The conservative Howie Carr crowd is still up in arms over the rioting that followed the death of a black man in police custody in Baltimore. To be clear: they’re not upset about the actual death of Freddie Gray, or other killings like it; rather, they’re outraged because people decided to riot. Carr, along with his pathetic legionnaires and parrots, was all, “Take their EBT cards and benefits away.”
I listened to a week of this garbage. Of all the dreadful crap that poured into Carr’s top-rated syndicated talk show, one particular buffon spoke volumes about the quality of callers. “Howie, with all this lawlessness,” he cried, “who’s going to represent the white working class?”
Racially sensitive guy that he is, Carr responded, “How about we just say working class?” As if his listeners don’t know his show, and what it stands for. For months now, Carr has routinely labeled protesters in Ferguson and Baltimore the “whiner class,” and condemned them as “part of the EBT crowd.”
What’s always left out of hate radio conversations, of course, are the root causes of rioting: institutional racism, hopelessness, etc. Like the late great Tupac Shakur said, “Instead of war on poverty, they got a War On Drugs so the police can bother me.” You’d think such revelations are obvious to the point that they’ve become cliche, but they apparently aren’t. Over on MSNBC, when retired Baltimore police officer Neill Franklin, a prominent activist with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), noted the War on Drugs as a reason for discontent in Baltimore, and in urban centers across the nation, Joe Scarborough responded, “You’re certainly not suggesting that drug laws were responsible for the rioting yesterday?” Actually Joe, that’s exactly what he is suggesting, along with countless other close observers including former Baltimore Sun reporter David Simon, who is best known as the creator of the hit HBO series “The Wire.” In order to turn things around, Simon says, “I know I sound like a broken record, but we end the [expletive] drug war.”
For the Howie Carr crowd though, it’s too much fun to blame everything on EBT cards. Never mind the bigger question of whether Americans will ever recognize that racial peace is inexorably linked to the continuing drug war. Otherwise, like Tupac rapped back in the ‘90s, there won’t be any changes. Just racist faces. And more riots.