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Baltimore is this way on purpose

Baltimore population falls, nearing a 100-year low, U.S. Census says.

The Sun recently ran an op-ed echoing the old argument that it is bad schools, crime and liberal Democratic leadership that have caused the city's decline in population ("What's causing Baltimore's population loss? It's no mystery," April 2). Whether the author realized it or not, that's dog whistle GOP talk for "black people have run liberal cities and failed." Crime and bad schools are the code words for "black people live there."

Reagan, Bush, Bush, Trump, the war on drugs, crack flooding the cities, these are some of the reasons that old cities have shrunk, not just Baltimore. The city has problems that are caused by years of systematic racism.

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My dad brought his house in 1951, and we were the third black family on Thomas Avenue. In six months, it was all black.

Did crime cause white flight? There was no crime in six months.

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Did bad schools cause white flight? The schools were excellent.

Did black Democrats cause white flight? No, the mayor and governor were white.

White folks left because of redlining and racism, not because of what black people did.

The Sun reported this week that there are more than 16,000 vacant houses in Baltimore City. Whose fault is that? In the 1970s, the Highway to Nowhere cut through the heart of the black community in West Baltimore, and it has never recovered. Forty years later, Gov. Larry Hogan killed the Red Line that would have given the area and the entire city a mass transit system and access to jobs. He killed State Center, too. Meanwhile, we give millions in tax breaks for developers to build on the waterfront – Harbor East, Harbor Point and Port Covington. Next they want to get rid of all the people between Hopkins Hospital and Harbor East and turn Old Towne into Yuppieville.

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Baltimore is this way on purpose.

Larry "Pops" Gregory, Baltimore

Send letters to the editor to talkback@baltimoresun.com. Please include your name and contact information.

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