CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin blamed military veterans for the outbreak of violence in Baltimore. This accusation, although bizarrely retracted, upset many Americans who understand the value of the United States Armed Forces and appreciate their many sacrifices to ensure the country’s freedom. Baldwin initially apologized via Twitter and has since apologized on-air.
Lauren Brooke Baldwin is a television news anchor who hosts the afternoon segment of CNN Newsroom. She quickly became the subject of scorn after her loose-lipped comment about veterans who now serve as law enforcement. At the time, the anchor was interviewing Rep. Elijah Cummings about the need for police training within the city of Baltimore. During the conversation she suggested that veterans might be more trigger-happy than police who were not ex-military.
While speaking with the Congressman, Baldwin referenced a conversation she had with a Baltimore city councilman about police officers representing communities they do not live in. Reportedly, the councilman commented about the people who are forced to live in the community while others who seemingly protect do not have an emotional investment. Baldwin added:
I love our nation’s veterans, but some of them are coming back from war, they do not know the communities, and they are ready to do battle.
Baldwin issued a Tweet stating she was merely repeating another’s opinion on the matter. Earlier during the same segment Baldwin continued an argument made by another who said that Americans are becoming desensitized to the videos of these young black men being killed. She stated, “It is time to stop and have this national conversation about African-American deaths in order to experience actual change.”
Baldwin’s comment about military veterans sparked outrage via social media. Twitter users expressed their disdain of the anchor’s accusation and insisted she retract or explain her words. One Twitter user said:
This is an idiotic, unproductive, and utterly incorrect assertion about veterans.
Baldwin also found support from those who sought to clarify her statement. One supporter stated:
Wait a minute. Saying that some veterans are ready to do battle indicates PTSD issues–not necessarily vets attacking the protester-rioter-looter groups but maybe joining one of those three categories themselves. We have become all-too-ready to get mad at our fellow Americans; even a gorgeous journalist is not safe from verbal attack! I bet this crap does not happen in Canada, Britain, or Scandinavia.
To defend the statement and provide further clarity Baldwin also tweeted:
Folks. Please don’t misunderstand me. Dear friends/family of mine are veterans. I was repeating a concern vocalized to me lately. That’s it.
While it may be true that the CNN anchor was simply repeated the opinion of another party, her comment opened her up to be a target for heavy criticism. The lesson to be learned is that words do not just pop up, they are born from the soul. The soul of a person is their mind, will and emotions. This is the place where past experience connects with future potential. Simply stated, the words which flow out of a person’s mouth are a symptom or sign of what is really going on inside.
Also, it is up to the one speaking to ensure their words are stated responsibly. The things that are said, not only about today’s youth, but in general have the power to frame tomorrow and alter expectations. Words can heal and hurt. A true sign of maturity is when a person possesses the ability to govern and be accountable for the words spoken. It takes discipline and discernment to learn how to use words wisely and as a source of uplifting to the outside world.
Brooke Baldwin recently came under fire for blaming military veterans for instigating the violence witnessed in Baltimore. She has since apologized for the statement and said it does not accurately reflect her sentiments. The CNN anchor has family members and friends who are and were in the military. She said she loves the military and, as do many others, values their continued contribution to the freedom of this great country.
Opinion by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Featured Image Courtesy of Eyes On Fire 89 – Creativecommons Flickr License
Top Image Courtesy of Creativecommons Flickr License
Inside Image Screenshot of Twitter (Brooke Baldwin)