The Baltimore landscape is becoming more dire as police and demonstrators continue to clash following today's funeral for Freddie Gray, who died while in police custody on April 12. And when protests about Gray's death initially started turning violent on Saturday, local sports broadcaster Brett Hollander took to Twitter to highlight damaged storefronts, proclaiming in one tweet that "protests should not violate the basic freedoms of non-protestors." That's when Baltimore Orioles COO John Angelos stepped in, throwing out his own perspective with a series of tweets that USA Today's For the Win says amounts to "a qualified and brilliant defense of those protesting."
"Brett, speaking only for myself, I agree with your point that the principle of peaceful, non-violent protest and the observance of the rule of law is of utmost importance in any society," he begins, citing MLK, Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela as examples of "great opposition leaders." Angelos' "greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy," however, isn't on the smashed windows, or even on the damaging acts themselves. Instead, he points out "the past four-decade period during which an American political elite … have plunged tens of millions of good, hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American’s civil rights protections." To wit: "An unfairly impoverished population [is] living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state." (Head over to Angelos' Twitter feed to read what else he had to say.)