Let Not Freddie Die in Vain

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Dick Baynton
Dick Baynton

Like Detroit, Baltimore has shrunk in size since about 1960. In that year, Baltimore had a population of just less than one million and was the sixth largest city in the USA. Today, with fewer than 620,000 residents it isn’t among the 25 largest cities in the country. Of the nearly 250,000 households in the city, almost 25% are families led by women with no husband.

By comparison, Detroit has lost about 2/3 of its former size now with fewer than 700,000 people. In Detroit, a ‘land bank’ has been established that will allow homeowners to purchase adjoining vacant lots for $100. With an awesome debt burden, Detroit was forced to file chapter 9 bankruptcy in July 2013.

Washington D.C. attorney Kevyn Orr spent 17 months working through the complicated process of arduous negotiations and settlement. Poverty, gang activity and low education achievement abound in troubled urban areas including Baltimore, Detroit and other cities.

The news media has adopted the recent tragedy in Baltimore with the intensity of a nuclear blast, a hurricane, a land slide, an avalanche and a blizzard combined. The scene could be Greece, the Middle East, Africa or episodes from a TV fictional disaster. The result was anarchy.

Not only were there demonstrations in Baltimore but replications of nihilistic activity born of the mindlessness of nervous, anxious people transformed into mobs in other major cities around the country. There is probably a theory that if you are looking for trouble, you don’t need to look far to find it. And if you can’t find it, create it.

Baltimore and Detroit share similar roots. Both cities (as well as many others) have been mismanaged by liberal progressive governance. Inhabitants in these and other urban areas have been trained how to fill out welfare applications, but not job applications. The people have time and money for tattoos, TV, talk, time and theft.

One probable reason is that progressive government provides sustenance through food stamps, child support, meals at school, housing subsidies, free ubiquitous cell phones and education loans and grants that are often squandered.Reports suggest that there are people that have as many as 10 free cell phones; progressives may have thought these cell phones would be used to make appointments for job interviews.

The liberal, progressive mismanagement in both Baltimore and Detroit goes back over 40 years. If police brutality has been institutionalized in Baltimore and Detroit, why haven’t the liberal mayors and councils taken steps to change relationships, people, training and the culture of misbehavior?

Records show that other suspects that have been arrested and taken into custody have also had rough rides in Baltimore police vans. Claims of abuse by Baltimore police have been paid to victims of a ‘rough ride’ in a police vehicle.

The Democratic government officials (called public servants) have talked about uplifting the ‘middle class’ that includes minorities. There has been no connection between the rhetorical promises of action other than continued adherence to the rules of teacher’s unions at the expense of quality educations.

Petty crime as well as gang activity, high homicide rates, absentee fathers and abandoned buildings leave the impression that no one cares, including current residents. The business climate in many urban areas eliminates the availability of neighborhood jobs.

Freddie Gray was a 25-year-old man with a string of legal problems. He died in a Baltimore hospital of severe spinal injuries in police custody. He was part of a culture of lawlessness, lack of education and unemployment.

He lived in a Baltimore neighborhood where 1/4th of families receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), average family income is $24,000, 1/2 of the residents are unemployed, 1/3rd of the residential properties are vacant and almost 2/3rds of residents did not graduate high school. Living with his twin sister and another sister in a home owned by the sisters, Freddie had plenty of time to engage in drugs and petty mischief.

For the liberal progressive sycophants who hear from their leaders words without action, promises without improvement and hope without opportunity, there is a better way. Let not Freddie die in vain.

Dick Baynton