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Trump is right about Baltimore’s problems

US President Donald Trump arrives to sign HR 1327, an act to permanently authorize the September 11th victim compensation fund, during a ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, July 29, 2019. He was criticized for lashing out at Baltimore on Twitter over the weekend.
US President Donald Trump arrives to sign HR 1327, an act to permanently authorize the September 11th victim compensation fund, during a ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, July 29, 2019. He was criticized for lashing out at Baltimore on Twitter over the weekend. (SAUL LOEB/Getty)

Wow! You guys sure are passionate when it comes to lashing out at President Donald Trump for tweeting bad things about your Charm City (“Better to have a few rats than to be one,” July 27.

We could almost hear you breaking your pencil points as you ranted about Mr. Trump’s “white-supremacist supporters” and twisting the president’s “good people” among the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville comments. You even added imaginary racist tropes he could’ve used to really spice up his boiling cauldron of bigotry.

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And, bang! You called him “a rat”! (I thought you could’ve risen to a James Cagney “dirty, double-crossin’ rat.” Alas.)

It was so cool you could sum up your infamous rodent problem with “a few rats” and “some vermin” when your city is so infested it graces Orkin’s top-10 “rattiest cities” list and an actual movie — “Rat Film” — was made about it.

Oh, where or where is your fiery passion when it comes to the very real problems in your city, like rats, crushing pockets of poverty, rampant HIV/STD rates, bad and persistently dangerous schools and that pesky nation’s leading murder rate thing?

I read your editorial about that last September. (“What do we need to do to get Baltimore violence under control? Everything," Sept. 26).

It was like lapping milk compared with this week’s bloody fangs. I could almost hear your sighs. Do we have to write about this again?

You suggested a good police commissioner, executing “constitutional policing,” more streetlights and alley cleaning, vague descriptions of business involvement to fight poverty, better re-entry for criminals, schools as sanctuaries, more positive stories and your fists-on-the-desks-dirty-rat ending: “holding onto the belief that the deadly culture of violence and retaliation can change.”

Nothing about the generations old, bedrock problems like concentrating poverty in redlined, government-run or privately-mismanaged housing projects ("People like Elijah Cummings didn’t create Baltimore’s problems; it was people who cynically exploited racism for their own gain. Sound familiar, Mr. President? July 29). You could’ve had a Kushner swipe. Nothing about the illegitimacy and teen-pregnancy rates. Not a word about crack, methadone or heroin, or even guns and gangs. No real smackdown of police corruption or your disgraced, former mayor Catherine Pugh.

No passionate picture of what life is really like in those deadly areas you glossed over while touting the gleamy spots of Charm City during your vigorous and steamy Trump spanking.

Passion is great. Being a champion for those who struggle and/or are being wronged has long been the unstated mission of the media. As the fictional editor famously said: “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." It’s no accident this nation’s first superhero was a mild-mannered reporter.

Verily, defend your city. Wield those metaphors like matadors. Shout and stomp your literary feet. Inspire, challenge, stand in the breach.

But really, Mr. Trump is an easy target for your passion compared with the very real threats to your city he clumsily tweeted about.

Mark Holmberg, Swansboro, N.C.

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