As Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency following the Freddie Gray protests in Baltimore, delegates from acclaimed television series The Wire—the city's most recognizable pop cultural cornerstone—commented on the chaos. It's been varying shades of indignation.
On his blog, series creator David Simon made an urgent plea for a ceasefire: "...the anger and the selfishness and the brutality of those claiming the right to violence in Freddie Gray’s name needs to cease," he wrote. Simon continued:
There was real power and potential in the peaceful protests that spoke in Mr. Gray’s name initially, and there was real unity at his homegoing today. But this, now, in the streets, is an affront to that man’s memory and a dimunition of the absolute moral lesson that underlies his unnecessary death.
If you can’t seek redress and demand reform without a brick in your hand, you risk losing this moment for all of us in Baltimore. Turn around. Go home. Please.
The post went live the same day Baltimore looked like this.Actor Wendell Pierce, forever linked as The Wire's long-running, fictional officer Bunk Moreland, fiercely denounced the protesters and the notion of violence in the name of Gray. Andres Royo, who played leading informant Bubbles, spoke with indignant broad strokes that called for peace.
Elsewhere on Twitter and Reddit, protesters have been mocked as the rioting means dismissive users have been reveling in negative stereotypes.
Baltimore Orioles COO John Angelos, whose father owns the team, played pensive apologist.
...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 Orioles have postponed Monday's game with the Chicago White Sox.The city of Baltimore will reportedly close its schools on Tuesday, as local officials will reportedly implement a citywide curfew that will span 10pm to 5am ET effective Tuesday.
On the ground, the story is ongoing as reports of police shooting suspects surface.Photo via urbanfeel/Flickr (CC BY ND 2.0)