April 30, 2015
Erin Burnett, Baltimore Mayor, Obama Slammed For Calling Rioters 'Thugs'

Erin Burnett was slammed for calling Baltimore rioters "thugs." The CNN host is not the only television journalist or politician referring to those who looted and burned the western district neighborhood as thugs; Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and President Barack Obama also referred to the rioters and looters as thugs.

Carl Stokes, a Baltimore city council member, took offense to Erin Burnett using the word "thug" during a live interview about the Baltimore riots over the death of Freddie Gray. The OutFront host also noted that President Obama and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake used the same terminology when discussing the perpetrators of the arson and violence.

"Isn't that the right word?" Erin Burnett asked Carl Stokes during the OutFront interview.

"These are children who have been set aside, marginalized, who have not been engaged by us," the Baltimore City Councilman responded.

When asked if Stokes' perception of the Baltimore youth being marginalized and not engaged properly justified the riots, looting, and violence, the councilman did not directly answer the question.

"Just call them n*****s," Carl Stokes said. "No. We don't have to call them by names such as that."

President Obama chastised the "criminals and thugs" involved with the Baltimore riots of "dishonoring" Freddie Gray's death. Baltimore Mayor Stepahanie Rawlings-Blake said "thugs" are destroying the city they've worked hard to build up.

After public and social media backlash over using the word "thug," the Baltimore Mayor apologized for her phrasing on Twitter. In her clarification tweet, the mayor opted to call the rioters and looters "misguided young people" who "need support."

Both local Baltimore government and civic leaders, along with a host of experts interviewed on television news shows, have stated that a lack of jobs, poverty, and an under-funded education system prompted a lot of boiling anger in the Baltimore Western District. The same conditions are also routinely present in rural areas, but riots have not occurred in non-urban regions. Cultural researchers and experts continue to ponder the differing responses to similar socio-economic conditions.

[Image via Getty Images]