Ask Paul B: Detroit 1968 to Baltimore 2015

Dear Paul B Readers,

As a loyal American, just returning home from NYC, last week, I am humbled by our amazing history of courage, and dedication to the principles of freedom. With a tear in my eye, my girl and I approached the Statue of Liberty with pride and amazement. Why wouldn’t every human being want to live in America?

With the recent state of affairs in St. Louis, and now Baltimore, I am awakened to the time when I was just 14 in Detroit, Michigan in April of 1968. Martin Luther King, Jr had been shot. Wow, that was a scary time. MLK had stood for freedom, civil rights, anti-segregation, human rights, and everything good for every living person. And then, violence in response to his murder. How sad, and totally ridiculous was the response to a man of Peace. I was chased home by a minority of African American students. There was rioting, looting, shooting, and violence everywhere. I understand now how they felt. But the end game is not violence for the man who died in police custody. Why should violence beget violence? What purpose does it serve?

We indeed have problems to solve with our men in uniform, but the rising tide of violence is totally out of control. The higher the crime rate, the more stress, fear and tension in the minds of our policemen and women. Their lives are indeed at stake as well here, but it seems unimportant to the media. Are there rogue police out there? You better believe it. We must do our best to ferret them out with a swift hand. These sub-standard police are creating a negative image for the tens of thousands of brave and dedicated police who do “protect and serve” at their own peril.

I sincerely hope that these violent protests are kept to a minimum, because for dozens of other innocents to die in response proves nothing.
We still need to respect our men in uniform, and try to act appropriately. THEY still bear the brunt of attacks. They, in return, must respect the civilian population, regardless of skin color.
— Paul B.

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