Why I'm Still Proud to Live in Baltimore

April 28, 2015

Yesterday, my office shut down early for the second time in light of protest events. I got home, walked the dog, then Sean and I spent the evening, like I imagine many of our neighbors did, with one eye on the TV news and one on facebook.

We watched cars and businesses looted and burned from neighborhoods nowhere near ours to neighborhoods much closer to ours. We packed bags "just in case" and barricaded our front door and window before finally going to bed.

We woke up to a beautiful day. You could hear a pin drop in our neighborhood, but others aren't so fortunate.

These events are as sad as they are disgusting, but they don't represent the city we decided to call home last year. I'm not suddenly sorry that we moved to Baltimore. In fact, I'm still proud to live here. I don't know what the national news outlets showed people outside of the area, but here's what I saw yesterday that reaffirmed my Baltimore pride:

I saw a family keep it classy. The family of Freddie Gray has more reason than anyone else to be upset. They've lost someone very close to them and they don't have the answers they need for closure and healing. If anyone is "entitled" to act in the manner that we saw yesterday, the Gray family would have the least of my judgement if they'd chosen to do so. Instead, they kept it classy. They asked for no protests yesterday, the day of Gray's funeral. They asked for this unacceptable behavior to cease. They seek not revenge, but what is right.

I saw a mother hold her child accountable.  Yesterday's riots (let's clear this up now, these were riots, not  protests, fueled by selfish desires that had nothing to do with seeking justice for Gray) began with teenagers. Children, really, running around and destroying their communities. This video of one mother's reaction has received a lot of attention, and for good reason:

I saw all faiths unite for the good of the community. While waiting for the Mayor to speak out, the most newsworthy detail of the night was brought to our screens: over 100 Baltimore clergy of all denominations marching together against the violence in the midst of the riots.

I saw restoration beginning before the riots (still ongoing) ended. I woke up this morning to sunshine and hope that we could move forward, starting now. Stores are still being looted and plans for more destruction are still afoot, but community members are already hands-on working towards cleanup of our city. In this morning's feed was this gem that I didn't see last night:

This just caught my eye, and I think this gentleman should be known to his city and his country. This guy with the broom just started cleaning up the street in the middle of the riots, and his POSITIVE and productive behavior was immediately imitated by countless blacks and whites alike. We need so many more good people like him. Please share this so he can get the credit he deserves.
Posted by Brian McCarthy on Monday, April 27, 2015

Posted by Brian McCarthy on Monday, April 27, 2015

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