Originally published May 1 2015
Orioles owner's son calls out elitists for destroying economy, militarizing police as riots ravage Baltimore
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Smoke continues to rise from burned out businesses, automobiles and other structures in parts of Baltimore as a result of rioting that began a day after the funeral of Freddie Gray, an African-American man who died after sustaining a spinal cord injury while being taken into police custody. Millions of Americans are scratching their heads and wondering how such events are possible in 21st-century America.
Although most people who have opined on the issue - from ordinary Americans to public figures - abhor the violence, a number of them still have some belief that injustices are occurring on a more regular basis and that many of them are being caused by over-militarized policing.
One of these individuals is John Angelos, the executive vice president of Major League Baseball's Baltimore Orioles and the son of majority owner Peter Angelos. In a series of tweets following a decision by city authorities that forced fans to remain inside Orioles Stadium after a game had ended for their own safety, Angelos let his feelings be known.
Serious societal issues are at playThe tweets have been strung together below for the purposes of cohesion, as reported by CBS DC:
Brett, speaking only for myself, I agree with your point that the principle of peaceful, non-violent protest and the observance of the rule of law is of utmost importance in any society. MLK, Gandhi, Mandela, and all great opposition leaders throughout history have always preached this precept. Further, it is critical that in any democracy investigation must be completed and due process must be honored before any government or police members are judged responsible.
That said, my greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night's property damage nor upon the acts, but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the U.S. to third-world dictatorships like China and others, plunged tens of millions of good hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American's civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state.
The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance, and other abuses of the Bill of Rights by government pay the true price, an ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importance of any kids' game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards. We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don't have jobs and are losing economic civil and legal rights, and this makes inconvenience at a ball game irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.
Doubling down on failureWhile much of what Angelos tweeted was accurate, his statements also need some context.
For example, one has to question the wisdom of many government poverty programs that were initially designed to "end poverty in America" but have instead created massive dependence on the government for millions of Americans. Many major cities in America are led by elected officials who push these programs in lieu of genuine job training or policies that make it easier for businesses to locate there and thrive (and, thus, hire workers). Repressive taxes, failure to address high crime centers and the perpetuation of urban blight all serve to worsen a city's economic prospects and cause its people to suffer.
As reported by The Daily Signal in September, the "war on poverty" that began under President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 has been a massive failure. In constant 2012 dollars, U.S. taxpayers have contributed an astounding $22 trillion to so-called "assistance" programs such as food stamps, welfare, Medicaid, child care, and so on. Yet the percentage of "poor" at the time Johnson launched his initiative compared to today is exactly the same: 14 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's definition of "poverty level."
While Angelos brings up legitimate points, we as a nation need to ask ourselves how much longer we are going to double down on policies that simply do not work and ultimately lead to the kind of anger we see spilling out into our city streets.
It's not like we haven't spent enough.
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