(BALTIMORE – April 12, 2016) – I am in no way disappointed about Rep. Elijah Cummings’ support of Catherine Pugh for Mayor. It doesn’t change anything over here. We know him, his track record, and really and truly have a pretty decent understanding of just how far he will go to stand up for people of color: Not too far!
We have watched him at Empowerment Temple during a town hall meeting insist that we, black people, gotta step up our game.
Well, it was supposed to be a town hall meeting to discuss the killing of unarmed black men across America. However, the only folks who really got to talk were Mayor Stephanie Blake and Cummings. I figure that the people were only there to make it look like a crowd.
For me, it doesn’t get much more out of touch than these two.
Speaking of Empowerment Temple, I can tell you that I really had hoped Jamal Bryant would have done a much stronger campaign for Congress than he did. Truth be told, the young pastor had Cummings scared to death as was evident during that evening’s press conference where the Congressman vowed to keep his seat.
Some may think I’m hard on Cummings, but I was there when he interviewed for the job. We were at the Masonic Temple on Eutaw Street. The group in charge was MORE, and it featured the likes of Sam Daniels and Charles Tildon.
I watched as these black leaders questioned all of the candidates vying to replace Kweisi Mfume.
But the thing that I most recall about Cummings and his benign neglect of the black community is not his endorsement of Bill Cole to replace Keiffer Mitchell. Nope. I got over the fact that Cummings supported Cole over any of the black guys running. What troubles me is how Cummings was perpetually silent as his establishment homeboy, Martin O’Malley, who arrested one in six Baltimoreans.
Ever since then, nothing Cummings does surprises me. I do not expect him to speak out for black people, for instance, in the tradition of the black people who held the seat before him, including Congressman Parren J. Mitchell. Now, Mitchell: That man was an unapologetically black advocate for the black race.
Cummings is the ‘go-along to get-along’ type. So, in my book, Pugh deserves him.
Cummings and the establishment are all responsible, in my best estimation, for the Freddie Gray unrest. Because of their treatment of black people, unarmed black people are still subject to death by police. Then, these establishment politicians show up at Penn-North as if they had no idea things are that bad in East and West Baltimore. Give me a break!
Tell you something else: I really was unclear on the Presidential candidate that I liked; that is, until Cummings endorsed Clinton. But, that’s another story for another day. I will say “The Bern” has my full attention.
Mass incarceration is the issue I want to hear more about. While Pres. Obama made it his business to visit a prison, I don’t see similar efforts by the popular Congressman.
“Black people, you gotta step up your game.” Truth is, I’ve grown tired of the Cummings’ rhetoric. Why doesn’t Cummings step up his game, stop preaching, and cease telling us about his family’s sharecropping experience.
We want to hear about technological innovation, business expansion, job creation, and opportunities for our ex-offenders. What we need is an advocate of the ilk of a Parren Mitchell who is not afraid to speak truth to power and who is not scared to stand up to bullies like Martin O’Malley and Senate President Mike Miller.
Fact: Slavery is over. Black people, buckdancing and step-n-fetchin’ is no longer acceptable. Fact: White people expect black leaders to speak up for black people.
However, the Maryland Democratic establishment could care less about black people. Rather than respect us, the Party puts up signs on Liberty Heights – as they did in the last election – that simply read: “Vote for the Democrats.”
And that’s exactly why Gov. Larry Hogan routed Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown in his bid for the State House.
You can’t just come to the black community, say a speech, and then expect the masses of black people to support you. Brown learned just like Kathleen Kennedy Townsend learned: You have to give black people respect, because when you do not, there is a price to pay.
On that note, I offer up a special prayer for Sheila Dixon.
Although the Maryland Democratic establishment personnel have turned their backs on her to instead support “Girl #2”, that doesn’t matter to us Sheila Dixon supporters. Like my baseball coach said years ago: We’d rather have 7 serious players than 9 people who are not serious.
Right now, Baltimore is on the verge of choosing its path for the next four to eight years. Will we follow the like of Rawlings-Blake, Cummings, and Pugh – the people who couldn’t see the riots coming? Or, will we go with a woman who has more testicular fortitude than many of the aforementioned and who is proud to serve her people.
That is my choice. I hope it’s yours, too: Sheila Dixon for Mayor.
By the way, for those who think the establishment went after Dixon over some gift cards, think again. It was about power. The establishment is not fond of proud black people. They will only accept those who will lift up the Democratic banner and not ask questions.
Where I come from, that is not leadership. Nope! That is, however, the mindset that ultimately led to the first riot in Baltimore in 47 years. To date, not one of the elected officials have accepted responsibility for that fiasco: Closing down the MTA station while the students were left without a way home. Then, they called our kids ‘thugs.’
Way to go, establishment people. You guys are so on the ball.
Meanwhile, the City prepares for more international media attention as the postponed trial that has yet to yield one conviction will resume after the Primary. I have concluded that the establishment had hoped for a conviction. That way, Nick Mosby would be where Pugh currently is: the establishment’s pick of the day.