What a shame: if only the economy had been better, the rioters would have had more name-brand stores to burn.
Seriously, this had to be one of the strangest statements to come out of the Baltimore riots. On this evening's Ed Show, Baltimore Pastor Jamal Bryant complained that because of economic "disenfranchisement," the rioters "could only find one anchor store in that neighborhood" to destroy.
Bryant cited the relatively small value of the businesses destroyed in Baltimore compared to those burned in previous riots in Los Angeles and DC. "We need jobs, we need business, we need opportunities," quoth Bryant. Opportunites. Right. Just think of all the other stores that could have been burned!
JAMAL BRYANT: The city council is meeting in just about an hour. I'm leaving here to go there, to give some kind of assessment of the fiscal damage. It is an humble estimate that is about $25 million worth of damage has incurred on the city. Michael, what is very critical is that the riot or the uprising that happened in 1968 after the assassination of Dr. King cost D.C. $113 million in '68 to rebuild. In Baltimore in 2015, you're talking about $25 million. 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. 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.