WHAT NO ONE SAW SHOWED SO MUCH

“Hate the mind, regrets are better left unspoken, For all we know, this void will grow.”
-Seether, “Rise Above This”

The American public has become accustomed to getting what they want, and this hurts us as much as it hurts a spoiled country club teenager; sadly, no matter the class or status, many groups have adopted this mindset. This country may not be ideal in our minds at times, and many people have it worse off than others, but it’s definitely one of the better places to live in the world, yet we don’t see that, and we’re all guilty of this. Hell, I even complain how hard life is if I stop at every red light, adding five minutes to my commute. That’s not a real problem in comparison to the rest of the world. There a people being treated unfairly and dying by the hundreds in places; just take a look at the tragedy happening in Nepal, but I’m upset that I wasn’t as early to my destination as I wanted to be.

A guy died here. Not just any guy, but a black guy. On April 12, 2015, Freddie Gray was arrested for the 19th time, but the charges were miniscule at best, like many of his previous crimes, and didn’t merit taking a person into custody in the fashion that he was. However, if Gray had just not run away “unprovoked” (not my words) then there would be no suspicion to act upon. After a violent struggle, and an apparent stop just to “beat” (also not my words) the suspect, the officers failed to buckle Gray into his van seat, and ignored his “cries” (again, not my words) for help during their multiple stops. By the time the transport arrived at the station, Gray had no pulse and had suffered injuries to his spine and neck; he eventually passed away on April 19th, 2015. Six officers have been charged with the murder of Freddie Gray: Brian W. Rice, Edward M. Nero, Garrett E. Miller, Caesar R. Goodson Jr., William G. Porter, Alicia D. White (Peralta, 2015).

Because of these actions, riots throughout the community began, and the government was forced to issue a curfew; just like that spoiled country-club teenager being grounded. Now, I’m more of a middle-of-the-road type of person: if I agree with something it’s because I believe in the cause, not because I was told to think that way. For example, I believe Freddie Gray was wrongfully treated, but I also don’t think we have the full truth of what happened outside of biased opinions, not to mention the only ones who actually know the truth aren’t helping (one is deceased). I also believe that instigating riots to prove a point is stupid, pathetic, and forces us to take a step backwards instead of forward, and to think this is all happening on assumption (cops and community) and mixed stories of how the injuries honestly occurred.

My views are a perfect mix; like peanut butter and jelly. However, there’s always someone who doesn’t like peanut butter and someone who doesn’t like jelly (for some weird reason). Apart, they’re completely different, but when put together everything is just right. In this case, the liberal and conservative medias are respectively (with little respect) working together to wrong the right. CNN instigated the riots by their supportive (though cleverly disguised) wording and Fox News fueled the cause with their constant barrage of insults. Not many are talking about this though:

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Photo courtesy of newsela.com

That is the sight of emptiness; the sight of a community torn apart. You can see the destruction of the city and the emotional breakdowns of the public as the media constantly fills the airwaves with videos, but nothing is more disturbing than seeing nothing at all. This is the first time in history that a MLB game has been played in an empty stadium. At least the players made light of the situation as Caleb Joseph signed air autographs and acknowledged non-existent cheers as he made his trek to the bullpen before the first pitch, and Chris Davis tossed a ball into the stands for some lucky fan who could have been there. In addition to the eerie emptiness on home soil, the Orioles then had to play a home series in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sure, they were batting second, and sure, they took two of three games over the weekend, but that wasn’t home.

Baseball has played in an important role during some of the more tragic events that have taken place in America, and we’re not talking about ‘Disco Demolition’ night during a 1979 White Sox game which only proved that rock n’ rollers are a tad on the wild side.

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Photo courtesy of historyrat.com

We’re talking about 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombings.

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Photo courtesy of ocregister.com

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Photo courtesy of theweek.com

The Baltimore riots don’t necessarily compare to 9/11 or the Boston Marathon bombings (why do all these things happen in the AL East?), but it shows us something else, and not that the White Sox were indirectly involved in a riot again. A sporting event is the one place where everyone in the community is on the same page; except of course the road warriors who traveled to see their team, or the transplants who moved to the city, but still root for their hometown squad. It doesn’t matter if you’re black or white; it doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight; it doesn’t matter if your Muslim or Christian; it matters if the team that represents your city wins. The cheers are in unison, the city is alive, and everyone is getting along; that is beautiful. To take that away is selfish and ugly. The community will rise above this.

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Photo courtesy of thechasseur.com

Peralta, E. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/05/01/403629104/baltimore-protests-what-we-know-about-the-freddie-gray-arrest on May 6, 2015