The scene in Maryland is getting worse by the hour. Looting, violence and street riots are unfolding in African-American communities throughout Baltimore. All of this spurred by an incident where a 25-year old black man (Freddie Gray) died in police custody.
Today, there are reports that two well-known gangs would come together to murder members of the Baltimore police department. Today, was the funeral of Mr. Gray. Where was the preparation by officials? The unrest taking place could have been curbed. But such a thing requires leadership from all sides. Unfortunately, I see a lack of leadership.
The Mayor encouraged the riots with ridiculous comments like, “Allow them (looters) to do what they want to do.” What kind of statement is that? Where are the civil rights leaders? Where is the Governor calling for a the National Guard to help protect homes, stores and residents who want nothing to do with the riots? Did we learn nothing from Ferguson? Where is President Obama? If the riots continue into the night the scene will be horrific.
I have visited the areas where the riots are taking place. It is one of the worst sections of America. If you watched my film THEY COME TO AMERICA 2, then you know what I am referring to. According to Fox News, one in four young black men in the area are in trouble with the law. Neighborhoods like this need a boost. They need jobs and opportunities. It can be done but there needs to be the will to clean things up, and fast. A serious crackdown on drugs, gangs and poor behavior. Standing back and allowing the riots to fester is not my idea of a crackdown.
The operational plan in Baltimore at this very moment is nothing short of terrible, and it shows a lack of ability to address problems before they take shape. I suspect the situation in Maryland will get worse before it gets better.