Baltimore and the Left’s slander of President Trump

The major media focus lately has been on President Trump’s criticism of the sorry state of Congressman Elijah Cummings’ congressional district (MD-7) that includes most of Baltimore.  The left’s goal is to wrongly paint President Trump as racist.  This flies in the face of reality.  It is President Trump’s policies that are succeeding in an American economic turnaround that has benefited all races.

President Trump often responds when attacked, and this disagreement with Congressman Cummings is no exception.  On July 18, Congressman Cummings angrily criticized the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan, claiming terrible conditions for children at the border, while, as Congressman Jim Jordan noted, it is the Democrat controlled House that routinely prevents needed funding for border facilities to be able to resolve any problems.

On July 27, in response to Cummings, President Trump tweeted, “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,” adding that while “the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded,” Cummings’ district “is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess… maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place.”

While President Trump’s focus is on the sorry state of Baltimore and Maryland’s 7th congressional district, the left’s focus seems to be on trying to slander President Trump as a racist for partisan political purposes.  Democrat candidates Elizabeth Warren, Beto O’Rourke, and Bill DeBlasio all called President Trump a “racist,” and Cory Booker, who on July 21, 2019 said President Trump is “worse than a racist,” continued to paint President Trump as a racist.

Partially collapsed vacant rowhouse, 1210 N. Eden Street, Baltimore, MD 21213

Photo credit: Eli Pousson

Part of the supposed “basis” for President Trump’s comment being racist was that he said the district was “rat and rodent infested,” the key word being “infested,” ostensibly a word used by President Trump exclusively in reference to black Americans and blacks elsewhere.  This claim was made by CNN’s Victor Blackwell.  The only problem with that is that it’s not true.  In 2017, in a leaked conversation with the president of Mexico, President Trump referred to the state of New Hampshire as being “a drug-infested den.”  According to the US Census, 93.2% of New Hampshire is white and only 1.7% is black.

In light of the media hysterics against President Trump, it is important to recall that Senator Bernie Sanders (who on CNN joined the chorus of those calling President Trump “a racist president”) in 2015 made a very similar observation about Baltimore as President Trump did, stating:

But 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.  But today, what we're talking about is a community in which half of the people don't have jobs.  We're talking about a community in which there are hundreds of buildings that are uninhabitable.  We’re talking about a community where kids are unable to go to schools that are decent.

President Trump is spot on about Baltimore’s rat infestation problem.  The decades-long rat infestation in Baltimore city is so bad that in 2018 PBS released a documentary titled “Rat Film” detailing this problem.  According to pest control company Orkin, in 2018 Baltimore ranked as the ninth most rat-infested city in the US.  Former Mayor Catherine Pugh, on a tour of a Baltimore neighborhood said she could smell the rats.  In November 2013, ABC news in Baltimore reported about the rat infestation, and in November 2014, they reported on the Baltimore mayor announcing a plan to address the rat problem.  Clearly, there is a rat problem, which is a symptom of Baltimore’s Democrat political class consistently failing their constituents.

Aside from the rat infestation, Baltimore suffers from a high poverty rate, the second highest murder rate (after only St. Louis), a high rate of violent crime, and an education system that is highly funded but is nevertheless failing.  In addition, life expectancy in poor neighborhoods in Baltimore is much lower than in wealthier neighborhoods.

While political leaders in both parties may share the blame for Baltimore’s nightmarish situation, it is the Democrat party that bears the lion’s share of the blame.  Since January 1, 1967, Baltimore has had only Democrat mayors.  Similarly, MD-7, currently represented by Congressman Cummings, has only had Democrat congressmen since 1953, after the seat was reinstated.  Furthermore, all fourteen members of the current Baltimore City Council are Democrats.  In fact all presidents of the Baltimore City Council since 1923 have been Democrats.

Represented by Congressman Cummings since 1996, the 7th congressional district, which is mostly black, includes most of Baltimore city.  While impoverished communities have the representation of both parties, inner cities throughout the country tend to be represented by Democrats and it is the obligation of these congressmen, congresswomen, and city leaders to put aside partisan bickering to combat a real problem for the benefit of their constituents.

Using this claim of racism to drown out discussion of legitimate problems in Baltimore and other blighted cities leads to continued indifference to these problems and prevents real solutions.  As a result, residents who live there will likely have to continue dealing with rampant crime and squalor on a daily basis.  This is unacceptable.

Democrats in Congress and those running for president should choose to reach out to President Trump to reach solutions rather than to continue to sow discord and score political points.  Helping disadvantaged communities break free of the shackles of crime and poverty, and all that is associated with it, is in the best interest of all America and of those on both sides of the political spectrum, particularly those constituents living on the front lines in high crime and high poverty areas.  It is time to tone down the rhetoric and reach solutions.

For all it is worth, this fight is not really about President Trump or Congressman Cummings, rather it is about those people suffering in rundown inner city communities throughout America, who have effectively been ignored for all too long.  The charges of “racism” against President Trump ring hollow, just like the failed promises of generations of Democrat leaders in Baltimore.

The major media focus lately has been on President Trump’s criticism of the sorry state of Congressman Elijah Cummings’ congressional district (MD-7) that includes most of Baltimore.  The left’s goal is to wrongly paint President Trump as racist.  This flies in the face of reality.  It is President Trump’s policies that are succeeding in an American economic turnaround that has benefited all races.

President Trump often responds when attacked, and this disagreement with Congressman Cummings is no exception.  On July 18, Congressman Cummings angrily criticized the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan, claiming terrible conditions for children at the border, while, as Congressman Jim Jordan noted, it is the Democrat controlled House that routinely prevents needed funding for border facilities to be able to resolve any problems.

On July 27, in response to Cummings, President Trump tweeted, “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,” adding that while “the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded,” Cummings’ district “is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess… maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place.”

While President Trump’s focus is on the sorry state of Baltimore and Maryland’s 7th congressional district, the left’s focus seems to be on trying to slander President Trump as a racist for partisan political purposes.  Democrat candidates Elizabeth Warren, Beto O’Rourke, and Bill DeBlasio all called President Trump a “racist,” and Cory Booker, who on July 21, 2019 said President Trump is “worse than a racist,” continued to paint President Trump as a racist.

Partially collapsed vacant rowhouse, 1210 N. Eden Street, Baltimore, MD 21213

Photo credit: Eli Pousson

Part of the supposed “basis” for President Trump’s comment being racist was that he said the district was “rat and rodent infested,” the key word being “infested,” ostensibly a word used by President Trump exclusively in reference to black Americans and blacks elsewhere.  This claim was made by CNN’s Victor Blackwell.  The only problem with that is that it’s not true.  In 2017, in a leaked conversation with the president of Mexico, President Trump referred to the state of New Hampshire as being “a drug-infested den.”  According to the US Census, 93.2% of New Hampshire is white and only 1.7% is black.

In light of the media hysterics against President Trump, it is important to recall that Senator Bernie Sanders (who on CNN joined the chorus of those calling President Trump “a racist president”) in 2015 made a very similar observation about Baltimore as President Trump did, stating:

But 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.  But today, what we're talking about is a community in which half of the people don't have jobs.  We're talking about a community in which there are hundreds of buildings that are uninhabitable.  We’re talking about a community where kids are unable to go to schools that are decent.

President Trump is spot on about Baltimore’s rat infestation problem.  The decades-long rat infestation in Baltimore city is so bad that in 2018 PBS released a documentary titled “Rat Film” detailing this problem.  According to pest control company Orkin, in 2018 Baltimore ranked as the ninth most rat-infested city in the US.  Former Mayor Catherine Pugh, on a tour of a Baltimore neighborhood said she could smell the rats.  In November 2013, ABC news in Baltimore reported about the rat infestation, and in November 2014, they reported on the Baltimore mayor announcing a plan to address the rat problem.  Clearly, there is a rat problem, which is a symptom of Baltimore’s Democrat political class consistently failing their constituents.

Aside from the rat infestation, Baltimore suffers from a high poverty rate, the second highest murder rate (after only St. Louis), a high rate of violent crime, and an education system that is highly funded but is nevertheless failing.  In addition, life expectancy in poor neighborhoods in Baltimore is much lower than in wealthier neighborhoods.

While political leaders in both parties may share the blame for Baltimore’s nightmarish situation, it is the Democrat party that bears the lion’s share of the blame.  Since January 1, 1967, Baltimore has had only Democrat mayors.  Similarly, MD-7, currently represented by Congressman Cummings, has only had Democrat congressmen since 1953, after the seat was reinstated.  Furthermore, all fourteen members of the current Baltimore City Council are Democrats.  In fact all presidents of the Baltimore City Council since 1923 have been Democrats.

Represented by Congressman Cummings since 1996, the 7th congressional district, which is mostly black, includes most of Baltimore city.  While impoverished communities have the representation of both parties, inner cities throughout the country tend to be represented by Democrats and it is the obligation of these congressmen, congresswomen, and city leaders to put aside partisan bickering to combat a real problem for the benefit of their constituents.

Using this claim of racism to drown out discussion of legitimate problems in Baltimore and other blighted cities leads to continued indifference to these problems and prevents real solutions.  As a result, residents who live there will likely have to continue dealing with rampant crime and squalor on a daily basis.  This is unacceptable.

Democrats in Congress and those running for president should choose to reach out to President Trump to reach solutions rather than to continue to sow discord and score political points.  Helping disadvantaged communities break free of the shackles of crime and poverty, and all that is associated with it, is in the best interest of all America and of those on both sides of the political spectrum, particularly those constituents living on the front lines in high crime and high poverty areas.  It is time to tone down the rhetoric and reach solutions.

For all it is worth, this fight is not really about President Trump or Congressman Cummings, rather it is about those people suffering in rundown inner city communities throughout America, who have effectively been ignored for all too long.  The charges of “racism” against President Trump ring hollow, just like the failed promises of generations of Democrat leaders in Baltimore.