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morning opinion digest

Unequal in Baltimore, Puerto Rico’s meltdown, and more

Children played in the Sandtown neighborhood where Freddie Gray was arrested last month by Baltimore police. He later died in custody, and prosecutors announced on Friday that charges would be brought against the six officers who arrested him.
Children played in the Sandtown neighborhood where Freddie Gray was arrested last month by Baltimore police. He later died in custody, and prosecutors announced on Friday that charges would be brought against the six officers who arrested him.Getty Images

Check out five opinions trending online, from a tribute to a Silicon Valley icon to Charlie Hebdo redux.

Race, class, neglect: The riots in Baltimore have drawn attention to the lack of jobs and lagging wages that poison the lives of too many, writes columnist Paul Krugman in the New York Times.

“In fact, much though by no means all of the horror one sees in Baltimore and many other places is really about class, about the devastating effects of extreme and rising inequality.” Read more.

Kerner Commission had it right: The conditions in Baltimore have not changed measurably since the Kerner Commission’s 1968 report documented the causes of the 1967 riots, according to Washington Post columnist Colbert King.

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“Nearly 50 years — and millions of ‘ghetto enrichment’ dollars — later, look at West Baltimore, segments of the District or other US inner cities, and what will you see? A quiet state of crisis: chronic unemployment; children growing up without fathers and living amid poverty and crime and in overcrowded or substandard housing; idle high-school dropouts; alienation and hostility toward institutions of law and government, including the police — all conditions documented decades ago.” Read more.

Help for the “Greece of the Caribbean.” Puerto Rico’s economic meltdown has a potential solution, the editorial board of Bloomberg View writes — tough love from the US.

“Here’s the good news: These ugly financial developments — with some strong prodding from the US government and a little legislative help from Congress — might force Puerto Rico onto the long road back to fiscal sanity and economic competitiveness.” Read more.

Tribute to Silicon Valley icon: Writing for Re/Code, Kara Swisher pays tribute to Dave Goldberg, the Silicon Valley whiz and husband of Sheryl Sandberg who died suddenly.

“Because Dave was exactly the kind of leader that we need more of here and the kind of quiet conscience critical to transforming the community and its people into the better version of ourselves.” Read more.

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Free speech, period: Six writers have withdrawn from PEN American Center ceremonies scheduled tomorrow honoring magazine Charlie Hebdo, saying the cartoons and satire intensify anti-Muslim sentiment in the world. The Economist editors heartily disagree, arguing that no editorial cartoon should be punishable by death.

“PEN is not giving Charlie Hebdo the ‘We Like Your Cartoons’ award, or the ‘Most Incisive Social Commentary’ award or the ‘We Agree with Everything You Stand For’ award. The Goodale prize is for courage.” Read more.


Ellen Clegg is a member of the Globe staff. She tweets @ellenclegg.