... is not how we really are. It's TV. They sensationalize. They accentuate the extreme and the newsworthy. Blood sells, sadly. Did Don Henley not have that song called "Dirty Laundry" with the line about getting an interview with the (new) widow? See?
Truth is, I'm horrified, embarrassed, and profoundly disappointed with my hometown has been newsworthy all week long in such a profoundly negative way. It's so regrettable but in a way, also unsurprising. Not the Freddie Gray issue per se, but the larger societal challenges of racism, poverty, crime and drugs. The Baltimore you see, we also see and have seen, a lot. We choose to ignore it as often as possible, and thus at least tacitly contribute to the problem. We plot circuitous routes to avoid the most crime-ridden and blighted areas.
When out-of-towners visit, we show off only our City's sparkly harbor and ballparks. We know Baltimore; warts and all it is home. We know what to avoid.
You can tell that I've been thinking a lot about the protests. I cannot imagine what it must be like to face such economic disparity, disenfranchisement and hopelessness on a daily basis. It indeed must be maddening, saddening and frustrating all at the same time. I'll never condone the violence, burning or looting (and the areas you saw on TV with that going on are places we know well - and know full-well to completely avoid and have done so for decades), but protests and demands for greater civility and accountability, particularly by the police - I get that.
In fact, I'm the son of an experienced protester. In 1968, my Mom led the protests when the little carton of milk, at lunch for school in the elementary schools of Baltimore County, went up 50% in one year - from two cents to three cents. The Moms carried picket signs and everything. A year or two later, it had another steep escalation, this time to 4 cents. However, the significance of a penny was less perhaps because of inflation.
Calmer heads prevailed, as I hope now is the case for my home town of Baltimore. You deserve to get back to pop culture on your evening news. And we desperately need to be off of your evening news, altogether. At least until October.