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How to get rid of Baltimore’s rats

A sign was placed at a stop light to discourage littering on July 30, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and the 7th Congressional District that he represents which includes parts of Baltimore.
A sign was placed at a stop light to discourage littering on July 30, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and the 7th Congressional District that he represents which includes parts of Baltimore. (Mark Wilson/Getty)

Facts about rats, an interesting subject indeed (“Rat droppings: Five dumb things Trump apologists have said about the president’s anti-Baltimore tirade,” Aug. 1). I laud The Sun for reporting on the subject. Having said that, I question the intent of the statement concerning the fact that Washington, D.C. has more rats. Is that mentioned to deflect the attention from Baltimore to Washington, D.C.? And, if that is so, is the intention to somehow infer that the president, since he is a resident of Washington, D.C., is somehow culpable for the rat infestation there? Here is another fact, no matter how intense the effort is to divert the focus on Baltimore, the president has no culpability for the rat-infestation of either, or for any of the other rat-infested cities in the nation.

I lived in Baltimore for most of my 78 years on this planet and of those I spent 33 years as a Baltimore police officer. I know the city, and sadly I know of the rats too! One thing that needs to be done to begin tackling this problem is to find a way to deny the rats a source for food. The Sun recently reported that those who collect that trash and garbage are being rewarded by being paid overtime pay to work multiple shifts. If that is true, why are those yards and alleys still piled high with trash, refuse, and garbage? As I watch on TV, the filming of those trash strewn and garbage-filled yards and alleys, I have to ask a question or two. First, if most of those houses are vacant, where is all of that trash coming from? And next, it just didn’t materialize there, who put it there? If you were truly seeking answers to those questions in order to identify the root of the problem, wouldn’t asking them be proper?

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I ask them and I am a white male, so the asking of those questions immediately makes me a racist. But if Elijah Cummings asks the very same questions, that makes him concerned. I ask another question. Why does the mere fact that I asked the same question immediately make me a racist? Finally, rats are a lot like roaches in that if you see one in the daylight, you will see many more when it gets dark. A rat roaming freely in the sun should really be a concern, as it indicates a really large and emboldened population.

Bob Di Stefano, Abingdon

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