By Doni Glover, Publisher
(BALTIMORE – July 25, 2023) – The case of the squeegee murder currently being deliberated by jurors is a classic example of how race is still a factor in America. Baltimore is the home of segregation, thanks to Mayor J. Barry Mahool. And so, it is no surprise how Fox 45 News is playing up this trial in a way that clearly divides the city racially.
Fox 45 News has been leading the way on this divisiveness, as if we need it; as if our time wouldn’t be better spent working on the healing. Feel me?
Monday night’s news broadcast had two standout Black attorneys – J. Wyndal Gordon and Warren Brown. Both have handled high-profile cases throughout their careers. Both are legends in their own right.
Fox then counterbalanced these two iconic Black legal minds with their house attorneys, Jeremy Eldridge and Thiru Vignarajah. To say the least, I found that interesting; kinda like when Freddie Gray got killed and three Black officers were charged along with three white officers and where the three Black officers went on trial first.
The machinations and vestiges of good ol’ American-born and raised racism still permeate the darkest crevices of the human experience.
Everybody knows that Fox 45 has made more noise about the squeegee kids than any other news outlet. I find it ironic that not once have they done a story on the white addicts aggressively panhandling at 99% Black intersections.
Be that as it may, both Gordon, also known as the “Warrior Lawyer”, and Brown exemplify not only what it means to be a Black lawyer in Baltimore, but they also personify Black excellence. Baltimore’s Black legal history includes Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Judge Joe Howard, Judge Milton B. Allen, former Judge and Attorney Billy Murphy, his father – Judge Murphy, George McMechen, and Ashbie Hawkins.
McMechen and Hawkins, interestingly, were nemesis to Mayor Mahool. They rode him like white on rice. As the young people say, they “G-checked” Mahool and reminded him that Blacks had great legal minds, too, and would take him to task. I’m speaking about a Black legal tradition in Baltimore that ultimately touched the entire nation.
A lot of people play like they love Black people, but at the end of the day, a tiger cannot hide its stripes.
None of us were there that horrid day that Tavon Scott (14 at the time) allegedly shot and killed 48-year-old Timothy Reynolds at Light and Conway streets. Reynolds got out of his car and walked across 8 lanes of traffic with his car still running and wielded a bat at the squeegee kids. Shots were then fired.
How would you feel if somebody came swinging a bat at you or your loved ones? Many wouldn’t think twice. And maybe, that’s the problem. Nobody is thinking these days, including Mr. Reynolds.
The problem is not the squeegee kids. The problem is racism and some classism, too. Nobody knows Baltimore like Black men, regardless of their station in life. Nobody truly grasps the ongoing assaults on Black men – other than the Black woman. He is the most ostracized in American society, he is perpetually demonized, and even his younger version, i.e. the squeegee kids, is hated and despised.
It’s as if everything wrong with Baltimore can be blamed on the Black man. That’s the subliminal perspective I sense from Fox 45. Never mind the dirty cops, the sluggish politicians, or the elite business community. Never mind that racism has scarred this city for generations to come. Never mind that in all of their infinite wisdom, two of the greatest medical institutions still haven’t addressed the healing that is so necessary if Baltimore is ever to move forward. Never mind the repeated assaults on Baltimore’s Black community for hundreds of years now. And never mind the most puzzling subway system in the world that goes from Johns Hopkins Hospital to Owings Mills – pretty much suggesting that if you live in any other part of town, it’s of no use to you. Much like the “highway to nowhere” that saw the removal of hundreds of Black households.
When are we, as a city, going to learn that if we do not heal our pain, there will only be more tragic and unfortunate situations where, once again, life is threatened?
In my professional opinion, Fox needs to chill. They consistently push their one-sided agenda on a 73% Black and brown population. Their racially divisive tactics serve only rich whites. Everybody else is expected to suffer the consequences because of these forsaken few.
Baltimore must heal itself. Investment in the Black community is dismal, and it shows. The harbor also looks pathetic. This city has invested in downtown but not uptown; as a result, both are doing bad. Our leaders must understand that everybody is supposed to eat.
And everybody is also supposed to get justice. With the help of Gordon and Brown, both of whom are working on this case pro bono, Scott has a chance at life. For now, it’s in the hands of the jury. Baltimore, on the other hand, is all of our responsibility. I just pray for a more civil and equitable society where everyone is treated equally.