bleeding and leading

Local news does nothing but depress.

Man Fatally Shot in Woodmere.  Two Men Charged in Armed Robbery.  City Police Identify Fatal Stabbing Victim.  Felon Sentenced for Possessing a Firearm.  Man’s Legs Severed as He Tries to Board Train. Woman, 2 Students Fight with School’s Police Office.  Murder Charge for Man.

This is all the news fit to print in today’s Baltimore Sun’s Baltimore City news feed. I subscribe looking for politics, for action, for hope… and I get murder and maiming and life sentences. Well, to be fair, President-elect Obama’s inaugural stop in B-more got a paragraph.

This Sunday’s big news was a five-page-long summary of everything that had gone wrong to lead to a woman’s fatal slashing on a busy Baltimore Street, in front of the courthouse, where her ex-husband had finally been ordered to stay away. The pictures got to me. She was so beautiful.

He was a community activist. The police commander had a relationship with him. They wanted to bring him in on his own terms. She relied on her cousin, texting her whereabouts every five minutes, until she didn’t. Until she was murdered.

These stories, the little tragedies heaped on us by our daily news… I wish they could unite us like the shrines to the fallen that pepper the city. I wish the man’s murder outside my door and the eight loud shots that preceded it could be spoken of in a way that inspired thoughts of shared humanity. But I know the reason the stories are printed like they are: fear and voyeurism. Fear and hate. Fear and thanks. Thanks that it wasn’t us.

This is why, nearly 4 years later, the second Google search result for “Baltimore Sun Murder” is the sad death of Linda Trinh, 21, who had been a student at Hopkins. With the 1200 or so murders since then, this is the one that persists. The other stories, I suppose, are expendable. They show up in news feeds and are gone the next day. They’re the background noise in a violent city.

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