Amid unprecedented scenes of national mourning, United States authorities have announced a state funeral for all the glass windows smashed in the outbreak of violence in the Maryland city of Baltimore since Monday night.
What began as a standard, run-of-the-mill cycle of police killing a young Black man followed by outraged protests and Twitter hasthags — scenes Americans have seen dozens of times in recent months — took a stunning and tragic turn this week when an innocent glass window found itself smashed to pieces.
But the shocking carnage had only just begun. Multiple glass windows, vehicles and other property items, all innocent bystanders in the age-old battle between the heavily armed US state and unarmed Black victims, were destroyed in the most callous display of thuggery since the Nazis smashed all that glass in the Kristallnatch that time in 1938.
“I mean, look, we all a bit upset to hear about how that poor young guy Freddie Gray coming out of that police van with his spine nearly totally severed,” 48-year-old Robert Ballard said from New York’s upper-east side, “like I don’t know if it is true he did look at that cop funny or not, but I believe in innocent until proven guilty, you know?
“But it really takes something like the news of the damage done to all those pawn shops that take advantage on the economic devastation wrought on Baltimore’s predominantly Black working class to bring home just how fragile inanimate objects can truly be.”
In other news, fans of renown HBO show The Wire, set in the gritty de-industrialised streets of Baltimore, have spent recent days glued to rolling media coverage of the conflict in a bid to catch a glimpse of settings featured in their favourite show.
“I couldn’t believe it when they reported that the shop in which Omar gets shot in season five was one of the building burned down!” said fan Peter Francis. “OMG! I could have died!
“I mean, you know, I didn’t, I guess, coz I am not a young Black man guilty of walking in the vicinity of a police officer, but still pretty cool, hey!”