I understand all these jokes popping up like “When I want social justice, looting/violence is always my first choice of getting there.” I get it. But here’s the thing that we as Christians need to see instead:
Even if these people only have the faintest idea of right and wrong, they know somewhere inside of themselves that stealing is wrong. This is so sad that they’re so desperate for household items/ money that they are jumping at the first chance to better their situation. How sad for them that they are sacrificing any semblance of integrity. It’s got to be a hit to their self esteem on some level. How sad that they are so poverty-stricken that their entire lives are consumed by trying to figure out where the next meal will come from or how to afford groceries.
The number one reason why people don’t do something they want to do is because they don’t know how or because they can’t. Making a better life for yourself is difficult but it’s got to be even more difficult when you don’t know how to go about doing so.
I’m not aware of the public education system in Baltimore but I’m aware that parents/guardians are the biggest influence in a child’s life. I think children take what their parents say to heart (and sometimes misunderstand their parents intentions) and then act on the notions that the parents implant in their heads to a higher degree than even their parents would. Then, it’s no surprise that youth are being charged with violence and criminal behavior in Baltimore, a city that apparently has been dealing with a poverty crisis for some time.
I’ve been holding my tongue as often as possible about the goings on in Baltimore because I don’t want to get to hasty with conclusions. Before we condemn the citizens there for racism, for violence, for stealing, etc., let’s first understand what brought them to this point. Instead of seeing a “thug” using any excuse to steal some iPods, see someone who feels so depressingly like they have nothing to lose that they’ll take any chance just to get by.
Most importantly, let’s all pray the violence stops so that these kids (namely the ones who depend on free school lunches) can go back to school tomorrow.