On his debut album, New York: A Love Story, Mack Wilds waved a flag for his hometown with pride, but the Staten Island native's heart doesn't just beat for the Big Apple. Wilds has a special connection to the city of Baltimore, where he spent years as an actor filming HBO's hit series "The Wire."
As Michael Lee, Wilds played a troubled teen who had navigate his way through Baltimore's rough streets in order to provide for himself and his young brother. So as the real life Mack Wilds watches the protests, riots and overall fallout from the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, he can't but help get emotional.
On Tuesday (Apr. 28), he took to Twitter to vent.
"…i've been sitting here stewing on everything going on in Baltimore… you gotta understand, that's like my second home… that city took me in when i was 15 years old… they ALLOWED me to portray the life of a kid going through plights youth around america go thru… i've been sitting here, for the last few days, damn near in tears, because it feels like this sh-t just don't end… all of us as minorities understand what's been going on for years and years… but over the past year or so, to see it so vividly and constantly on our everyday news channels & social timelines… it f--ks w/ your psyche.
i'm hurt… i'm tired… i'm embarrassed for the world's perspective of my country… and with that, i have f--kin' FIRE running thru my blood almost as fast as these tears roll down my face.
i understand the frustrations… i understand the pain… …i just wanna tell everyone, stay smart. don't just fight blindly. understand the difference of fighting back and being smart… i love y'all man. go hug the young. tell em they're kings and queens. tell them they're loved.#Baltimore. #America."
Protests in Baltimore intensified on Monday following the funeral of Gray, a Baltimore man who died Apr. 19 from injuries sustained while in police custody. Violent scenes of protestors hurling rocks at police, looting and starting fires.
There were also peaceful protestors who took to the streets peacefully, looking for justice while trying to diffuse violence.