« April 19, 2015 - April 25, 2015 | Main | May 3, 2015 - May 9, 2015 »

April 30, 2015

the best thing i've read about baltimore

Maybe this is a new thing for me, but nowadays when we find ourselves in the middle of yet another city torn apart because of bad/dumb policing, I get struck mute.  (And I have a very peculiar affection for the city of Baltimore.  Not that I have nothing to say, and not even that it seems that enough people are saying enough things that I would just be repeating myself, I just, well, I guess the way to put it is, can't even.  It makes me queasy.  The L.A. riots were, what, twenty-three years ago?  And even still there are white people who think that a black "thug" severed his own spinal cord while in police custody.  It pains me to see how far we have not come.  An empty stadium baseball game?  We are abhorrent and ridiculous.

But one small bright spot in this week of me assiduously not-writing: this piece on Baltimore by Colette Shade.  Shade was covering the Maryland Hunt Cup last Saturday, which just so happened to be the day that the city started to ignite.  And it is a fabulous piece: she keeps herself well out of the narrative and lets the subjects tell the story.   I almost hate to pullquote and spoil it, but, holy shit:

"So you came to Hunt Cup to ask a bunch of lily-white people about what's going on?" the man in the sweatshirt said.

"Well, yeah," I said.

"Here's a quote," he said. "The police in this country are doing their job. What would it be like if we said let's let all the cops have vacation for a week?"

I wrote that down and thanked him for his time.

That little bit of elegance is the kind of stuff that made me fall in love with non-fiction and journalism in the first place.

I mean, it's not exactly uplifting or anything, but I still a bright shiny thing to get you through this week.

Posted by mrbrent at 11:13 AM