Recent efforts to curb suburban transit had racist underpinnings - but so did Red Line cancellation
Aug 16, 2018 | 11:15 AM
Dan Rodrick’s column (“Buses, racists and bridging the Baltimore city-suburban divide,” Aug. 15) refreshes and deepens the conversation about racism as it is institutionalized in the built environment of the Baltimore region. Structural racism may be more destructive than racism exhibited by ignorant personal attitudes: it sets parameters for life chances.
We live in the aggregate of past race-based policies that resulted in unfair patterns of investment across Baltimore neighborhoods, as well as between Baltimore City and surrounding counties. That legacy is too often reinforced by political decisions of our day, like canceling the Red Line light rail project and indefinitely trapping thousands of people of color in the city without adequate transit to work.
This is not to tag Gov. Larry Hogan as a racist because of his decision on canceling the Red Line, but it is to say that the Red Line cancellation decision was in its consequences racist to the core. Governor Hogan is not responsible for all historic, structural racism in Baltimore, but with the Red Line decision he had an opportunity to help in a big way to ameliorate the legacy of structural racism and improve the lives of Baltimoreans in underdeveloped neighborhoods. He passed it up.