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Jordan Candler / April 29, 2015

Councilman Apologizes for Describing Rioters as ‘Thugs’

The Baltimore Sun reports that City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young apologized after initially describing this week’s rioters as “thugs.” In remarks Tuesday, Young said, “What we’re seeing today is not about Freddie Gray. It is about the pain, the hurt and the suffering of these young people. There’s no excuse for them to loot, riot and destroy our city. I made a comment out of frustration and anger when I called our children ‘thugs.’ They’re not thugs. They’re just misdirected.” That “misdirected” anger left 19 buildings and 144 vehicles burned, along with 20 police officers injured. If that’s not thuggery, then why was even Barack Obama inclined to describe the rioters as thugs during Tuesday’s Rose Garden address? “[Y]ou’ve got some of the same organizers now going back into these communities to try to clean up in the aftermath of a handful of criminals and thugs who tore up the place,” he said. Young is right when he added, “We need to direct [these teenagers] on a different path by creating opportunities for them.” The problem is that inner city conflicts are indicative of the failure of the Great Society. And the chaotic scenes from Ferguson and Baltimore will continue until the policies that led to this festering are abolished. We can start by providing school choice to our impoverished youth.

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