Baltimore is no toilet

How can anyone in Sparks call Baltimore a toilet? Is there even indoor plumbing out there?

I have been disturbed since reading Tom Black's letter ("Baltimore lacks leadership," June 20). Like everyone who writes letters to the editor, Mr. Black has a right to his opinions about the recent unrest in Baltimore, the leadership of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Police Commissioner Anthony Batts as well as the criminals who continue to shoot and kill each other in our city. I don't happen to agree with him about the mayor and commissioner but that's for another day. However, I take great exception and am highly offended with him stating "in what many consider the toilet, Baltimore..." How dare he sit in Sparks and call my home a toilet!

This toilet, as he calls it, is the home to world-class medical institutions, colleges and universities, museums, world champion sports teams and world-renowned citizens. Does Johns Hopkins Hospital, the University of Maryland Medical System, Mercy Medical Center and numerous others ring a bell? How about Morgan and Coppin, Johns Hopkins University, the numerous institutions that make up the University of Maryland, Loyola, Notre Dame and many more? Ever visit or utilize any of these, Mr. Black? Have you ever heard of Thurgood Marshall, Clarence Mitchell, Parren Mitchell, Eubie Blake, Cab Calloway, Francis Scott Key, Babe Ruth, Barbara Mikulski, Nancy Pelosi, Reginald Lewis, John Waters, Carmelo Anthony, Sam Cassell, Juan Dixon and many, many more, all products of Baltimore? And make no mistake, there are many more people currently living and developing in Baltimore who will be renowned for their accomplishments in the near future.

Yes, Mr. Black, Baltimore has its issues, as do most major urban cities in this country. People like you who live in the surrounding suburbs come into the city to enjoy its amenities and/or work and then throw jabs at us make me see red. I am a 66-year-old African-American, female Baltimore native and a product of Baltimore City Public Schools, Baltimore City Community College (formerly Community College of Baltimore) and the University of Baltimore. I worked, bought a home, raised a wonderful daughter, paid taxes and retired from a state job where I oversaw contracts and grants that funded homelessness prevention, victims services and hunger prevention programs. Guess what, Mr. Black, not all of those programs were in Baltimore City. I love my city and I will not allow you or anyone else to call it a toilet.

Geraldine Brooks, Baltimore

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