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Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announces plans to introduce legislation that will make housing discrimination illegal. Standing with him are, Councilman Julian Jones and Sharonda Ellerby, a former Section 8 recipient who is currently a business owner. The event is outside the Historic Courthouse on October 4, 2019.
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announces plans to introduce legislation that will make housing discrimination illegal. Standing with him are, Councilman Julian Jones and Sharonda Ellerby, a former Section 8 recipient who is currently a business owner. The event is outside the Historic Courthouse on October 4, 2019. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun)

I couldn’t help but sigh reading Wilborn P. Nobles III’s article, “Opponents look to stop Balto. Co. from expanding low-income rental choices” (Oct. 22). It is certainly deja vu all over again, to quote the late, great Yogi Berra.

The tragedy is that despite decades of time, this argument never seems to change in Baltimore County. Since the late 1970s, through the 1980s and 1990s, I, as an Evening Sun reporter, wrote reams of stories about this issue.

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I believe it is still the same basic issue: racist fears among white people about black people.

Starting with a years-long battle over a single proposed subsidized apartment house in Randallstown in 1979 and beyond, through the hysterical reaction to the Moving to Opportunity program in 1994, nothing seems to change in Baltimore County’s political rhetoric.

The facts on the ground did change, however. In 1994, the late county councilman Lou Depazzo and then-Rep. Robert Ehrlich Jr. made lots of election year hay out of the fears of white people in Dundalk, Essex and Middle River that MTO would mean wholesale transfer of black residents of public housing high-rises being demolished in Baltimore to their neighborhoods.

In the years after that died down, those neighborhoods and others in Arbutus, Lansdowne and Halethorpe on the west side did quietly change racially, with many more people of color moving in.

Now, we’re hearing it all again and I don’t think the underlying reason is any different: racism. To quote Donald Trump’s acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, "Get over it.” Please!

Larry Carson, Columbia

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