Augustana College political science professor Dr. Christopher Whitt talked to KWQC TV Tuesday about the ongoing violence and riots that have gripped Whitt’s hometown of Baltimore, Maryland following the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody from an apparently severed(nearly) spine.
Whitt said that people should have empathy for the rioters and looters in Baltimore who have been throwing large bricks at police, cutting fire hoses, and burning cars and businesses.
“We definitely have to change our priorities in this country to care more about lives and to care about the futures of young people versus buildings that can be repaired and rebuilt,” said Whitt. “I’m not saying there’s any excuse for violence but there’s definitely an explanation for violence and there definitely should be empathy for people over things.”
Whitt also said that while there is no excuse for the violence plaguing his hometown there is also an explanation for it namely income inequality and that we as a nation need to turn of focus away from buildings to the lives of young people, presumably minorities, because they feel they have been left behind.
There’s a lot of people there who are the have-nots who are lacking hope, who are lacking opportunity and they have not many ways to express themselves,” said Whitt. “I definitely feel a high level of frustration that it takes violence and destruction for real discussions to happen about the plight of the people in those communities. In no way am I condoning what they did, it’s about the root of the issue that so many people feel helpless, feel hopeless, they feel left behind and left out and that should really be the focus of the nation.”
In January of this year Dr. Whitt spoke at the Quad Cities Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day celebration where he said that Black Lives Matter protesters were continuing the work of Dr. King and that die-ins and BLM marches that block traffic and/or bridges and interstates remind him of Selma.
Funny I don’t recall Dr. King ever throwing a brick at the face of a cop, or looting a store, or committing arson, or any of the other things that the Ferguson, Baltimore, New York City, Oakland, and Milwaukee protesters have done.
To Dr. Whitt’s earlier point, I’m sorry but I have zero empathy for the Baltimore thugs trying to turn that city into a third world war zone. I do have empathy for the business owners who have had their lives work and livelihoods ruined by spoiled brats throwing an ultra violent temper tantrum. I have empathy for all the cops and law enforcement in Baltimore and all of Maryland who are having to risk their lives to deal with these miscreants. As a Cubs fan as a kid I can almost feel empathy for White Sox fans who won’t be able to be at Wednesday’s game with because of some babies in desperate need of a spanking.