This is not Baltimore

Throughout the past week, protests have ensued in Baltimore. Until this weekend, most of the protests have been peaceful. But today, there have been hours of constant live streaming of western Baltimore, a city which has now been called out as looking like a war zone.

Cars have been set on fire, school-aged children have thrown bricks at police, injuring 15 officers. Two dozen have been arrested, the National Guard has been deployed, and Maryland is under a State of Emergency. While there is no doubt excessive and inexcusable violence, can we really classify all of Baltimore as a city in destructive protests? I think not.

We by all means, must find a way to stop the part of Baltimore that is having these awful and violent protests. The additional officers and the National Guard being brought in, as well as a curfew being implemented for the next week might prove to be helpful. But, another way we can help fight the evil is to show that evil is not the only thing that is happening in Baltimore, and furthermore, Baltimore is not the only thing happening in this world.

Watching riots gets many people riled up. Having constant live coverage of riots, while informative, and needed to an extent, is not overall the most helpful thing. When people get angry, they usually want to act, whether it be peacefully, or joining in on the violence.

Something you might not see on the news today are the peaceful protests that were held elsewhere in Baltimore. In fact at 8:29pm Monday night, there was a community trying to take their city back by protesting peacefully. By walking in the streets and singing solemnly, the community is showing that they will not be overtaken by thugs.

We should not give Baltimore a bad name for the idiotic thugs who are ravaging the street. Instead, we should look to these people who are reclaiming their community by singing, “I will treat everybody right, I will treat everybody right until I die.” These are the stories that the world needs to see. These are the stories these hooligans need to hear. This is how you protest and make a point.

Setting cars on fire will not speed up the justice system. Knocking police officers unconscious will not fix racism. Taking a peaceful stand as a community that wants to come together to unite as a city of love will make a difference. That is what we need to see.

Still, we must pray for Baltimore. We must pray that the people ravaging the city see these peaceful role-models, and take not of them. God is the ultimate comforter and uniting being. He is the one we must look to in the times of trouble and in times of peace. And like the peaceful singers in the street, we should have Christ’s love reflect through us to the others surrounding us.

And don’t forget, while many news stations have been having the very important constant coverage of the horrifying events in Baltimore, there are other tragedies going on too. Right now, there are over 3,000 who have died in the recent earthquake in Nepal, with search efforts ongoing. Pray for Baltimore, pray for Nepal, pray for the world.