“We can do better than this!”
By Doni Glover, Publisher
I Am Black Wall Street
Unapologetically Black: Doni Glover Autobiography
Thursdays at Midnight on WEAA 88.9 FM
(BALTIMORE – September 3, 2021) – It is particularly painful to observe my hometown right now. COVID and its most-despised cousin, the variant, don’t make this any easier. It’s like watching your childhood home implode before your very eyes and there is nothing you can do.
I don’t need anybody to tell me about this city. From Mt. Washington to Broadway & Eager, I’ve traversed the otherwise beautiful streets and avenues of this, our city. What I can tell you is that while there was a time when there was a code in these streets – today, there are no rules.
There was a time people didn’t shoot dope in public, let alone sell drugs in front of elders and children. Similarly, there was a time when the nearest school was revered by all, gangsters included. Today, the actual school building gets no respect. Many are closed down. Others are renamed, removing names like George G. Kelson, a Sandtown funeral director and mortician who employed dozens of our people.
There was also a time when Blacks in prominent positions understood beyond a shadow of a doubt that they had the duty and obligation to look out for the masses. The Honorable Judge Joe Howard, the Black man from Iowa who was the first to win a citywide election, comes to mind. He made sure Black people were treated respectfully when they came to court.
On that note, Violet Hill Whyte comes up. She was the first Black cop. And she did her job with integrity and character. Her name still sends chills up the spines of those who remember her.
You see, this Baltimore today seemingly has no idea of the greatness that got us here. Too many of us do not know about the sacrifices and efforts of those who came before us because if we did, we wouldn’t be ruining our city. And this goes for the addict on the street as well as the politicians at City Hall.
Baltimore is abysmal at present. The streets and alleys are filthy. Many of us seemingly like trash all around our doors. Our children are talking like they actually have a clue while too many parents have left these kids to raise themselves.
Too often, there is no daddy in the house, even though there was a time when we were more married than the rest of America.
I know. I know. This is a new day. People smoke blunts in front of police. Everybody’s got a gun. Loitering is ubiquitous and the prison system continues to thrive as otherwise strong and proud Black men endure being locked down.
Afghanistan ain’t got shit on Baltimore. We’re killing kids … females?!
To boot, a whole new wave of white addicts are up in the vacants like they live there. A whole army of people from up and down the East Coast have descended on these already stressed streets only to add to the illegal drug issues we already face.
Meanwhile, our Baltimore City elected officials are quieter than a church mouse leakin’ on cotton when it comes to the Fox 45 investigation that revealed that our tax dollars are officially corrupted when it comes to Augusta Fells Savage School in Harlem Park. Principals have clocked $400,000 in salaries while on leave. Meanwhile, the traditional rhetoric from Baltimore City Public Schools is that we need more money.
There is absolutely no accountability in Baltimore City and it is a crying shame. Surely, my dad would say, we “can do better than this!”
I don’t know if we need a mayoral recall or to call a State of Emergency or what. What I do know is that this is not the Baltimore I know. I don’t know what this is, but it’s certainly not Baltimore.
Malcolm X may have put it best: ‘You can’t serve the people unless you love the people.’
Understand, the powers that be know how to fix Baltimore overnight. And it’s not difficult. However, I think somebody likes Baltimore being so dysfunctional. Somehow, I think it is serving someone’s diabolical purpose. The culprit is typically greed.
I’m just praying for a sign – one the whole world can see. I pray that we, the people who love this city, will find a way to make it better. No politician is going to fix it. I am convinced that we have to fix it ourselves. We have to pick up the trash. We have to go and get junior off the corner. We have to go to the PTA meetings and if there aren’t any, create one. We have to revisit our community associations. We have to do a better job checking on our seniors. And we all must play a part in it.
God bless Baltimore!