Penn Badgley Tweets About The Baltimore Riots & He's Standing Behind The Protestors In His Hometown
If you've picked up a phone, used a computer, or turned on a TV in the past 24 hours, you already know that Baltimore is looking pretty grim right now. On Monday, what started out as peaceful protests following the funeral of Freddie Gray turned into violent riots in Baltimore, yielding the city pretty much unrecognizable as it was overtaken by fires and looters. It's a horrifying situation for anyone to witness, to say the least, and I can't imagine what it's like for someone who's actually from Baltimore. Unfortunately, though, there are plenty of people forced to watch this happen to their hometown, and former Gossip Girl star Penn Badgley is one of them. Since he was born in Baltimore, it's not surprising that Penn Badgley took to Twitter to comment on the riots, and from the sound of his tweets, he's behind the protestors' original mission 100 percent.
Monday night, the actor retweeted a photo of a protestor facing a police officer wearing riot gear as well as a tweet that said, "If you're white & fight against tyranny it's called patriotism. If you're black it's called rioting" before tweeting messages of his own. The first was Badgley's contribution to the explosive trending topic #BlackLivesMatter, demanding justice for Gray.
Then, he tweeted a photo of Martin Luther King, Jr., bearing the quote, "A riot is the language of the unheard," and Badgley's accompanying caption expresses his support and opinion perfectly. He's right — major change doesn't usually come about quietly, and although it seems the rioters and the looters were not part of the original peaceful protest group, of course people are angry about Gray's death while in police custody. It's so easy to understand why people are seeking justice, but it's heartbreaking that this has brought about more violence and that Baltimore has had to suffer from so much danger.
It's important that celebrities like Badgley voice their opinions on situations like the one in Baltimore, because they're usually heard above other voices. Freddie Gray is just one of so many other black men who have fallen victim to unjustified police brutality, and it's pretty obvious that something needs to be done. How many more riots will it take?
The good news: Badgley isn't the only celebrity who turned to social media on Monday to react to the riots. If celebrities keep using their recognition to raise awareness and call others to action, maybe some actual change can occur.