Part One of My Baltimore Commentary: The Part With Rats
Believe me, I am not happy about having to start your Monday morning by writing about rats. Unfortunately, the rats in Baltimore were this weekend’s obsession for the Washington media, maybe because all the Congress members are out of town on recess.
I’m sure you heard that this latest media OUTRAGE storm started the way so many of them do: with a tweet from President Trump. Here’s a rundown of how it began, with a report by Fox News on the terrible conditions in many parts of the Baltimore Congressional district represented by Rep. Elijah Cummings, one of Trump’s most vociferous critics in the House.
Because Cummings is black, and it’s a majority black district, Trump was immediately branded a racist for saying that, even though the criticism wasn’t aimed at the people living there, but at corrupt government officials who do far too little to help them. Also, the reporter of the original story, Kimberly Klacik, is herself African-American.
The left-o-sphere immediately piled on with the “racism” cries, some even claiming that “infestation” was a racist code word, rather than the accurate term used when you have a whole, big bunch of rats in one place. For instance, I’ve been writing for months about the rat infestation in downtown Los Angeles and never even considered the race of people living there. Those stories were all about letting homeless people squat anywhere they want and spread garbage that the city lets pile up which has led to the return of medieval diseases like typhus, and none of this has anything to do with race, but with the terrible policies of the liberal city government. In fact, I’d mention predictions that the plague could return, but it’s obvious from looking at many of America’s cities that we already have a plague, and it’s in the form of decades of Democratic rule.
It’s much easier for officials in Baltimore and liberals who want anything to throw at Trump, to accuse him of racism for calling parts of Baltimore “rat-infested.” But that overlooks the fact that it’s also apparently infested with hypocrites. For instance, the Baltimore Sun newspaper ran a vicious editorial attacking Trump and calling him a “rat.” But a quick search of the paper’s own website turns up 527 stories with the word “rats” and 34 with the phrase “rat infested.” One was about former Democratic Mayor Catherine Pugh (herself African-American) being caught on camera while touring an East Baltimore neighborhood, complaining about the smell of all the rats and asking why the whole area couldn’t be razed. Incidentally, she left office in May due to a kickback scandal, and her replacement, Democratic Mayor Bernard Young blasted Trump for insulting Baltimore.
My favorite example, though, was Bernie Sanders, who assailed Trump before it came out that in 2015, after a tour of the same area, Bernie compared it to having to live under a Third World dictatorship like North Korea (where the only reason there are no rats is because people had to eat them to survive.)
As the war of words raged on, Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) called Trump racist, while others who’d actually been to that area of Baltimore pointed out that he didn’t mention anyone’s race, he’d mentioned rats – and Baltimore has been rated by Orken pest control as the 6th most rat-infested city in America (all of the top ten are run by Democrats, by the way – Baltimore’s last Republican Mayor, Theodore McKeldin, left office in 1967.)
Even PBS aired a documentary last year about the Baltimore rats (not a sports team) called “Rat Film,” and if anyone accused PBS of being racist, I haven’t heard about it. Here’s more about the general subject of how ratty parts of Baltimore are, for those who just can’t get enough.
It appears that neither side is willing to let this drop and, as we say in the South, “Get back to their rat-killin’.” Yes, that’s an actual Southern saying, because in the South, we actually kill rats. In fact, if there is an upside to all this, maybe the Democrats running Baltimore will finally clean up the blight and remove the rats, if for no other reason than to show up Trump. Just as he forced Nancy Pelosi to defend “The Squad” and made them the face of the Democratic Party with just a few tweets, he’s now forced Democrats to defend the rat-infested areas created by decades of one-party Democratic rule or clean them up. Maybe this free method will finally force Baltimore Democratic officials to help the residents of those struggling neighborhoods. Talk about turning Trump-hate to good use!
I’ll have more to say on this, but I’m going to do it in a second part, so that those of weaker stomachs can skip over all the rat talk. So in conclusion of this part, let me just say three things:
1. If I were Governor of Arkansas and someone accused me of presiding over a rat infestation, I would understandably be offended (although I wouldn’t cry about it, like a certain CNN correspondent.)
2. Before I fired back, though, I’d check with the exterminator to make sure it wasn’t true.
3. I would never assume that someone was suggesting that a dirty, rat-infested area was that way because of the race of the people living there, because that’s genuinely racist in itself.