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So will the nation experience more riots during the heat of summer?

According to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, more Americans are bracing for a summer of racial disturbances around the country after the riots in Baltimore last week.

The poll, the Journal reported, showed that an overwhelming 96% of adults surveyed said it was likely there would be additional racial disturbances this summer and underscored the deep racial divide about why the urban violence started.

According to the poll, Blacks and whites were asked to choose between two possible explanations for recent unrest in Baltimore. Sixty percent of blacks said the riots reflected “long-standing frustrations about police mistreatment of African Americans.” Some 27% of Black respondents said the disturbances were caused by people who used protests over an African American man dying in police custody “as an excuse to engage in looting and violence.”

But among whites, according to the Wall Street Journal, “58% said people were seizing an excuse to loot, while 32% said the events reflected long-standing frustrations with police.”

I’m not a proponent of quick polls, so I remain optimistic. I believe that many future protests over legitimate police brutality cases will be largely peaceful. Most of the protests in Baltimore last week were peaceful but the riots, of course, dominated the 24-hour news cycle.

On Wednesday, the White House dispatched a high-profile team to continue peaceful discussions in Baltimore. Senior Obama administration officials including U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and Broderick Johnson, assistant to the President and cabinet secretary, visited Frederick Douglass High School in Baltimore to meet with students, educators and local business and community leaders.

The meeting was planned to highlight ongoing efforts to support progress and healing in Baltimore, and work to improve access to high-quality educational, financial literacy and job opportunities for youth. They also discussed the availability of funds for a project to help residents, especially youth and young adults of West Baltimore, access the job training they need.

“It is clear that I need to look for any and all resources I could bring to the city to get this right,” Rawlings-Blake said Wednesday.

It’s refreshing to see high-level Obama administration officials visit Baltimore in a time of crisis but the challenge will be sustaining long-term support for Rawlings-Blake and a Black community that has a visibly fractured relationship with the enforcers in blue.

What do you think?

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Baltimore Mayor Does The Right Thing Asking For DOJ To Probe Police  was originally published on

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