It’s time to Break It Down!
The hue and cry that I frequently hear from the Right is…it can’t be disparaging, or racist, or intemperate…if it’s true. Unfortunately, while that may make for a good talking point, sound bite, or platitude, it’s simply inaccurate. Case in point; let’s take B’more and Donald Trump’s recent tweet screed against Elijah Cummings and his district, which includes parts of Baltimore.
Representative Cumming’s district encompasses some impoverished areas, but also contains some fairly well to do areas and communities, and some rural spaces. In fact, as a whole, the district has a median income above the national average. So, while Mr. Cumming’s district, like most urban centers, has areas where rats are a problem, and spaces where that’s simply not the case. Trump’s broadside stereotyping quite clearing paints a false narrative.
Is it racist? His defenders will argue that it’s not. But then again, his defenders try mightily to preempt any assertion that Trump ever crosses and winds up on the wrong side of any blurred line, be that line one of ethics, truthfulness, lying, racism, or a whole host of other miscarriages of reasonable behavior.
A number of conservatives contend that racism is simply a term Democrats/liberals use when their argument fails, or they run out of ideas. As best I can determine, they reserve characterizing behavior as racist to those Democrats who birthed the Ku Klux Klan in 1865, and to those who joined and participated in later years, such as the late Robert Byrd.
I could cite chapter and verse a laundry list of things Trump has done, dating back to 1973, when Nixon’s Justice Department (yes, he of the infamous Southern Strategy) sued Trump and his father, alleging that African-Americans and Puerto Ricans were systematically excluded from renting their apartments. While the Trumps were able to settle the suit with a consent agreement, they were required to institute a series of safeguards to ensure their apartments were rented without regard to race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
Back to Baltimore: As I have previously noted, from time to time I see a single story that incorporates virtually all the elements that I want to make my focus. Today is one of those instances. Monday, the Baltimore Sun Editorial Board published a piece that presented a litany of salient facts about the racist, yes racist history that contributed to the pathology of Baltimore’s contemporary blight. With the heading, “Cummings didn’t cause Baltimore’s woes; it was people who profited from racism. Sound familiar, Mr. Trump?,” you can probably glean the gist narrative. Aside from explaining how those folks who assign false motives to people who call out racism when it rears its ugly head, the editorial drops some serious Baltimore History (which closely parallels much of American History) for those with short memories, and/or a perverse inclination toward Trumpslaining. It also makes a not so glowing reference to Jared Kushner and his Company’s (some infested with rodents, mould, and maggots) Baltimore apartments, as well as his overarching role in the current day Baltimore problem. Read it at your leisure. (https://www.baltimoresun.com/opinion/editorial/bs-ed-cummings-trump-tweets-20190729-ox4zodziazfsvef7qdiqx3wcza-story.html). And, as you do, remember, this is #45’s pathway to #MAGA…”Trump’s Rhetorical War on Baltimore: Trump Being Trump!”
I’m done; holla back!
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