Riots are, however, going on today. I was, by happenstance, one block from one of the worst hotspots. I made it home fine.
It should be needless to say that I don't excuse or condone any of this stupid, brutal, counterproductive, opportunistic violence by a bunch of wankers who are only hurting themselves and their own communities. Just as I don't excuse or condone police brutality.
Watching WBAL-TV all afternoon/evening. They're doing comprehensive, responsible, live coverage -- with some of their correspondents rightly correcting other ones who are erroneously calling these rioters "protesters" and "demonstrators." They aren't protesting and they aren't demonstrating. They're looting. They're rioting. They're vandalizing. They're attacking people.
They have nothing in common with the thousands of peaceful, non-violent protesters and demonstrators in this city.
Nation of Islam men marched into the belly of the beast and put themselves in harm's way, in several locations, talking down the looters. Same with a phalanx of black ministers and ordinary citizens who are on the march to Mondawmin Mall, one of the worst areas. They are impressive, responsible, brave men.
The National Guard has been called in. State of emergency declared. Starting tomorrow, city-wide curfew from 10PM to 5AM.
The Baltimore Sun is also doing excellent live coverage.
I have a friend who works at the airport, a 57-year-old Cameroonian who works his ass off every day for his family, whose home is near Mondawmin. He can't get home. The light rail has been suspended north of south Baltimore. He depends on it to get home. I don't know what he's going to do.
Please read David Simon's plea.