Bridgeford on McComas’ apology about Baltimore Ceasefire: ‘He’s in my prayers’

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Baltimore Ceasefire founder Erricka Bridgeford at the Ceasefire concert at the Ynot Lot on N. Charles Street in August 2018.

Faced with backlash over his online mockery of Baltimore Ceasefire, a community-led effort to promote nonviolence, restaurant owner Brian McComas told The Sun the real target of his ire was the city’s political class.

In a tweet posted Saturday morning, after one person was killed and three were critically injured during the start of the most recent Ceasefire the night before, McComas offered this hypothetical.

A brief aside on other #villageidiots, according to McComas: a Cincinnati high school getting rid of valedictorian to “reduce competitive nature,” people who don’t think there is a crisis at the border, people who didn’t like President Trump’s economic policies and Orioles brass for ruining “one of the most storied franchises in sports.”

Anyway, many people saw his tweet and said they would boycott McComas’ restaurants, which include Ryleigh’s Oyster and Crossbar in Federal Hill, and another Ryleigh’s Oyster location in Lutherville-Timonium.

His intentions, he said, were to express “anger toward the city’s leadership treating the citizens like idiots, telling them what they want to hear and supporting their movements like the ceasefire by doing absolutely NOTHING to stop this violence but yet they remain in leadership.”

In his own estimation, he “failed miserably.”

“I unequivocally support any citizen of Baltimore trying to stop this violence. I sincerely apologize for letting my anger get the better of me to everyone,” he told the paper this morning.

One of the primary organizers of the Baltimore Ceasefire, Erricka Bridgeford–a woman who helps put together the semi-regular weekend-long series of community events for no other reason than the fact she cares deeply about the city, and who mourns at the site of each death with a sage-burning ritual–responded with something that’s obvious to anyone who’s followed the movement: The Ceasefire exists because of everyday people putting in the work.

That was just as true in 2017, when The Sun named Bridgeford Marylander of the Year, as it was on Saturday night, when Bridgeford stood onstage with filmmaker Gabe Dinsmoor and received a standing ovation after a screening of “Sage,” a short film on Bridgeford’s efforts.

Or maybe they’re all #villageidiots for seeing a woman who puts so much of herself into a grassroots movement to stop the city’s plague of violence, who gets out from behind a keyboard and puts in the hours and sweat to try and make a difference, and finding it inspiring.

Brandon Weigel

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