(ANNAPOLIS – April 11, 2020) – Baltimore is a majority Black city. We have a heap of Black elected officials. Yet, Baltimore’s Black community is no farther ahead today than it was in the 60s. Whether the issue is Civil Rights or “Silver Rights” (as Ray Haysbert used to say), the Black community in Baltimore is constantly ignored.
As Baltimore Mayoral candidate Mary Miller has alluded in her ill-advised commercial in front of Western District Police State, the only renovation in Sandtown since Freddie Gray, institutional racism is indeed a major issue in this city we call home.
Well, she got that part right.
Thiru Vignarajah has also attempted to address the issue of race and power in Baltimore. The only thing is, though, he lacks credibility. He doesn’t practice what he preaches. While Fox 45 put him up initially as their go-to mayoral candidate and also invested in his polling and campaign with checks from Sinclair Broadcasting, he failed the smell test when he got caught with a prostitute one late night on Greenmount Avenue while driving on a suspended license … with his headlights off. He, in fact, illuminated institutional racism when he asked the police to cut-off their bodycam. You see, he looks kinda phony out here calling for all of this accountability, yet in his personal time, he can‘t find anything better to do than creep around the Black community late night in search of sex. And then he wastes limited police resources all because he doesn’t want the story to come out that he leads a double life.
Speaking of the police, I have a question for another mayoral candidate, T. J. Smith. No, it is not about his taxes. No, it is not about the fact that he was getting paid in two jurisdictions – Anne Arundel County and Baltimore City – in exchange for two seasoned detectives who were much more needed in Baltimore City than Anne Arundel County. It’s not even the fact that he once was the face of a post-Freddie Gray Baltimore Police Department.
Nope. None of the above.
My question for T.J., particularly as it relates to the historic institutional racism in Baltimore, is how could he attempt to sell the community a greasy bag of goods in the case of Detective Sean Suiter?
What’s worse is the fact that he has yet to address just why he sat up there on camera and told us verbatim a heinously skewed and parochial perspective by some suspect cops who suggested Suiter, a Black man from DC, who was about to testify against dirty cops on the infamous Gun Trace Task Force the very next day, committed suicide in a remote West Baltimore alley while he had a beautiful wife and five loving kids at home awaiting his return.
To boot, I will never forget how the people of that community were literally held hostage in their own homes – all because of the actions of some lawless cops whom everybody knows set Suiter up to be killed.
So, T.J., can you address that? Because, if you cannot face this head-on, then you truly lack the testicular fortitude to not only lead this city, but to speak up for a long-ostracized community that should be so much farther along than we are. Let’s call a spade a spade!
We know why Mary Miller wants to talk about racism. Truth be told, she is an outsider who has attempted to make inroads by talking about a highly sensitive and polarizing issue as race. Thus far, the Black community has dismissed her “Star Trek” suit commercial with the swiftness. However, T.J., you were right there and in a position to say something to us that we could believe in, but you failed to do so. You failed to use the bully pulpit you had to finally make a statement on our behalf. And what did you say? Absolutely nothing!
No, Smith was not alone. There are others, like former Commissioner Kevin Davis, who attempted to lie to the community, too, but they are not running for mayor.
All I’m suggesting is that if anyone is going to attempt to win the hearts and minds of the people, then address the concerns of the people. Those of us who have lived in Baltimore City for most of our lives know all too well the puppets who get propped up as if they speak for us. In reality, we have seen this movie before and we also know how it ends.
We have seen the entire City government attempt to tell us that the late City Councilman Kenny Harris – whose daughter, Nicole, is running for City Council – was killed in a botched robbery when there were countless questions left unanswered. Harris, a real champion of the people, adamantly spoke up for us all the time. Yet, that story has faded into the sunset because the mainstream media does not find it of value. And so, we have another dead Black man. Period.
We have also watched as this same City government also tried to tell us that Robert Lee Clay, the noted contractor and Black business advocate whose largess put state Senator Jill P. Carter on the Baltimore political map, committed suicide, even though the bullet was on the left side of his head; yet, he was right-handed. Further, he had a pocket full of money. And we have also watched as the Martin O’Malley mayoral administration locked up one in six Baltimoreans under his Zero Tolerance policy without so much as a peep by Black leaders, including the heralded Elijah Cummings.
So, the last thing we want to see right now is another stooge sent to dupe us. No thanks. We don’t want it, because if you had no problem lying to us then, you’ll be the same one lying to us tomorrow.
Sorry, T.J. Not interested! You’re failing the smell test, bud. The only thing I’m sensing is more bull feces from you while the Black community is simultaneously being targeted once again by carpetbagger politicians with very little skin in the game and even less of a clue as to how and where to lead us.
I guess the next thing we’ll see is you guys up at Penn-North in a couple weeks from now – pretending to care – as if you were actually around when the riots unfolded 5 years ago. Right?