Baltimore in the Rearview Mirror

Now that the controversy over Freddie Gray’s death in Baltimore, Maryland has simmered down somewhat, the inevitable hand-wringing and post-mortem analysis has begun.  To recount, Gray was arrested for “something” and while being transported and asking for medical help, suffered some form of spinal cord injury that eventually led to his death.  Gray was not secured in the police vehicle which the press portrayed as being against police policy.  They leave out that this policy was instituted six days prior to Gray’s arrest.  Baltimore police had been known to treat irate people in custody to a “rough ride” which entailed securing the person in the back of the van in handcuffs with no seat belt while the driver drove erratically.  It was complaints over this tactic that led to the new policy.

Whatever the circumstances- his spinal cord was severed 80% in the neck- it was an unfortunate incident.  Unlike other well-known cases, Gray died a week after his arrest.  Part of the arrest was caught on video.  And as unfortunate as this case is, there is likely to be other incidents that will make the news.  The simple laws of probability dictate this.  Furthermore, every arrest will now be more closely scrutinized and if anything does not look kosher, then there will be the inevitable cries of racism and police brutality.

What is interesting about this case is the speed with which charges were brought against the six officers charged.  Clearly, this was a reaction to the ensuing rioting and looting by alleged Gray sympathizers.  Although it may have calmed down the streets, it was also a capitulation to the streets and mob rule.  The prosecutor, considered an up-and-coming name in Baltimore and Maryland politics, runs a great risk here.  If she cannot convict these officers, then it could ruin her career and cause greater damage in the community. The other strange event was the request by the mayor to have the Justice Department investigate her police department.  That is sort of like admitting you have a systemic problem that has occurred under your watch and that you cannot address which makes you an ineffectual mayor.

Some on the Right have taken to blaming the civil rights movement and the resulting social programs for the problems in Baltimore.  This writer blames the raceturbators like Stokely Carmichael, Bobby Seale, Malcolm X and James Cone for highjacking that movement.  To some, the looters and rioters in the streets are the descendants of civil rights protesters in the past.  There is no comparison whatsoever between the thugs- yes, thugs- in Baltimore and those at the wrong end of a fire hose or canine bite in Alabama, or people peacefully sitting at a lunch counter.  In fact, they and today’s raceturbators- starting with Al Sharpton- are a disgrace to the legacy of the civil rights movement.  Through their continued exploitation of their own people by subjecting them to the aura of victimization, it is no better than a Baltimore police officer holding his knee on Freddie Gray’s neck.

Baltimore at one time was a thriving American city.  But under a series of Democratic mayors starting in 1967, it is a symbol of a corrupt city and liberal policies gone awry.  When 40% of your city’s budget is attributable to legislators in Washington DC and Annapolis, the time for soul searching should have occurred a long time ago.  After the April 1968 riots in the wake of the King assassination, Baltimore like other cities saw a gradual decline in their tax base as businesses moved out and took the jobs with them.  Under mayors who turned a blind eye to a drug epidemic where 10% of the population was addicted to something, things got worse.  At one point, Baltimore had only 40 some detectives assigned to narcotics cases.  They had three officers assigned to process 54,000 arrest warrants.  At its worst, the citizens jokingly referred to their city as “Bloodymore, Murderland.”  Yes- the Baltimore Inner Harbor is a beautiful addition to the city amid a sea of squalor in a town with 47,000 vacant homes and 16,000 vacant buildings.

The Left will blame the situation on not enough money.  But when you raise property taxes 21 times in 35 years (31 of those years under Democratic leadership), there is only so much blood you can get from a stone.  There is obviously a poverty problem in Baltimore, but whose responsible for that poverty?  Is it those mean, cold-heart Republicans?  There hasn’t been a Republican mayor since 1967 and a string of Democratic Maryland Governors since 1969 with one eight year respite.  Considering the amount of aid given to and squandered in Baltimore, one can safely say that the liberal solution of more money has been an abject failure.

They will make accusations that they cannot find good jobs because the school system has failed them.  The Left’s solution?  More money ignorant of the fact that Baltimore per pupil spending is considerably higher than the state or national average.  In 2009, the Obama stimulus package dumped over $600 million into the Baltimore school system and for what?  The failure of Baltimore’s schools is attributable to the very thing that causes failure in the inner cities throughout this country- that culture of victimization perpetuated by the raceturbators and the break up of the black family.

Prior to the highjacking of the civil rights movement, despite claims of the “legacy of slavery,” the solidarity of the American black family was a well-known fact.  That changed when taxpayers far removed from the cities became the de facto fathers to countless illegitimate children.  When the illegitimacy rate in your ethnic demographic is reaching 80%, you have a problem, not society.  Yet the Left will deny that this has any effect on poverty rates among blacks and call you racist to boot if you mention these stark facts.

Being the victim and pointing fingers is much easier than looking at oneself in the mirror- a reckoning the raceturbators are preventing the black community from doing.  If they did, they would see that after 50 years of the Great Society, the black community is not so great and has taken steps backwards.  They will see that those who fan the flames of racial tension do so only for their own benefit.  Al Sharpton and others would be but mere preachers in a pulpit and not have shows on MSNBC and his mug on television every time a black person is killed at the hands of the police.  They will see that the break up of the black family as the result of liberal policies is the single most damaging factor in the black community and the cause of poverty, crime, low academic achievement and high illegitimacy rates.  As another commentator wrote, it is a shame when a true hero of the black community is a mother slapping her son on a YouTube video trying to pull his mask off during the violence in Baltimore.

The Left will tell you future incidents like Freddie Gray will happen until the police are sensitized to the problems of the black community.  There will be other incidents like this because the probability of a black person being stopped for a crime are greater.  But, that is not necessarily because police are racist bigots out to kill black youth.  That is because of the conditions laid by liberal policies that put that black youth in that position.