By Dr. Mark Denison — On the heels of the tragic death and funeral of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, hundreds of young men and women showed their support for Freddie by burning buildings and cars and demolishing their own neighborhoods. As of this writing, 15 police officers were injured, 15 buildings have fallen to fire, and 200 arrests have been made. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said, “We’re not going to leave the city unprotected,” the day after they had left the city unprotected. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake refused to call in the National Guard until three hours after the violence had erupted. Then she directed the police to provide “space” for the thugs to destroy property at will.
But there is a hero who emerged from the carnage. A Baltimore woman took action when she saw her son hanging out with violent demonstrators Monday. Toya Graham was watching television when she saw her son throwing rocks at police, the station reported. She went to the location and found her son. “Are you kidding me?” she was heard screaming. She then escorted him, not so gently, away from the scene. This leads me to a question. What would Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. say? If he were alive today, what would be his response to the rioters? We don’t need to speculate on that question. On December 11, 1964, King delivered a speech he titled “The Quest for Peace and Justice.” In that speech he addressed the precise issues we are seeing over 50 years later. King said, “Violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem. It merely creates new and more complicated ones. Violence is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than winning his understanding. It seeks to annihilate rather than convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends up defeating itself.” Well said, Dr. King! I only wish Baltimore was listening.