Photo: Saafir Rabb

By Doni Glover, Publisher
Unapologetically Black: Doni Glover Autobiography
Thursdays at Midnight on WEAA 88.9 FM

(BALTIMORE – March 2, 2021) – You want to know how to fix Baltimore? Then just ask Saafir Rabb, David Miller, and Mario Armstrong. I submit to you that there are no better sources for the solutions to what’s ailing this city.

For the uninitiated, Baltimoreans have seen a fair share of fake and phonies with their dog and pony shows; we call them poverty pimps because they always know what’s best for the community – one they do not live in.

We have also seen what works.

I think back to 1968 when Model City was on the scene helping to avert another riot. That worked! It took people’s minds off of the negativity and helped push that energy into sports and music. For those who recall, it was a perilous time in the city. People had to put a black piece of cloth in their window or they painted black on their door so no one would burn down their house.

Now, fast forward a half-century or so to today. Six years ago, Baltimore experienced the first riot in 47 years. And frankly, we are still recuperating. Sadly, there was no response like after the ’68 riots. I figured someone somewhere would have put a stream of Winnebagos along North Avenue from Hilton to Milton loaded with therapists. It made sense to me, especially given the traumatization that took place.

Yet, it never happened. There were no therapists, no triage unit for the community. We did get some people from the Maryland Food Bank – like Brandy Hunter – who made sure people ate. But, there were no new recs built. No task force to address the thousands of vacants that journalists from around the world saw as they flooded Penn-North. A couple of murals were painted, but the underlying environmental terrorism and massive deprivation has yet to be addressed in a substantive way.
Yet, through it all, the solution has never been tapped. That solution is the expertise of some of our brightest sons. Interestingly, all three – Rabb, Miller and Armstrong – all get a lot of sunshine elsewhere.

Saffir Rabb, a member of the Cason family, has been raising a family – that is, when he isn’t renovating an embassy in DC or negotiating a contract – in Arabic – in Dubai. David Miller has also been raising a family when he is not in Ghana teaching or in Southern schools inspiring students with one of his 14 books; his most recent children’s book is entitled “Chef Toussaint”. Mario Armstrong, the tech guy, is too a family man – when he’s not launching his new Never Settle Network or appearing on CNN or the TODAY Show.

If I were mayor, I’d deputize these three men immediately to be brand ambassadors for the City of Baltimore because despite the drugs, the guns and the murder – this trio symbolizes our best and brightest, straight outta Baltimore.

They live lives we all can admire and find inspiration in. They’re all straight shooters who live with integrity but also a perpetual desire for Black Excellence despite the hatred for their race so visibly displayed on January 6th.

We salute these men because easily they could have made a bad choice and be in somebody’s penitentiary. Easily, they could have pulled a trigger – for they have all be confronted with death. And although that is a norm here in Baltimore and other cities, still they persevered – they dug – they researched – they went to far away places for spiritual food only to return and bring us their newfound motivation and knowledge.

They shared their successes with us and told us how Baltimoreans are loved across the world for our indomitable spirit. They could have fumbled, but they didn’t. They follow their purpose and allow the good Lord to use them as examples of what a rose in the concrete really looks like. They are heroes, role models, and the epitome of our strengths. May God keep and protect them so their stories may be shared far and wide as to what a kid from Baltimore can, in fact, accomplish despite the cruelties and insensitivity of this land we have come to call home.

Keep fighting, soldiers!  We need you!   

Educator/Author David Miller