An activist Baltimore pastor blamed economic “disenfranchisement” Monday for the riots that consumed his city late April, and complained there was only one business big enough for looters to destroy.
In an appearance on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show,” the Rev. Jamal Bryant said the biggest problem with the “uprising” was the rioters “could only find one anchor store in that neighborhood” to destroy.
Bryant was referring to the CVS store that was looted and burned on live television during April’s violent clashes between rioters and police, and seemed to be curiously despondent over the fact that there wasn’t more to burn.
He compared what he called the “humble estimate of $25 million worth of damage” to Baltimore with the $113 million it cost to rebuild Washington D.C. after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
“The focal point of the uprising in Baltimore has been one store, a CVS store. Whereas in those riots in 1968 or the uprising that happened in Los Angeles in 1992, you’re talking about blocks. And so really, comparatively, it’s a very small number. But it’s been blown grossly out of proportion,” Bryant said.
“What it really says to is how much disenfranchisement is taking place, that they could only find one anchor store in that neighborhood, and in that community. And that’s what the community is crying out, almost like Freddie Gray did in the back of that police vehicle to no aid, no assistance.
“We need jobs, we need business, we need opportunities.”
Bryant’s comments on Baltimore do ultimately hit the heart of the matter. A lack of economic opportunity in a city that has been ruled by Democrats for over 50 years is a huge problem.
Chances are, the riots aren’t going to change that.
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