Baltimore, Maryland. . .a community unites to mourn America's latest victim of police terror. Freddie Gray was laid to rest today, and his funeral cast a somber pall over a heartbroken city. Residents of the blue collar harbor town struggled to overcome their grief as they remembered the short, hopeless life of the young housing project resident who somehow had his spinal cord severed while in the custody ('the act of protecting or taking care of something') of the Baltimore police department. Just 25 years old, but with a poisoned past (literally, as the hapless Gray was disabled from lead poisoning suffered in the shabby Maryland council flat he grew up in) and with nothing to look forward to, Gray lived and died as untold millions of other red, white or black American bottom feeders: human litter. Being colored, Gray's death had a particularly sobering effect on Baltimore's black population, who recognized in the senseless demise yet another reminder of the grim legacy of the African diaspora in America, a land where, at its best, Africans were valued at sixty percent of regular human beings. Weeping bitter tears as they gazed upon Gray's lifeless body in its white casket in the New Shiloh Baptist Church, Baltimore's beleaguered blacks prayed for a fulfillment of Isaiah 25:8:
He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it.
And then, in a seeming stunning answer to prayer, just moments after Gray was lowered into the grave, the sorrowful faces of a suffering city were turned to joy, as the wealth of the sinners was laid up for the just. . .