Here is it days after he said it, and the media and political worlds are still yakking about little but the three R's: Rats, Racism and Responsibility (evading it.)
Monday, President Trump was being branded a “racist” all over the media for saying that parts of Baltimore are dangerous, filthy and rat-infested. Meanwhile, his defenders were hauling up countless examples of the same people who attacked him saying the exact same thing – including Bernie Sanders, the Baltimore Sun newspaper, even Rep. Elijah Cummings himself.
The sad fact is that Baltimore does rank at or near the top for murder, violent crime and rat infestations, as assessed by experts ranging from the FBI to Orkin exterminators. Meanwhile, as all the "racist" accusations roiled on, Trump was quietly having a meeting with a group of inner city pastors that was scheduled well before any of this latest brouhaha broke out. Bill Owens, the president of the Coalition of African-American Pastors, came out of it saying he’s dealt with racism all his life (he’s 80), he knows it when he sees it, and he finds it “hard to believe” that Trump is racist.
I think that’s because Trump’s tweets about Baltimore, impolite and provocative as they might be, had nothing to do with race. It was in response to Rep. Elijah Cummings angrily lecturing the acting Homeland Security Director that was his responsibility to insure that children brought in the US illegally have safe, clean facilities.
Trump was making the point that the facilities at the border are safe and clean, much more so than many areas of Cummings’ home district in Baltimore, and that he and other Democratic officials who’ve run the city since the late ‘60s are not living up to their responsibility to provide a safe, clean space for American kids living there.
That’s a legitimate policy criticism that has nothing to do with race, and the immediate cries of “racism” seemed more like desperate attempts to change the subject. After all, Trump has also criticized Nancy Pelosi for living in splendor in her San Francisco district, surrounded by homelessness, needles, drugs and feces. That was obviously a criticism of the results of liberals being in charge of cities for year, and it couldn’t be deflected with cries of racism. If anything, Trump is daring to shine a light on the long-ignored failure of decades of Democratic rule to help minority neighborhoods. He wasn’t attacking or insulting the people who live there, he was speaking up for them, and about time someone did.
In fact, it’s time the media stopped covering for the liberals whose one-party rule has been failing minority neighborhoods in our big cities for decades but “must not be spoken of.” So for just a moment, set aside what all the cable news talking heads and self-serving politicians and babbling liberal celebrities are screaming and read this:
Benny Johnson of Turning Point USA went to that Baltimore neighborhood that Trump described as dirty, dangerous and rat-infested, to see what the people who actually live there had to say. They said plenty, and if Trump had said it, the left would be calling him “Hitler” again. They said there’s a “plague” of rats taking over, some as big as cats. They said the rats are drawn by the garbage people dump on their property, in defiance of the laws, which the city doesn’t enforce while also not cleaning it up. They said murders, shootings and drugs run rampant there, and they’re afraid to go outside after dark. And that’s just scratching the surface. Read more details here, if you dare.
Rep. Cummings has been this district’s Representative for 23 years. The Democrats have been completely in charge since 1967. In Baltimore and other longtime, solid blue cities, Democratic officials have allowed these intolerable conditions to fester for decades, while turning a blind eye to the dire situations their policies have created for the poor and minorities.
And yet, they’re not called racists. The guy who pointed out the horrendous conditions being inflicted on their minority populations is the racist. Right.
I can see the arc of this story already reflecting Trump’s tweets about the four freshman radical leftists in the House: initial reaction is faux outrage and cries of “racism” and “sexism” and “How DARE he?!” And then, Americans take a closer look (and listen) at what he was talking about and say, “You know, he has a point.” By the same token, I think he wasn’t just punching back blindly over a political attack. If Americans look past the whirlwind of groundless “racist” accusations and take a close look at what Trump was actually talking about, maybe it will finally result in something substantive being done for the people in those neglected neighborhoods. And not just in Baltimore, but in crime-, violence- and rat-plagued blue cities across the nation.
If so, then Trump will have done more for inner city minorities with a few tweets than all their liberal officials who scream “racism” at any criticism of their own corruption and incompetence have done for them in over a half a century.
And yes, maybe he’ll even score some inner city minority votes, in the same way he did with blue collar Democrats in 2016: By suggesting they look at what the Democrats had done for...or "to"...them lo these many years and ask themselves, “What have we got to lose?”