President Trump has feuded since Saturday with Rep. Elijah Cummings about the Maryland Democrat’s congressional district, which includes West Baltimore – its poorest section. Racism accusations are flying like feathers in a chicken coop.
The following quiz should illuminate these bipartisan charges of bigotry and identify who actually talked trash about Charm City.
True or False? President Trump made the following 10 statements about Baltimore:
1) “Rep, Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border, when actually his Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous. His district is considered the Worst in the USA......
“....As proven last week during a Congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded. Cumming District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place…
“Why is so much money sent to the Elijah Cummings district when it is considered the worst run and most dangerous anywhere in the United States. No human being would want to live there. Where is all this money going? How much is stolen? Investigate this corrupt mess immediately!”
These three unedited Twitter messages, starting at 4:14 a.m. Saturday, were President Trump’s reply to Cummings’ criticism about circumstances on America’s southern frontier.
These early volleys devolved into the verbal melee now underway.
2) In Baltimore, “you have impoverished communities that have been stripped away of opportunities, where children are born into abject poverty, they’ve got parents — often because of substance abuse problems, or incarceration, or lack of education themselves — [who] can’t do right by their kids.” Further, there are “no fathers who can provide guidance to young men,” and “drugs are flooding the community.”
Obama said this in the Rose Garden on April 28, 2015.
3) “Residents of Baltimore’s poorest boroughs have lifespans shorter than people living under dictatorship in North Korea. That is a disgrace.”
Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., wrote this on Twitter, on May 5, 2016.
4) “Anyone who took the walk that we took around this neighborhood would not think you’re in a wealthy nation…You would think that you were in a Third World country….We’re talking about a community in which there are hundreds of buildings that are uninhabitable.”
Bernie Sanders said this, too — on December 15, 2015
5) “Whoa, you can smell the rats…Whew, Jesus. Oh, my God, you can smell the dead animals.”
These are the videotaped words of former Baltimore Democratic Mayor Catherine Pugh, as WBFF-TV reported last Sept. 11.
6) Baltimore was ranked No. 9 among America’s Top 50 Rattiest Cities last year.
This is the conclusion of the professionals at Orkin, the Atlanta-based extermination company.
7) “A Project Baltimore investigation has found five Baltimore City high schools and one middle school do not have a single student proficient in the state tested subjects of math and English.”
WBFF-TV’s Chris Papst wrote this on the station’s website on May 17, 2017. Headline: “6 Baltimore schools, no students proficient in state tests.”
8) “Baltimore has by far the highest murder rate of any of the 26 big cities for which 2018 data are available. Despite a decline in murders since Baltimore’s horrific 2017…Baltimore’s 50.7 murders per 100,000 people add up to more than ten times the rate in New York City or San Diego.”
As James Freeman explained Monday, in a fine Wall Street Journal piece, these figures are from New York University’s liberal Brennan Center, based on Baltimore Police Department data.
9) Referring to Baltimore’s homicides: “The only people making good now are the morticians.”
Thus spoke none other than Rep. Elijah Cummings, on August 4, 2015.
10) “I have known the little girls who I have watched grow up from babies and now selling their bodies for $5 at 14 years old. I see them every day. I know the pain of coming home and seeing my home ransacked, my car broken into because people are in so much pain they don’t even know they are in pain.”
Elijah Cummings said this, too — on Capitol Hill on June 16, 1999 — 20 years ago. Precious little seems to have changed.
There you have it:
One set of negative comments about Baltimore from President Trump and nine others, from Democrats, journalists, and liberal academics. Yet somehow, only Trump’s remarks are called racist. Trump didn’t mention race. He merely described the same dire straits that bothered Baltimore’s Democratic former mayor, a socialist U.S. senator, and others on the left.
Either they all are racists, or none of them is a racist, starting with President Trump. Those on the left should halt their baseless, vulgar, divisive lies about Trump’s alleged racism — or they can yell, “Racists!” at the Brennan Center and Cummings himself.
Far more productive: declare a ceasefire and refocus on public policy.
More of this will not help Trump. These relentless Twitter exchanges and other comments have devoured way too much time.
Also, this Baltorama knocked last week’s fiasco involving former Special Counsel Robert Mueller off the radar. Pity. For Democrats, Mueller’s entire enterprise lay bleeding in their hands — until Trump’s Twitter feed torpedoed their epic fail out of the headlines.
What Trump desperately needs is a junkyard dog of a press secretary, and other surrogates, who can bark and snarl at his domestic detractors. This would liberate the president of the United States to stay positive, showcase his administration’s accomplishments, and share his vision for the future.
Trump should go to Baltimore and demonstrate how limited government and free-enterprise can light more of this darkness. He should visit charter schools, where pupils actually learn.
“Black charter students” in Maryland, mainly in Baltimore, “made math gains equivalent to 47 extra days of learning, while Hispanic children’s advances in reading represented 77 additional days of learning,” according to Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes, as The Baltimore Sun reported July 16.
Trump also should tour City Life Community Builders, a new job-training facility and one of some 50 economic development projects launched in Baltimore, thanks to the Trump/GOP tax cuts and its Opportunity Zone initiative.
Will President Trump take the high road and let his soldiers maintain covering fire from the low road?
Not bloody likely.
But a guy can dream!