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What happened at Crownsville was a disgrace, but dredging up the past won't solve today's problems

Martin O'MalleyAmerican Civil Liberties UnionNAACP

I have been a life-long student of history, but there's something about the sudden recognition that injustices occurred at the now-defunct mental health hospital in Crownsville that is disturbing ("State pledges to examine patient treatment history at Crownsville Hospital," Sept. 18).

As much as I admire and support Gov. Martin O'Malley, the General Assembly's Legislative Black Caucus, the NAACP and the ACLU, I wish they would focus on current problems, such the rates of teenage pregnancy, poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, drug addiction and incarceration that plague the African-American community.

Understanding what happened at Crownsville will be simple, and the study group will find that abuses committed in the name of medicine were the logical outcome of racism, slavery and Jim Crowism. The group may even install some lifeless bronze plaque, and possibly even celebrate with a wine and cheese party, after which everyone can go home feeling better about themselves.

But countless young people don't have a future in this country and in this state, and studying what happened at Crownsville will not help them one iota.

Earl Kelly, Annapolis

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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