By Doni Glover, Publisher
I Am Black Wall Street
Unapologetically Black: Doni Glover Autobiography
Thursdays at Midnight on WEAA 88.9 FM
(BALTIMORE – October 8, 2021) – Finally, Fox 45’s editorial bent has taken off its hood. Fox, as of this morning’s broadcast, is now pushing for zero-tolerance policing in Baltimore. Clearly, the editorial staff at Fox have no regard for Baltimore’s Black community. Although they continuously feature Black interviewees in their news coverage and although they do have Blacks reporting the news – all to demonstrate some semblance of fairness, that in no way dismisses their racist undertone and their ill-will for Baltimore’s Black community.
Their push for zero tolerance is a smack in the face of every Baltimorean, regardless of race. Point, blank, period: It didn’t work. It only exacerbated the dilemma. As if the omnibus crime bill by Pres. Bill Clinton (which he later regretted and apologized for) didn’t do enough damage, then-Mayor Martin O’Malley’s approach to crime, one that mimicked Rudolph Giuliani’s approach in New York City, caused even more mass incarceration for the silliest of reasons.
During the O’Malley era, I can never forget two cops damn near running me and my bike off the road in the rain – two blocks from my home. Their reason? Well, one over-zealous cop involved told me that I was propelling a bicycle within the city limits without a headlight. I actually had to go to court for that. Back then, cops were locking up people – Black people, mind you – for sitting on their own steps. Sure, there were some people that needed police oversight, but not the entire community.
To boot, there was a heap of dirty cops.
At the end of the day, it is the Black community that suffered the most. From bail to lawyers to the stress of dealing with the courts, this was O’Malley best thinking. And it failed disastrously. It was so bad that all Sheila Dixon had to do was re-calibrate the approach by simply using a smarter, more effective method that targeted the repeat offender – not the entire community. As a result, violent crime in Baltimore was at its lowest level. Boy, do we miss those days!
Granted, today is a violent one with the weekend likely to continue the madness. Instead of zero tolerance, Baltimore’s way of dealing with crime is the complete opposite. The Department of Justice’s Consent Decree swung the pendulum from far right to far left.
Now, I am not sure who you blame, but a primary result of this Consent Decree is a lowly motivated Baltimore Police Department who will not touch nuisance behavior like loitering and corner drug dealing.
Today, in order for a cop to make an arrest for loitering, they have to run it up to the top brass.
Hence, neither over-policing nor under-policing works. There has to be a balance.
There are no two ways about it. Yes, I do think that Baltimore needs the National Guard in order to restore order, but I do not think that needs to last longer than 6 months. What’s needed is firmness but fairness. There is no need to overburden an already backed-up criminal case docket with foolishness. At the same time, we ought to be working overtime to get violent repeat offenders off these streets.
And finger-pointing between the City’s top cop and the City’s State’s Attorney is no help.
The people of Baltimore want one thing: Safety! That’s it. Further, people in West Baltimore want it as bad as people in Fells Point – we just want it fairly, especially in a majority Black city. Maybe, just maybe, Fox’s editorial staff might figure this out instead of popping off with a stream of anti-Black coded messages designed to tear down Black people but excuse others – as if Black people are what’s wrong with Baltimore. Truth be told, Baltimore’s Black community has contributed richly to the building of this nation, state, and city and deserves a hell of a lot more respect than that consistently exhibited by the parochial thinking of Fox 45’s head office.
In the words of a famous preacher, “Do me a favor and keep it real!”