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Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s op-ed is revisionist history | READER COMMENTARY

Former Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake gives remarks during a ceremony celebrating the life of Elijah Cummings. A public viewing and community celebration for Congressman Elijah E. Cummings was held at Morgan State University on Wednesday. 10-23-2019 (Ulysses Muñoz, Baltimore Sun)
Former Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake gives remarks during a ceremony celebrating the life of Elijah Cummings. A public viewing and community celebration for Congressman Elijah E. Cummings was held at Morgan State University on Wednesday. 10-23-2019 (Ulysses Muñoz, Baltimore Sun) (Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Sun)

I began to read the op-ed in today’s paper penned by Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (”Stephanie Rawlings-Blake: Hogan is no hero,” July 20). I could not make it all the way through the revisionist history as recounted by the former mayor of a once great city. This is the same former mayor who, in wanting to give the protesters space, ordered her police force to stand down. She did this even when confronted not by peaceful protesters properly exercising their First Amendment rights to seek justice, but by those who sought the cover of the on-going protests to loot dozens of pharmacies in the city, which later prompted the then police chief to remark that “[t]here’s enough narcotics on the streets of Baltimore to keep it intoxicated for a year.” Not surprisingly, the city’s murder rate spiked as a new drug turf battle erupted. This is the same former mayor who disappeared during the initial stages of the protests and the riots that followed. She had not a word to say during the time when leadership was most needed.

When one refuses to lead during a crisis, as was the case with the former mayor, one forfeits her right to Monday-morning quarterback those who do choose to enter the arena to exercise real leadership.

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I reject the former mayor’s thinly veiled effort to rehabilitate her tarnished reputation. The ironic fact, no doubt lost on the former mayor, is that her reputation needs polishing only because of her own failures of leadership.

David Gilliss, Towson

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