By guest blogger Sadako Red [see disclaimer]
[January 24, 2018] Alas, the City of Baltimore (my beloved town where I was born, raised, & still have family) is on a cultural slide toward failure of a magnitude not seen since towns ceased to exist in the Great Depression. Robberies, murder, rape, and a slew of crimes are on a dramatic increase and the city government, local organizations, and religious groups, while focused on crime, are largely oblivious to the downward cultural spiral. And it’s not because of bad progressive policies, liberalism, city government, racism, or bad business practices. Nor is it the fault of the population. Well, the last one is not correct … it IS the fault, unequivocally, of its citizens. Yep, when a city’s population lacks the elementary moral courage to stand up for those things that make people successful and they fail to heap shame on bad behavior, then expect the worst.
Here are a few things the citizens are NOT doing. They are not encouraging families to have children in marriage, give honest work for decent pay, get a high school education, give to others, patriotism, religiousness, or respectfulness of others. You want to go on welfare; good for you. You want to join a gang; no problem, just don’t hurt my family. You need cash; just rough up someone on the street or stick-up a store. You need drugs; no problem, we’ll give you the money or get it free from the city. Remember, you were screwed by this country and its rich; so breaking a few rules is worth it. And besides, we have plenty of fun doing it. Oh, don’t forget to join the next city-okayed street protest; it’s a good chance you can get that new television you wanted.
Yes, there are plenty of property owners and business people doing well. Also, anyone connected to the city government or state/federal agency is getting along just fine. Working there is the ticket because in some cases you don’t have to show up and if you do, don’t worry, you can’t be fired anyway. I personally know several families taking in over $200k-equivalent per year from a combination of food stamps, welfare, charity, city hand-outs, Medicaid, and a variety of federal and state programs. Lawyers and doctors are doing well too. You see, doing well in Baltimore is not that hard … really, it’s not. You just have to lower your standards, turn your head the other way, and ignore your own self consciousness.
Alas, my relatives have a hard time seeing what is going on. Perhaps they are too close to the problem, or, too far away. They live in Charles Village near the intellectual center of the city; you know the place, near John Hopkins University … the “cultural center” of town. Rarely do they venture out to West Baltimore, Cherry Hill, Orangeville, or a hundred of the city’s neighborhoods that don’t “live up to Baltimore’s reputation.” But they do get to go to some truly great parties with some of the bigwigs in local government, university administrations, and other culture centers run by some wonderful, caring people. Why should they rock the boat when they have it so good. They would never consider moving out of Charles Village; it’s brightly colored, racially diverse, and has the feeling of a small college town with a “bohemian urban flair,” as someone once told me.
One part of the City of Baltimore’s culture doesn’t live that well but they “get along” since there are so many things to do so nobody bothers you. They are not rich but not poor either. The others who could make a difference, like my family, turns their collective heads the other way when they see a store being robbed, vandalism, feces and needles on the streets … oh, they don’t go to that part of town any way. But they also don’t complain about corruption, government incompetence, cops who don’t do their jobs, back-room deals in local government, payoffs for substandard housing, etc. Culture has a way of coming back and biting us in the butt if we don’t pay it respect occasionally. The city is failing because its citizens are letting it happen. Baltimore has been called “America’s Comeback City.” Let’s hope and pray that it does.
Author: Sadako Red
Disclaimer: I chose the pen name Sadako Red in order to remove any notoriety reflecting on my other real job as a very senior executive in the Department of Defense. Naturally, my opinion is my opinion only and despite DoD wanting to associate with my fine work, they cannot have it. Trust me, they want it. Trust me, they can’t stand for it.
Sadako Red’s Previous Posts:
- Thoughts from Sadako Red as a Young Man
- Race, Leadership, and Moral Failure
- City of Baltimore: When Leaders Fail
- City of Baltimore: Stuck on Stupid II
- Weak Leaders, Politicians, and Racism â€¦
- City of Baltimore and Race: Stuck on Stupid
- Lead by Example and Show Some Dignity!
- Fear: Racist, Sexist, Homophobe Accusations
- The U.S. Army, Race Relations, and Manhood
- Race: Leadership and the Lack of Leadership
- A Failed Management Culture in the VA
- Race Trumps and Leadership Fails
- Race, Character, and the Government