On the last Monday of last month (April 2015), I watched a part of my city burn. It seemed really surreal. Especially since most of the places that were front and center was in places that I frequently passed through in my youth, early adulthood and before I left Baltimore; most of the time for work.
As I watched coverage on a national media conglomerate, I couldn’t quite place the feeling I was feeling. Didn’t know if it was empathy, fear, shock or sadness…It wasn’t until the next day when I read a quote from a young lady who lived in one of the neighborhoods that I figured out what it was…Heartbreak.
I’ve always said over the last few years living in Baltimore, that the youth of today have become reckless. Most of them are coming from broken homes and also are subjected to a school system that is really bad when it comes to education. Some of them were raised by children themselves so they have no sense of respect for themselves or others. No sense of right or wrong…no moral compass…no moral ambiguity if you will.
Whenever I travel anywhere and strike up a convo with anyone and I tell them I’m from Baltimore, those familiar with Baltimore go, “The Wire made the city look like its bad and dangerous…” My response has always been Baltimore is way worse than what you see on The Wire. Now the world as a whole knows it too.
Baltimore is one of the many cities in America that we need to fix at the grassroots level. We can’t wait until we send them to our poor school systems to try and nurture them…we need to get to them before they leave the home. Show them that with hard work and motivation things can be better. We need to show them that there is more to life and this world other than what you see outside of your window. We need to show them how to dream again…