Drug War


Note: The following is dated Monday, April 27 as the mass protests in Baltimore were devolving into a riot that lasted until the early morning hours.

First things first.

Yes, there is a lot to be argued, debated, addressed.  And this moment, as inevitable as it has sometimes seemed, can still, in the end, prove transformational, if not redemptive for our city.   Changes are necessary and voices need to be heard.  All of that is true and all of that is still possible, despite what is now loose in the streets.

But now — in this moment — the anger and the selfishness and the brutality of those claiming the right to violence in Freddie Gray’s name needs to cease.  There was real power and potential in the peaceful protests that spoke in Mr. Gray’s name initially, and there was real unity at his homegoing today.  But this, now, in the streets, is an affront to that man’s memory and a dimunition of the absolute moral lesson that underlies his unnecessary death.

If you can’t seek redress and demand reform without a brick in your hand, you risk losing this moment for all of us in Baltimore.  Turn around.  Go home.  Please.

Additional Notes:

Second thing second:  The death of  probable cause in Baltimore.

Third thing third: http://davidsimon.com/zero-tolerance-is-exactly-what-it-sounds-like/ .  So eyes on the real prize here.


  • […] In April of this year, 25-year-old black Baltimorean Freddie Gray became yet another victim of US police brutality. While the community took to the streets to express their grief and outrage at another senseless death, the incisiveness of David Simon’s social analysis was called into question, when he dismissed the protests as an “affront” to the young man’s memory. He wrote: […]

  • late to the party here and for what it’s worth i like your shows. i’ve rarely watched any tv over the last two decades..don’t own one in fact… but think you’ve done about as much good as can be done in that context… but i also think you’re either in denial or being very disengenuous here. obama has continued in the tradition of every president since reagan. he intensified war efforts..actively,,some might say fiercely appealed an injunction against the ndaa that as you know allows american military to detain US citizens without trial, has more whistleblowers jailed than all other presidents combined (real american heroes we’re talking about..not low level ceo’s masquerading as progressives… manning was kept in a cage without trial for over a year and tortured). obama has executed american citizens in secret..actively fought for his right in fact to do so… he has given run of the US coast guard to a criminally negligent.. murderous foreign company in the gulf,,,and is now ,in the midst of massive unrest , persuing (in a pair of customized nikes no less) .. what is in fact the largest trade deal in history ..one that essentially puts the economic fate of 40% of the worlds population in the hands of secret tribunal made up of three corporate attorney’s and that gives corporations the right to sue nations..essentially bilk the public … not just for lost profits but for lost prospective profits. wrap your head around that one. i can’t. it’d have been better..not for his personal ambition maybe but for the public many of whom have had their progressive principles utterly passified had he simply stayed home (you know “with friends like you” etc. etc.). it is no longer sufficient or healthy with that kind of an aggressive track record to write it off as him simply having his hands tied. in fact it’s out and out stupid. furthermore the the reason a third party candidate can’t win in this country with all due respect… is because the media of which you are at least a part of of is corporate owned and won’t let it happen. so i really don’t think you have bigger stones and more principle than say… nader. you’re out of you jurisdiction there. and quite simply you voted for the wrong guy….it’s unfortunate that you still hold the mentality that it was nader and not your failed and bought corporate party was the spoiler. ..and if you vote for clinton you’re not a good person ..sorry. you might have asked the president when you talked to him why the corporations that he works for are now able to profit off of prison labor..if he thinks that just might indicate that we’ll be seeing that many more people locked up..or why the police during his time in office have become increasingly militarized.or even what he talks about at the g8… which is in and of itself a travesty. according to some the obama administration even blocked attempts to try bush for crimes. do you think that was okay? i don’t. again… i liked treme even better than the wire …it seems like at least for some of it you touched on some surprisingly difficult questions that probably pertained to things you were asking yourself…like what the hell you were doing down there…gentrification…exploitation…etc..it’s rare that any media has that kind of artistry..and artists aren’t perfect people… but i think we have to be somewhat honest. jobs weren’t coming back to detroit regardless of rioting. were they? certain other fundamental changes needed to occur…to pin that on people who have been fundamentally disempowered..as progressive as you may or may not be is much more grotesque than the the actual riots. for the most part protests have been shockingly peaceful..better to focus on that as much as possible…while taking into account that we have many justififiably angry people in the world… a few of whom may have their own idea about how to express it

    • hate the ndaa, blame Obama for embracing that. don’t agree that he has ratcheted up the militarism; raw troop numbers overseas and casualty lists say the exact opposite. can’t take seriously that hyperbole.

      when a third party starts to poll seriously, i will consider its candidate. unless it’s a libertarian. i’m not a greedhead. i believe in the idea of society. my father voted for norman thomas in ’48, thinking Dewey had it in the bag anyway. my mother told him, “you just wasted your vote. tomorrow it will be truman by a hair.” then she went to bed. she was right.

      i would love to see America become a legitimate government by coalition with parties to the left and center of the democrats and republicans both. and for the national legislature to give voice to a wider spectrum of argument. but i’ve read the constitution and I’ve read Citizens United. ain’t gonna happen. no matter how much you might deride my “mentality.” The real world is what is, regardless of how long a paragraph you offer against it.

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