Dead Zones and the End of History

When you look around at what’s going on in many of America’s big cities, you have to wonder what is going to be left intact when it’s all said and done? While some would call what’s going on an ‘awoke’ protest to what they consider racial injustice, others would call it more appropriately orchestrated rioting and anarchy. Regardless of what side of the political and cultural spectrum you reside in, it would be hard to argue against the fact that there will be lasting ramifications to cities like Baltimore and others as it seems that all of the major cities have become powder kegs just one incident away from a explosion of violence. Cities like Baltimore, Detroit, Cleveland, Oakland, and many others have been suffering for years with poverty and a lack of opportunities as most corporations and businesses have fled the urban areas, and the ongoing violence will just precipitate another exodus of people from these areas leaving behind a wasteland of people trapped in urban jungles riddled with poverty, drug use, crime and other soul destroying activities. While the protests are supposedly about racial injustice, one may wonder what is the real motive behind the ‘protests’ and the desire of the participants to end history as we know it by destroying monuments and seeking to remove any vestiges of our history related to slavery and Confederate figures? What is the relation between the tragic death of a man and the wholesale destruction of monuments? And it also makes one wonder, what history will be left that will be acceptable for the young to learn? And what will be left to hold us together as a nation?

Regardless of how it all shakes out, one can’t help but believe that there will be a continuing flight from the major urban areas and what will be left behind will be almost uninhabitable. There was a movie that came out in 1981 called ‘Escape from New York’. Going forward, you could probably substitute any number of big cities for New York as several decades of disastrous political policies have left them virtually unlivable in many areas of the cities. I’ve often thought that the United States would eventually split off into several countries some time in the distant future, however I’m starting to believe that future is closer than we can imagine as we seem to be a nation that is irrevocably divided with one wanting to embrace our history and traditions with all its faults, while another seems intent on ending history as we have known it, and replace it with? As for me, I am another Baltimore resident that will be leaving the city before long. It’s just not the kind of place I want to call home any longer. As Fred Reed said when asked why he left the country, “I didn’t leave America, America left me”. One could say the same about Baltimore.