One of the worst things that comes out of civil unrest like we’ve seen in Baltimore are the armchair civic leaders, lecturing people from the comfort of their homes and lives which have absolutely no connection to the unrest in question about what they should or should not be doing.
You’ve seen them on your Facebook feed. Quoting Martin Luther King under the delusion that they have more to say about being, for example, a black person or a poor person in a place where black and poor people are being repressed. Not realizing, even for a moment, that maybe they don’t know what in the hell they’re talking about and that their rosy abstractions have zero relation to what is actually going on. Maybe they mean well and maybe the impulse to be disapproving of violence is a good one, but really, there are some things — a lot of things — people don’t know and shouldn’t presume to know better than the people who are living it.
After today’s Orioles game, a reporter asked Buck Showalter about his advice to young black people in Baltimore. As if the manager of a baseball team is automatically an authority on that. But, to Showalter’s great credit, he was wise enough to know what he did not and could not know and said it directly:
Orioles manager Buck Showalter’s interesting response on his advice to Baltimore’s young African Americans: pic.twitter.com/GFWjrInncw
— Brittany Ghiroli (@Britt_Ghiroli) April 29, 2015
The wisest man is one who knows what he does not know. Would that more people proceed that way.