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Stop making excuses for Baltimore’s problems

Stop making excuses for Baltimore’s problems
Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland and President Trump (Associated Press)

I know that the city’s leaders are well-meaning and hard working, but every time I see them on television or hear them on radio, I think they’re part of the city’s problem, not the solution. Too many excuses for dysfunction among their constituency (“Cummings didn’t cause Baltimore’s woes; it was people who profited from racism. Sound familiar, Mr. Trump?” July 29). Former redlining, etc. Gimme a break. There are plenty of poor areas, even in the city, where people nonetheless know right from wrong.

If leadership wants to do something useful, I note the piece that 60 Minutes did on Elijah Cummings. He said that as a kid he had to go to school every day “unless he was dead.” Note that 37% of city school kids miss 10 or more days of school a year, and more than 20% are “chronically truant.” If they could get their own constituents to be like Rep. Cummings, many of the city’s issues would be alleviated within a generation.

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And, by the way, the squeegie kids are in the middle of President Street, right near police headquarters where they’re likely to be run over. And, of course, most of the time they should be in school.

Both my late wife and my mother were inner city teachers, my late wife in Baltimore. Nothing wrong with the schools or the teachers and very little that money would help. You need to have much higher expectations of your constituents.

Jeff Schumer, Baltimore

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