Sunday, May 3, 2015

It's Not the Police Who Have Failed Baltimore

Gary Fouse

This article first appeared in Eagle Rising.

Whatever the facts of Freddie Gray's death, a few things are becoming clearer by the day. Baltimore's biggest problem is not the police. It is their political leadership.

First of all, it's hard to say black Baltimoreans have been the victims of a racist system when you have a black mayor, a black chief of police, black city council members and 40% black cops. Add to that our African-American president and both of his attorneys general, Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch.

Baltimore is a tough, working-class city and not a place where you go walking around at night. Once you have visited the beautiful Inner Harbor, things get gritty fast. Tonight, I heard reports that there are some 35,000 abandoned buildings in the city. This city is in a sad state of affairs.

First of all, the city's mayor has failed in her responsibilities, both with her order to the police to stand down on the evening of April 27 and not even don their riot helmets. An added disgrace was her public statements about allowing the ones who wanted to destroy things to have their space, She then denied she said it even though it is clearly on videotape. Today, shielded by the ever-ready Al Sharpton, she glumly refused to answer questions from Fox's reporter Leland Vittert glaring at him as Sharpton and her entourage pushed Vittert back. Indeed, Baltimore's politicians-and Elijah Cummings have reacted angrily to the presence of reporters.

What we are seeing in Baltimore is a testament to the political failure of big city Democratic dominance. Look at other cities like Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago and other places-dominated by the Democrat party for decades. They are failed cities, with the arguable exception of Chicago with its combination of glitter mixed with South Side gang murders off the charts, a problem Rahm Emanuel and his predecessors have been unable to stem.  The same statement could be made about Los Angeles. You want to see how a beautiful city like San Francisco can deteriorate under the weight of the thousands of homeless people roaming the streets? Take a walk through downtown San Francisco. When did it become depressing to walk around the City by the Bay? (Of course, you can escape all that by going to Golden Gate Park, where you can stroll down Nancy Pelosi Drive.)

In addition, many of the above cities have had black mayors, black aldermen/ women, black city council members, and black police chiefs. Where has been the improvement in the lives of the inner city residents?  The question I ask is why black voters never hold the Democratic party accountable whether they are white, black, Hispanic politicians or otherwise.

If the Baltimore police were guilty of malfeasance or negligence in the death of Mr Gray, let the facts come out. Letting people riot, burn and injure police officers is unacceptable. In addition, it is hoped that the public will take a second look at how Democrats are running these big cities

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