“The squeaky wheel gets the oil”
By Doni Glover, Publisher
(BALTIMORE – November 12, 2022) – Questions were immediately swirling. ‘What will a Wes Moore Administration mean for Black people?’ tends to be the lead query. As a political newcomer, can he navigate Annapolis? Can he handle the sharks? another asked.
I am reminded that Moore went from 2% in the polls to victory against a couple of seasoned politicos. First, he outraised the field in terms of money. Secondly, he majestically weaved national celebrities into the fold. I think that was quite brilliant, especially Oprah. Oprah, who also supported Barack Obama in his bid for President, has demonstrated her own political prowess in a highly commendable manner. Thirdly, Moore did not get endorsed by the Washington Post or the Baltimore Sun and won anyway.
Moore credits Ned Moore, his campaign manager. Others remind me that Dawn Moore is a political genius herself. And Tisha Edwards, too, has etched her name into history as one of Maryland’s most powerful women.
Considering these points, I am sure Moore can manage a state government. I think he is also poised to be President. Honest to God. I see it. He is headed for the Oval Office but is in no rush. I think he clearly understands the assignment. The assignment is not down the road. The assignment is right here and right now. Parts of the state are excellent. Other parts need work. And some communities, like Historic West Baltimore and Historic East Baltimore, are like Hurricane Katrina on a regular basis.
Food deserts. Transportation deserts. Education and recreation deserts. Under-education, ender-employment, hopelessness, drug addiction, alcoholism, homelessness, mass incarceration. Health and mental issues. You name it. We got it.
Look at the prisons, alone. America is 5% of the world’s population but has 25% of the world’s inmates. Now, Black people – while we only comprise 13% of the population, allegedly, we make up nearly half of the inmates with Black women being the fastest-growing demographic. Something is fundamentally wrong with this picture.
Tell you something else, many of those prisoners are coming home. Thus, it would behoove us to find a way to help them so that we can reverse the 70% recidivism rate.
And the murders. Did you know that 50% of the murder victims in America are Black? Did you know a Black person is 6 times more likely to get killed than their white counterpart? Did you know a Black person is 7 times more likely to kill someone than their white counterpart, according to the Bureau of Justice?
So, sure there is a litany of challenges. Running the state involves more, however, than the issues in the Black community in Maryland. The Governor has to run the other 70%, too. Police, a couple dozen agencies, 188 members of the Maryland General Assembly – yeah, he has all that to manage.
Given the masterful campaign the Moore for Governor team did, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Wes Moore will have an energetic, diverse, and inclusive administration that is run like a world-class business. Yes, the Moore team features Black excellence. There is also Indian excellence. There’s Latino excellence. There’s white and Asian excellence.
Finally, if ever Maryland had a chance at a less race-conscious experience – it is now. And I personally am excited. For the first time in my life, I thought to myself – I love Maryland. I don’t know if I ever said that before, but I know it now. Two-thirds of my state voted for Wes Moore and those are numbers I can live with. It is very disheartening to think that your neighbors would actually follow Donald Trump to the point of scaling the walls of the Capital. Such a thing leaves a person … uneasy. It’s unnerving.
I’m glad to know that there are a lot of people who are willing to give Moore a chance. The other thing is this. And this insight also goes for Mayor Brandon Scott and Baltimore City State’s Attorney-elect Ivan Bates. And it is time I say it.
Either get involved, like Bishop Kevia Elliott of The Lord’s Church at 5010 Park Heights Avenue who is an active member of “We Our Us”, or be quiet. While there are many preachers in the pulpit, Elliott is out in the streets with the dozens – if not hundreds of other brothers – doing outreach and trying to save a life. Pastor P. M. Smith is another preacher who is out in these streets. At times, you can find him and his congregation having church on Pennsylvania and Laurens in the belly of the beast. That’s where Jesus would be. Thing is, his church is all the way in the northeast tip of the city, but he is down on the battlefield in Upton..
Too many of us are faking the funk. Black. White. Latino. Asian. Whatever. We say we care, but other than voting, our political acumen is as sluggish as a snail on Fentanyl. The election process only starts with voting. After that, there are meetings. And hearings. And canvassing. And educational workshops. I’m not saying we need to memorize the Constitution, but we should at least know that state Senators and Delegates have college scholarships available every year for our kids, right?
Many times, we are quick to be critical of a politician without ever raising a finger to help anybody’s campaign. And I get it. I am guilty of being hyper-critical myself at times. So, instead, let’s see what we can do to help make Mayor Scott, Governor-elect Moore, and State’s Attorney-elect Bates better. I ask, what are we going to do to make that difference? Are we going to take some initiative? Are we going to start a community group or action committee? How are we going to use our access to Moore to improve the trajectory of more local youth, for instance?
Kennedy ask what we were going to do for the country. Now, let’s give it meaning. We have no excuses.
The other piece is our need to engage elected officials directly ourselves. Otherwise, how can we hold them accountable? For too long, some of us have deferred to others to contact our electeds. Too many of us want to be behind the scenes. Hello! We have a 9-1-1 in these streets all day every day. The ancestors are gone and the elders are tired. For years, they have shown us how to lead. Now, it is our turn to be the one who calls Delegate so-and-so or the one to call the City, or the one to bring an issue to the City Councilperson’s attention. It is easy to play Monday Morning Quarterback. I say, get involved and do it now. If you don’t like something, then tell those in charge yourself. Who are you waiting for? And if I can help, I’ll do my best. Hit me up: firstname.lastname@example.org