By Doni Glover, Publisher
I Am Black Wall Street
Unapologetically Black: Doni Glover Autobiography
Thursdays at Midnight on WEAA 88.9 FM
(BALTIMORE – April 12, 2022) – If I’ve written it once, I’ve written it a thousand times: While the O’Malley years in Baltimore featured “zero tolerance” of any criminal or illegal activity, life for the average citizen since the Freddie Gray Unrest has seen the pendulum swing all the way in the other direction. Common sense suggests we need a more balanced approach because lawlessness appears to be the law of the land.
The senseless taking of life in Baltimore – and I’m not talking about other cities – is reaching unprecedented proportions. What’s happening in other cities is horrific. Yes! But this conversation dominating our thoughts is about the city we love. And summer’s right around the corner.
Many of us grew up here. We remember the City Fair, Memorial Stadium, O’Dell’s, and the Mayfair. Some of us remember Model City and Operation Champ with the tractor-trailers that turned into stages as the people of Baltimore eased the trauma of the Riots of ’68.
What we have in Baltimore today is something I have never seen before in my entire life. Do I accept it?
In my day, if you smoked weed, you did it away from the public’s eye. Today, I have literally witnessed a person rolling weed while holding a conversation with a cop. In Baltimore City.
I am trying to accept that times have changed and life as we knew it will never be like it was. Things will never be the same. (Ughh! I’m stuck!)
Coming down North Avenue, for instance, right there at Park Avenue headed east: there are three lanes available. However, someone’s genius suggests eliminating an entire lane and reserve it solely for buses is better. I’ve heard transportation and other advocates speak about the carbon footprint caused by car emissions. But wait a minute, cars idling is good for the carbon footprint? Oh, and there’s also the argument that traffic in Baltimore is too fast and this is a way of slowing down traffic.
But, I digress.
Change is here, but is it working for the Black community? That’s my question!
Let’s be honest. We have one of the highest percentages of Black elected officials in the nation. And I am sometimes the first one to help a deserving candidate. But, the proverbial question remains: ‘Where’s the beef?’
We send our elected officials to City Hall, Annapolis, and Congress for what? So that they can write effective legislation and bring back the beef or the resources necessary to help a community thrive! Politics determines who gets what, when, and where. Economics is the allocation of scarce resources. Hence, by understanding the interrelationship between politics and economics, we can better gauge just how effective our elected officials are.
When I take a panoramic view of Baltimore, there’s the Black community and then there’s the rest of Baltimore. All I’m saying is that it is long past due for the Black community to get the overdue attention it deserves. Instead, what I see is a lot of quiet nothing. And if something is brewing, it doesn’t involve us.
We have a statewide election that should be happening this year. In a couple of days, we will learn more on the specifics of thosee election dates. Be that as it may, there are a number of important races to keep an eye on, including the race for Governor, Attorney General, and Comptroller. Locally, the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s race is clearly the hottest race in town. And there’s also the re-election campaign for Sheriff John Anderson, a staple in this town who has kept order from day 1.
At the end of the day, who will lead Baltimore into a better and brighter future? Will it be Mayor Brandon Scott? I sure as hell hope so! The people of Baltimore are otherwise tired of all the politics, all of the Three-card monte that occurs historically.
I will never forget the promises made, for example, back in 1973 when the Maryland State Lottery was first instituted. They noted money for education. We have a new football stadium and a new baseball stadium, but yet we have classrooms with icicles on the windows in the winter and so hot in the warmer months that schools have to be closed. Over $15 billion have been garnered by way of the lottery, yet we have failed the kids, especially those in Prince George’s County and Baltimore City who are perpetually in a race for the bottom of the state. These are the two largest Black jurisdictions in Maryland.
That says a lot to me about politicians: Full of crap!
On the other hand, a wise man said that we get what we deserve. Therefore, we the voters must be proactive with these elected officials. Call them. Email them. Go to community meetings or form a community group and make them attend. Do not let them off the hook. Educate yourself as a good voter should. And don’t take my word or anybody else’s on any candidate either. Research them for yourself! And most of all, vote! Vote for someone who will do the damn job without complaints or excuses or deflection. We need leaders who make things happen, not wimps nor punters.