Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake Reverses Her ‘Thug’ Description


Trivia: Which retired boxer learned to box from cops in the police athletic league? (Answer below)

Things have calmed down some in Baltimore. After a week of peaceful protests leading up to the burial of Freddie Gray, there was a turn for the worst. In the heat of battle cars were set on fire and buildings looted. As authorities deal with the fallout, Baltimore’s mayor has reversed her ‘thug’ description.

Community leaders were saddened by the violence and lawlessness. Even President Obama had strong words for the actions of the ‘thug’ elements. Unlike Mayor Rawlings-Blake, Obama is sticking with his description of the destruction. Maybe some people feel more comfortable with the word ‘hooligan.’

This back and forth could go on because of the racial tinge that the word ‘thug’ brings. It could also miss the point of doing effective root cause analysis. It’s like those times when software developers have to determine if a program has a ‘bug.’ Their root cause analysis will zero in on the cause of the ‘bug.’

To fix the bug in software some changes are made and a new version released. To move beyond the ‘thug’ label in our culture, we can look to the slogan for Baltimore; ‘B-More!’ Without getting too technical we can challenge ourselves to ‘Be More!’ We can be more exceptional citizens and examples for our kids.

Maybe Obama sticking to his statement is about ‘calling a spade a spade.’ He’s no longer running for office and can be quite direct. With the mayor, she has a re-election on the horizon. Maybe her view is one of distinguishing spades, hearts, clubs and diamonds. She’s not putting all residents in the same suit.

So talk about ‘thugs’ in community or ‘bugs’ in software is always a sensitive matter of deep debate. It might even be said that there’re thugs in high places and bugs in our social system. If a turtle in England can get wheels after losing its legs, then urban communities only want wheels to roll into a brighter future.

Answer: George Foreman

Groove-track: Rihanna – Diamonds –

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