Sunday, May 3, 2015

Curfew Lifted

A curfew is a measure of a culturally ruined city, so I greet the news of the lifting of the curfew in Baltimore with a sense of relief. No curfew is ever evenly enforced. It is people who think, speak, study, listen to music, attend games, or generally help hold society together who are targeted for enforcement. When there is a curfew, the police stop arresting drug dealers because they are too busy hauling poets off to jail. The damage to the structure of the community is not repaired quickly. I live near a town that has lived with a curfew for generations. It is a town with no poets and no real teachers, a place where musicians, athletes, and social workers are treated with disdain. Obviously that could never happen to Baltimore, but what has happened over the years is that a veil of fear and blame has darkened the city’s efforts to make a difference in the world. People are celebrating today in Baltimore, lifted in part by the hope that this situation can now change.