castro) at the VII Summit of the Americas in Panama on 10-11Apr., even if the photo-ops were the desiderata, the sine qua non, of the US media. (Performance, not platitudes, is expected after all that marketing, PR – as Sen Warren or Prof West would show, and without the marketing, the PR.)

As context for the well-concealed and ignored Baltimore ‘blight’, we are pointed by Devin Smith in his post at new economic perspectives, America Is a Horror Show. That brief article, using its name, points to an earlier interview of David Simon of The Wire by Bill Moyers. The interview is a further indictment of the corporate US MSM and public officials – America [really, the US] is a Horror Show.

And, now, enter, esteemed Professor, William K Black! Prof Black has been a vocal member of the increasing band of academics and professionals who are expressing their outrage at the savage repression of African-Americans and the squashing of millions of economic hopes and dreams. Without standing on ceremony, he issues his, “J’accuse…”, President Obama Should Apologize for Labelling Americans a Murderous Mob.

This column was prompted by Charles M. Blow’s excellent column about the slanderous way that the term “lynch mob” is used by the right-wing to denounce Americans whenever we protest police violence against (primarily) people of color. The protesters want justice. They do not want to lynch anyone. The same is true of the American people’s demands that the banksters be brought to justice.

[snip]

Obama cannot undo his tragic choice of the banking oligarchs over the people of the United States. But he could at least apologize to us for his slander that we wanted mob rule and the mass murder of the bank criminals. We wanted – and still want – justice. Obama’s administration has chosen to continue the Bush policy of eliminating the rule of law for the banking oligarchs (and even the banking small fry).

[bold added for emphasis]

And if we want further context, we merely ask, ‘Ahm, what year?’, after this grim beauty,

To consider then that the ‘banksters’, whom Prof Black had mentioned, had contributed to that massive financial and economic crash in late 2007, a crash from which much of the western world, including the US, is still recovering, and slowly. To what extent are these people responsible for the descent from middle-class to poverty, from poverty to indigence and despair, with little hope of escape? The poor people of Baltimore. ‘Thugs’? ‘Hooligans’?

Couple reminders from Prof Bill Quigley of Loyola University, if we have not yet read the brief article,

Six.African American babies in Baltimore are nine times more likely to die before age one than white infants in the city.

[snip]

Eight. 148,000 people, or 23.8 percent of the people in Baltimore, live below the official poverty level.

So, then, where was everybody when all this was going on? Quite from NOLA, (possible even in Timbuktu), we can get such information on Baltimore?

Quick arrests of police officers, and the expectation is then that the surging anger and frustration among all classes of the society would be quelled, and the concerned will placidly return to their daily routine? Some ‘celebrity’ to visit and flatter ‘the natives’? No, not a comical, self-promoting and completely discredited ‘community leader’. Some ‘summer blockbuster movie’ to distract? Oui, nous accusons!

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