City of Baltimore and Race: Stuck on Stupid

By | April 30, 2015

By guest blogger Sadako Red [see disclaimer]

[April 30, 2015]  Fundamentally, leadership means being able to help take care of those who follow you. That is why leadership is so important for the advancement of human beings and why choosing the right leader is imperative. The elected mayor of the City of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, is also aware of the strength required of leaders in times of crises and she has sworn to protect her city’s residents; but she instead ordered the police to give “those who wished to destroy space to do that.” Everyone who watched her try and defend that comment at a later press conference, all thought, “Wow, she’s really stuck on stupid.”

From my vantage point in one of the large federal buildings in Washington D.C., you can almost see Baltimore burning. Baltimore, like Washington D.C. and like many other large cities are in a crisis. They are caught in a complex web of competing politicians who use race and gender as ways to agitate and divide so they can step in with a “solution,” get elected, and then get the perks of an elected official. Furthermore, to an inexperienced leader-politician like Ms Rawlings-Blake, the rioting in her city is always going to be someone else’s fault; the Republican Party (she’s a Democrat), a racist culture of police officers, not enough inner-city jobs, etc. Her solution will be to ask for more tax money and a dialog on race.

Ultimately, she abdicated her responsibility to make the right decision at the right time. Her failure is common in many large cities where the leadership does not have the relevant experience and fortitude to make hard decisions. Yet the problem is also here in Washington D.C., where our Congress and the President failed also. President Obama offered his perfunctory statement that, “There’s no excuse for the kind of violence that we saw yesterday.” His message would have been received with clarity but he screwed up big time when he also said that, “there are some police who aren’t doing the right thing.” 1

Mr. President, you just gave the rioters and looters an excuse for their violent and criminal behavior; not just in Baltimore but across the nation. My teenage daughter calls this a “fail” because the message is mixed and will be interpreted in ways to justify violence. Even some of the protest leaders were smart enough to know that rioting, arson, looting, and other violence would work against their message. According to reports, protest leaders even asked rioters to stop.2 Now comes word that New York City is starting to experience large crowds agitating for “action.”

Rawlings-Blake is an intelligent, educated woman. She was elected fairly as the mayor of Baltimore. Giving the rioters “space to destroy” was pointless but is the standard for those who believe in an American culture of racial oppression. Her leadership failed her city and she has not acted like a real leader. And that’s not all, Baltimore has a high violent crime rate, high unemployment, oppressive business environment, high taxes, and yet under her leadership it has not improved. Rawlings-Blake illustrates how politicians, even with admirable intentions, can fall under the liberal-socialist thought of “America is bad” and the ideology of “black oppression.”

Stephanie Rawlings-Blake did not do the right things to avoid violence in her city and she actually encouraged it through her misguided efforts. She was wrong and the cost will enormous. She did, however, apologize for calling the rioters a bunch of “thugs.” My advice to her … stop being stuck on stupid!3

You can find me on the web. Just look and find my writings on “leadership”.

Sadako Red’s Previous Posts:

* 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

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[1] http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/28/politics/obama-baltimore-violent-protests/index.html

[2] http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bal-university-of-baltimore-closes-amid-high-school-purge-threat-20150427-story.html#page=1

[3] U.S. Army Lieutenant General Russel L. Honore made headlines when he made the comment “don’t get stuck on stupid.” In the aftermath of Hurricane Rita in New Orleans, Louisiana he told a reporter not to get stuck on stupid in reference to a dumb question about the government response to the hurricane. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russel_L._Honor%C3%A9

 

 

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Author: Sadako Red

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.