Baltimore Needs Revival, Not More Federal Money
One could consider the
billions trillions of dollars in taxpayer funds already spent on places like Baltimore a form of reparations. But it should be clear by now that more money from the government is not going to fix places like Baltimore.
Ever since Lyndon Johnson and the Democratic Party gave us the infamous promises of the "Great Society" — which was supposed to result in "the total elimination of poverty and racial injustice" — for decades, liberals across the U.S. have promised minorities, especially black Americans, that if they would only vote for Democrats, life would be better. Fifty-five years, dozens of welfare programs, and $20-plus trillion later, modern Democrats are still making the same empty promises. Even Charles Barkley sees the folly of this.
Lyndon Johnson's famous speech touting the Great Society was the commencement address at the University of Michigan in May of 1964. It was before a massive audience of about 90,000 people. The Michigan Quarterly Review published the text of the speech. The tagline at the top of the page boldly declared the purpose of the Great Society: "To Prevent an Ugly America."
Whether we're talking about Baltimore, Detroit, Seattle, the homeless-lined streets of Los Angeles, the poop-filled streets of San Francisco, or the violent streets of Antifa-plagued Portland, I think everyone in his right mind can agree on how "ugly" much of America still remains — especially urban America.
What's more, after all those programs and all that money, many U.S. cities are in much worse condition than before the Great Society was ever launched. As Ellie Bufkin, a former resident of Baltimore who refers to the city as her "cherished hometown," recently and shockingly noted at The Federalist, "Baltimore's homicide rate is so high that under current U.S. asylum laws, the residents could qualify for refugee status in the United States." In other words, like so many other U.S. municipalities dominated by decades of Democrat rule, Baltimore currently qualifies as one of the world's "crapholes."
As most well know, the Great Society gave us the so-called "War on Poverty." More than any other "conflict" in which the U.S. has been involved, the War on Poverty has, to a great extent, been an "abject failure." As Edwin Feulner at The Heritage Foundation put it in 2014:
[T]he War on Poverty is an abject failure. As social critic Irving Kristol has observed, "the welfare state came gradually to be seen less as a helping hand to those in need, a 'safety net,' and more as a communal exercise in compassion toward an ever-expanding portion of the population."
And yes, as Baltimore well illustrates, this "war" has had its casualties — including the loss of human life. As was reported last year, the vast majority of murders in the U.S. occur in a very small portion of the country. More than half of all murders in the U.S. occurred within just two percent of the counties. Over two thirds (68 percent) of the murders in America occurred within only five percent of the counties.
Almost all of these counties are in large urban areas, where federal funds have flowed like lies from a liberal and where Democrats have had virtually unhindered political rule for decades. As was noted a few years ago — and remains the case today — virtually all of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. have been dominated by Democrats.
This danger has especially impacted the black community. Shockingly, the CDC reveals that for U.S. black males ages 15 to 34, the leading cause of death is homicide. What's more, for American black males who die between the ages of 15 and 24, half of such deaths are from homicide. As has been often reported (but also often ignored), the vast majority (over 90%) of these homicides are the result of black-on-black violence.
Though one would never know it from the words of the race pimps so common among the left-wing media and the Democratic Party, such violence is of far more concern than any so-called systemic "racism" among the police. A recent study — that hasn't received near the publicity it should have — reveals the narrative that "racist" police are disproportionately killing black Americans to be the lie many of us already knew it to be.
In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from the University of Maryland and Michigan State University concluded:
We did not find evidence for anti-Black or anti-Hispanic disparity in the police use of force across all shootings, and, if anything, found anti-White disparities when controlling for race-specific crime.
Nothing the modern Left has to offer is going fix places like Baltimore. This is because what's truly ailing Baltimore (and the like) defies a political solution, and the Left is about little more than politics.
Like so many other dirty, crime-ridden areas, one of the biggest problems — if not the biggest problem — is the breakdown of the family. Along with never being able to fix such a problem, much to the contrary, the politics of the Left is complicit in the destruction of the family in urban America. As The Heritage Foundation also notes:
The War on Poverty created negative incentives. Instead of promoting the growth of healthy families, the welfare system discouraged them. A single mother could receive larger payments from Uncle Sam by remaining single than by marrying the father of her child.
Over time, many fatherless children entered the world. The welfare checks showed up month after month, regardless of how their parents spent their days. As these boys and girls grew up without fathers around, they came to regard such households as natural. The social safety net, designed to be a temporary help to the people in need, instead kept them trapped in government dependency.
To end this dependency on government — on Democrats — urban America must repent and return to the truth when it comes to marriage, the family, and the like. They must stop killing the unborn and stop listening to the lies of the Left. To borrow from the deceived Marianne Williamson, urban America needs to awaken from their "dark days" and come to the light. For this, urban America needs a revival.
Trevor Grant Thomas: At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America.