(BALTIMORE – September 1, 2018) – If I were the Mayor of Baltimore during the first riots in 47 years, one of the first things I would have done as the smoke cleared at Penn-North would have revolved around the mental anguish endured by people in West and East Baltimore. I would have assigned an army of therapists throughout both sides of town – beginning at Penn-North.
No one did that, though …
Random thought: Late night television commercials pleading for donations for wounded, abused and abandoned dogs are so heart-wrenching. The sad ass music in the background would make anybody with a heart give a buck or two. “Save Pup Pup! Save Pup Pup! Save Pup Pup!”
Another random thought: Ellicott City got more help in two catastrophes than did Sandtown post-Freddie Gray.
And although entities like the United Way collected money for #FreddieGray all through the unrest on WJZ-TV 13, the Sandtown community has not seen a dime of it – that is, unless somebody is hiding it. The only thing we’ve seen change is the renovation of Western District Police Station. Wowwww! Really?, in my Kevin Hart voice. Is that sending a message or what?
They say that a small portion of the dollars raised by non-profits actually goes to the people in need. When it comes to African Americans and dogs, I honestly think the dogs do much better in America. Mess with a dog and you will be on the evening news.
Having lived in Sandtown for decades, I have personally seen a ton of non-profits come through here, write a grant, say a nice speech, have a dog and pony show and then return to their homes in Columbia swearing that they did something for otherwise poor and uneducated African Americans. Never mind that this is actually Historic West Baltimore and should be treated with the same respect as Guilford or Roland Park. Homeless shelters are as foreign to us as most other communities – including Guilford and Roland Park, but yet the Mayor of Baltimore put it here anyway. Now, a year and half later, we’ve got hundreds of white addicts trekking through Sandtown in search of drugs as if this is the drug mecca.
Yet, nobody has said a word about these white tramps and their aggressive panhandling at major intersections in the black community. I must say that it is indicative of tramp behavior I’ve seen on the West Coast in Portland. Portland, which is 90% white, has thousands of homeless white addicts living in tents and carrying sleeping bags on their knapsacks. I guess it’s a sort of “I don’t give a fuck” lifestyle. In know: Exactly what we need, right?
I really and truly believe that Baltimore still needs those therapists, though. And not just for residents. No. Our elected officials, black and white alike, need some therapy. The teachers and the parents need therapy. The preachers need some therapy. The cops, too! The whole damn community needs therapy after seeing murder after murder – including the murder of Detective Sean Suiter. People are still fuming, too, about the unconstitutional lockdown of the community afterwards only to surmise that this man – husband and father of 5 beautiful kids – would somehow take his own life in a dirty alleyway. That’s unconscionable!
I am quite confident that the people of West Baltimore are as traumatized as soldiers in any war. There are too many stories of this person getting killed and that person being killed – of police who are off the chain – of this person’s son or daughter who is “out there”. The madness is continual.
So, between our youth – who are not proficient in math in 13 of Baltimore’s high schools, the drug trade, and the murders – and please let’s not forget this new inundation of white addicts boppin’ up ‘the Avenue,’ – West Baltimore Proper is being utterly destroyed before our very eyes. I’m not sure it’s any different on the Eastside.
One thing is for sure, though: The Consent Decree is not working. Criminals are emboldened, the cops have fallen back, and the drug dealers have taken over. Hence, the average old lady in Baltimore who lives alone and whose peace of mind is threatened daily by illegal drug activity on her block quickly comes to the realization that she had better shut up, ignore it, sit down, and turn on the damn TV.
Grandma is but one of the tens of thousands who have tried all that they could to make a difference in Baltimore, yet their indefatigable community efforts and unanswered cries for assistance have consistently fallen on deaf ears. I have concluded that “the powers that be” want black people to kill each other off, O.D., or go to prison for a very, very long time and that this is the sum total of re-gentrification in Baltimore – a 9-to-1 Democratic city. All of the big resources go into the “White L” (From Johns Hopkins University straight down to the Inner Harbor and then east to Canton). Nothing much, however, goes into the “Black Butterfly” (Essentially East and West Baltimore).
So, nope! I am not seeing where the Consent Decree is working one iota. If anything, it has given a lot of African American criminals – along with this new crop of white addicts from God knows where – permission to be even more buck-wild in already traumatized communities on both sides of town.
Lastly, the 4600, 4700 and 4800 blocks of Park Heights are indeed the litmus test. Will black folks be going into whatever they build there? Time will tell. Meanwhile, … protect yourself at all times! The streets are extremely desperate right now and greed drives a lot of what we see wrong. God bless Baltimore, including the hundreds of addicts sleeping tonight in vacant houses next door to a home near you!