Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Brief reaction to Baltimore

My thoughts are with Baltimore tonight. The last time the governor called the National Guard out to respond to riots my dad was able to get out to his grandfather's farm in Baltimore County. Not everyone has that option, then or now. That governor was Spiro Agnew, fwiw. Soon afterward he got a VP slot on Nixon's ticket for his tough law and order stance. My great grandfather's constitutional convention vote failed shortly after too in part because it was perceived as too liberal and reapportioned too much power to Baltimore city and the DC suburbs. I've come across mixed reactions but some delegates think racial tensions and the riot killed it.

Will Hogan be a VP? Probably not. And chances are that this will accelerate some reforms. But the riots sure didn't put Baltimore on a strong trajectory in 1968 and they're nothing but bad news now. I wish both the cops and the rioters well. I've already seen some celebration of harsh crackdowns, though. Hopefully this settles down quickly because escalation of any sort will not be for the better. Citizens' responsibility is to fight for justice and speak truth to power. Police and National Guard responsibility is to protect and serve. We need a great deal of both, I think.


  1. "I wish both the cops and the rioters well."

    Often one and the same, e.g., Chicago 1968. I've not been paying close attention; is that not the case now?

  2. Civil Rights History is awfully convoluted. Spiro Agnew also took the Govenor's mansion on a pro-civil rights platform while running against an anti-civil rights Dem (a scenario more common to the Southern Re-alignment than a lot of liberals think). The big issue was the often-overlooked Fair Housing Act. I think it's non-enforcement is rather germane to what's happening in Baltimore.


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