TGR: Dear, Sheila Dixon …

“Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” – David Farragut

By Doni Glover, Publisher
Unapologetically Black: Doni Glover Autobiography
The Doni Glover Show on WOLB 1010 AM (Thurs. 11a-12p)

(BALTIMORE – October 16, 2019) – Dear Sheila Dixon, 24 years ago today was a very special day in our community as a million brothers proudly marched on Washington, D.C. That experience changed my life and the lives of many African American men and their families across the country. Our marching orders were to return home and make a difference in our respective communities nationwide.

It worked! Many brothers were inspired to get back up on their horses to ride towards a more purpose-driven life. It did wonders.

Much has happened since that day in the nation’s capital. We’ve even had our first Black president. At the same time, our country has experienced countless deaths of young, Black men … and women. We have seen a resurgence of hate mongers, seemingly led by an irresponsible Chief Executive in the White House.

And here in Baltimore, 2019 has seen nearly 300 murders already. This is the highest number of murders for any city in America. To say the least, we have gone from fair to bad. Our schools are under-performing, yet our leaders are pointing their fingers at everyone but themselves. Our police have taken a knee while drugs are sold in ear shot of a parked cruiser. All the while, the mainstream media is painting a one-sided picture that, honestly speaking, makes it extremely difficult to even watch the news.

Everything bad that happens, let them tell it, is all Black people’s fault. Everyone wants to be in the national spotlight on crime, but yet not a soul takes any responsibility for the lawlessness unfolding on these streets. 17 people were shot over the weekend, and there is no end in sight. It’s all about the blame game. Meanwhile, 2-year-olds are being shot by repeat violent offenders who should not have even been on the streets. For real, for real – we don’t know what to believe when we see 7-year-old little girls shot while riding in the back seat of a car or when we see a group of boys pummeling another student repeatedly when all this kid wanted was to go to school in peace.

What in the world is happening here in Baltimore?

Madam Mayor, for the record, we are sick of this madness and the fools who attempt to paint this dismal story of the place we call home. Clearly, they do not know our resolve nor do they truly understand what we’re made of. Meanwhile, we are watching newcomers repeatedly flounder although they claim … to have the answers. Truth be told, a blind man can see what’s going on, and none of these people have even a remote idea of how to hit the ground running.

Squeegee kids, for example, may present a challenge to some, but the local news has yet to talk about all of these “other” panhandlers from everywhere but Baltimore not only at our busy intersections, but all up in our streets and allies shooting dope and causing fires in vacants.

Meanwhile, our representatives at City Hall put their attention on secondary and tertiary issues like single sex bathrooms and bike lanes. Mayor, have you been through the bottle kneck on the 28th Street bridge headed east lately? It’s absolute mayhem and makes no sense whatsoever!

In light of it all, a clear-cut question remains: Who will lead our beloved city?

We know that you and your team were robbed in 2016. We know because it was the first time that we ever witnessed a de-certified election. Everybody knows you were not treated fairly, that votes were not counted, that several thumb drives were missing, and that ex-offenders who were promised political empowerment were dismissed with the swiftness by letter, yet here we are – on the brink of the 2020 citywide election – and our city is going to hell with gasoline drawers a’blazing.

Please, please, please consider putting your name in the ring for Mayor of Baltimore in 2020. We don’t want another carpetbagger perpetrating before us. We don’t want another spin doctor playing on our emotions. We don’t want another ambitious but clueless individual who has traded state secrets pretending to know what they’re doing – all the while wasting our time.

No! We want someone with the testicular fortitude to not only help us clean up Penn-North and the Avenue Market, but someone who has the audacity to get our public school students – and their parents – excited about learning and has the heart to help people get a job and off the streets. After all, you are a mom. You were also a teacher. And you know what it’s like to lose family to HIV/AIDS, so you understand what it means to feel helpless. You’ve experienced joy, but also tragedy. You are a business leader I have personally witnessed help scores of businesses grow since leaving office. We want a mayor who can actually attract people and businesses back to Baltimore, including Fortune 500s, but who also has the compassion to motivate people on the streets in need of treatment, a job or housing. We need a leader who will step not only to the neighborhood drug dealers, but who will also inspire our business community to find more innovative ways to better work towards a cleaner, greener, more viable Baltimore.

Madame Mayor, we have seen the rest, and we know a couple more folks will probably be entering the race, but I bet everything I have that not one can come even close to having the gift you have to lead. From Canton to East Monument Street to Cherry Hill to Park Heights to Northwood, this is your city and a lot of us believe in you! Even more, we know how this society reacts to a strong, Black woman who speaks truth to power!

This is no time for smiling for the cameras, glad-handing and buck dancing. This is the time for a bona fide leader with a proven track record to re-take the helm and get us back on track to a safer, more beautiful and prosperous city where our seniors can sit on the stoop once again and where little children can walk to the corner store without fear of gunfire. We know, Madam Mayor, that this will ultimately lead to increasingly more tourists strolling the promenade on a Friday evening at the Inner Harbor without a fear in the world.

We know, too, that as we invest in the long forsaken parts of our city, it will translate into prosperity for everyone. For too long, we have seen all of the resources go everywhere except where they are needed most. And we know that this is the root of the systemic challenges that have plagued this city for over 100 years and that it is high time we turn that corner for a brighter day where every neighborhood is important, every recreation center is a priority, every business gets to thrive and where everybody gets to eat. As they say, “a rising tide lifts all boats!”

This is our city! We are as proud of our broader community as any people anywhere in America. Sure, we have our shortcomings, but we also have resilience like nowhere else. Sure, we have our negative elements, but as you said the last time, Baltimore is a city where our neighbors will pick us up if we fall. Sure, we are have a strong African American population, but we also have Korean, Polish, Jewish, Latino and German communities who are just as important to our fabric and our overall well-being in the Great City of Baltimore.

Sheila Dixon, we need you and we need you now … to rise up! Please consider the mayor’s race one more time. You got over 51,000 votes in your write-in campaign, something that has never happened before. Despite the shenanigans, the 2,000 chicken boxes used by your top opponent who has been M.I.A. for months despite the support of key Democrats in Maryland, a local Board of Elections that consistently fumbled the vote, and a vicious media campaign orchestrated by people not even from this city – we still believe in you and your abilities!

Our city is in a quagmire. We, the residents, have done everything we know to remain here – even though we are leaderless, pay incredible taxes and endure monstrous water bills. It has not been easy, but we fight on because we know that somehow, God is watching and He will deliver us. If we ever need you before, we sure do need you now. Please put your hat in the ring, Madam Mayor!

I leave you with some words to a song you love so dearly (“Rise Up”):

And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again

With much love and encouragement,
The Indigenous People of Baltimore