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Baltimore 2015 is not 1968 but similar

The riots in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray represent long built up tensions between the police and the African American community. The mayor and governor have lost control of the city. The police are in hiding along with the mayor. The streets of Baltimore have been set aflame by assorted criminals and hoodlums.

The week long Baltimore riots in 1968 were part of a wider movement that saw well over one hundred American cities burning as protests over the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. raged. Stokley Carmichael was part of the protests in Washington D.C.

The nation was coming apart. 1968 was also the bloodiest year in the Vietnam War with some 16,000 dead Americans.  President Johnson had over 500,00 troops in Vietnam. Broken- Johnson decided not to run for reelection shortly before the Baltimore riots broke out. 

Many African Americans saw the failure of the Great Society as the nation descended into chaos.

Is Baltimore 2015 a reminder of Johnson’s failures? Like 1968, will we have US Soldiers in Baltimore to quell the insurrection?

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