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Brochin: Sun wrongly labels my opposition to ‘squeegee kids’ as racist | READER COMMENTARY

A street corner window washer wears a face mask to protect himself from the coronavirus while soliciting vehicles an intersection, Wednesday, April 22, 2020, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez).
A street corner window washer wears a face mask to protect himself from the coronavirus while soliciting vehicles an intersection, Wednesday, April 22, 2020, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez). (Julio Cortez/AP)

While it’s good to see that members of The Baltimore Sun’s editorial board listen to talk radio, it’s disturbing but not surprising when they make up their own facts (”‘Squeegee kids’ are a symptom of Baltimore’s problems, not the cause,” Nov. 16). First and foremost, my disdain at Baltimore County residents having to endure the gauntlet of squeegee kids when exiting the Jones Falls Expressway is far from racial. If the same thing were happening where Route 702 runs into Essex and there were white kids harassing and threatening Baltimore County residents if they didn’t agree to have their windows washed, I would have the same reaction.

Had anyone from the editorial board listened to more of the show, they would have heard me say that squeegee kids are part of an endemic failure of city leaders to fix their own problems, whether it’s the thousands of city high school students with a grade point average of less than 1.0, or their inability to come up with any innovative ideas to stop the killings and non-fatal shootings that have turned Baltimore into an undesirable place to visit.

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If Baltimore County residents actually stopped coming to the city outside of work and medical appointments, it would force city leaders to be accountable to the thousands of hardworking city merchants who would demand that the city fix the problem and maybe use some of the millions of dollars in federal funds to get these kids off the streets and maybe put them in an educational trades school environment that could actually yield long term results.

Whether The Sun wants to admit it or not, the metropolitan area has essentially already been boycotting the city, which has cost merchants in Baltimore hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue and kept city residents plagued with higher taxes.

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While the board seems to take great joy in the fact that I lost the 2018 primary for Baltimore County executive by 17 votes, I can assure you that over the last two years, I would have never allowed Baltimore County Public Schools to rob our kids of in-person learning for so long, nor would I have allowed the residents of the county where I’ve spent my whole life to have to wonder on a daily basis what’s going to happen to them or their car when a squeegee kids approaches.

Jim Brochin, Cockeysville

The writer, a Democrat, represented District 42 (Baltimore County) in the Maryland Senate from 2002 to 2018.

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