By Doni Glover, Publisher
Unapologetically Black: Doni Glover Autobiography
The Doni Glover Show on WOLB 1010 AM (Thurs. 11a-12p)
(BALTIMORE – October 29, 2019) – In case you missed the news, Gov. Larry Hogan announced the dates for the special primary on February 4, 2020 and the general on April 28, 2020 in order to elect a replacement for the late Congressman Elijah Cummings. There’s been speculation from the beginning that Cummings’ wife, Maya, wanted to take that seat. Also, Baltimore Mayor Bernard “Jack” Young announced his candidacy, even though he previously stated that he would not run for the office and that he preferred being City Council President. Former Baltimore Police Spokesman T. J. Smith is expected to announce his mayoral run for 2020 tomorrow.
Let’s see! Where do I start first?
For starters – I don’t know about you, but I find myself leery when I see the mainstream media pushing a candidate on me, and I don’t care who they are. Short of God, nobody gets a pass. Our city is in too much turmoil for us, the residents and tax-paying citizens, to allow anyone to suggest just who is best for Greater Baltimore.
Let me add that just because a candidate has a lot of commercials coming at you or gets a lot of media play does not mean that they are the better candidate, let alone capable of doing the job. I guess my point is, do your own research before you vote for anybody. Your vote truly matters!
In short, people, be mindful of both the news and the commercials.
The last time we had a major election in Baltimore, local news outlets repeatedly painted an ugly picture of Sheila Dixon and certain individuals ran a heap of TV commercials against her, including former O’Malley operative Alex Sanchez. What did we end up with? We got a city in crisis whereby the only one who can come in here and get our city back on track – all the while grooming some new leaders to take her place – is Sheila.
Right now, Baltimore City is on fire, and it is clear to me that we are in dire need of proven leadership. And quite honestly, I’m not sure it’s ever going to happen with the current players.
On another note …
There’s something else I want to say. For years, I have encouraged young people to be a part of the political process. Increasingly, I see more and more millennials engaged in the political process. And for this, I am grateful.
However, I just have to say that I hope those individuals who do choose to run for office do so with the understanding that this is not about you. It is called public service for a reason.
I say this because I have noticed that some of our new, younger leaders seem infatuated with the camera. We all witnessed this phenomena at Penn-North during the Freddie Gray Uprising. We saw people posturing for the camera as if they actually gave a damn about Penn-North. Yet, go to Penn-North today and you will see it looking worse than ever. I have never understood how all of those politicians and preachers and leaders could convene on that corner back in 2015, but considering the dent of iniquity it has become, I’m just wondering what happened to all of that concern. If you’re really concerned, then be a part of the solution!
Speaking of Freddie Gray, I also saw a lot of people collecting monies during that time, including the United Way and other organizations. What happened to that money? As a resident and community activist in Sandtown, the only consequent development I have seen since Freddie Gray is a renovated Western District Police Station, compliments of War Horse. And just prior to the uprising, Al Wylie built a new funeral home just south of the police station in Harlem Park with the assistance of then-Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake.
So, despite all of the hoopla and speeches and marches, the only change in Sandtown and Harlem Park was a renovated police station and a new funeral home? Not long after, then-new Mayor Catherine Elizabeth Pugh got tired of seeing the 30 tents (they called it “Tent City”) and their residents on the lawn in front of City Hall and decided to move these people to Sandtown (as if we don’t have enough issues already, including a pressing number of vacant houses) – even though we already had a hearing and successfully rejected a homeless shelter a few years back. While former Mayor Rawlings-Blake did honor our request, Pugh’s so-called “temporary move for three months” has turned into three years with this shelter, one with constant visits by police and medics.
In that time, we have seen an inundation of addicts, many of whom are white, at all hours of the day and night.
On that note …
I keep hearing the news talk about the Squeegee Kids, but they don’t say one damn word about these white addicts who come just as close to your car at intersections and who are later in my alley at eleven o’clock at night shooting dope like it’s going out of style.
And that’s why I caution readers to be mindful of the local media. Please, think for yourself. Too many times, the local media is just plain wrong. Or, they don’t tell you the whole story. Remember, they are a business. So, as long as they are making money running commercials to sway your thinking – they could care less about your vote. They are out to make a buck.
What should be important is what is best for the people – all of the people – in Baltimore, including a 62.8% African American population. We matter, too!
Ladies and gentlemen, Baltimore is in way too bad a condition for us to be careless with our vote and our support. If you find a candidate is not genuinely about the people, if you don’t think they have the faith, passion and ability to move heaven and hell to effectively represent his or her community, then please do not be fooled. We cannot afford it. Time is running out, and we cannot afford to have any recklessness behind the wheel. The situation is far too crucial. From crime to education to attracting families and businesses back to our beloved hometown, we have to get on the ball now!
This is our city. And while she is in the middle of the fight of her life, I hope and pray that the people will see the truth shining brightly. I pray that we, as a community, can find the “heart and nerve and sinew” to find more commonalities on which to build. The truth is, the Black community has been shafted, and for far too long. The Black community sees North and Charles renovated almost overnight, yet there are other parts of the city that haven’t seen investment since the 50s. What’s up with that? How can you grow a city if everybody doesn’t eat? Why is the home of the Father of Segregation (Baltimore Mayor J. Barry Mahool) not yet learned its lesson? When are we seriously going to address the ills that plague us – like institutional racism, change our ways, and make Baltimore once again beautiful for everyone? What’s wrong with that?
Frankly, I don’t get it. We have one of the highest percentages of Black elected officials in the entire nation – including a younger cadre of emerging leaders, yet I cannot tell you what that has translated into for the people in East Baltimore, those up Park Heights, and the ones over in the Village. Sure, these individuals get to feather their retirement nests as elected officials, but as for the masses, these so-called leaders have no idea of how to help empower a community. Quite often, I see African Americans pretending to be black, pretending to care, pretending to lead …
Meanwhile, Baltimore is on the national news for our record numbers of armed robberies and murders, instead of being an international business hot spot. We have 2-year old babies getting shot instead of a record number of college freshman coming out of Baltimore City Public Schools. But do any of these leaders ever take responsibility? For any part of it? Do they even see the urgency?
No! They deflect, they point fingers, and they practice their storytelling skills. I, for one, am sick of it. We need a change. We need leaders who can effectively lead, and not ones heavily manufactured by historically-skewed local media outlets and deviant political machines with an agenda that doesn’t include the masses of African Americans in Baltimore. This is the dilemma in a one-newspaper town.
Thank God for Bmorenews!