"Bad Choices Harm The Innocent"
A few years ago, I 'stirred the pot' and brought national attention to Baltimore when my statement, "Roving gangs of black youth were terrorizing the harbor," hit the headlines. Of course, I was immediately demonized and labeled a racist by the local liberal establishment, particularly the Baltimore Sun. They demanded that I apologize. My response was, "You never apologize for the truth."
A multitude of radio and television stations across the country requested interviews so I could explain what I was talking about. I maintained that black youths were violent and out of control, assaulting tourists and other innocent people in the harbor area. The police were restrained by the mayor and the problem was covered up to protect the City's image.
Now in 2015, here we go again. A criminal riot, mostly generated by black youths using the excuse of the Freddie Gray incident as a premise for their reckless lawlessness, unfolded in full furry. Unlike Ferguson, where the excuse is white oppression that demanded violence, Baltimore has a large African American Leadership. Baltimore has a black mayor, states attorney, police chief, and a super majority of political power.
Once again, the Mayor's misguided leadership restrained law enforcement and allowed the thugs to take control and destroy Baltimore's image around the world. The problem of young thugs getting away with lawlessness in our area is nothing new. From a lack of discipline in the family and neighborhoods, plus swimming in an ocean of drugs, gangs and crime, generation after generation is consumed. "Thug Town" is not a geographical area but a mindset.
Recently a senior citizen was brutally beaten in Baltimore County outside the city by the same kind of young thugs.
At the time of my comments a few years ago, my strongest plea was to not only enforce the law, but to create a statewide leadership effort that would probe deeply into the thug culture and begin the long journey towards transformation. In the context of war, it is called "winning the hearts and minds of the population." The police, clergy, community leaders, business, and every one breathing must be honest and acknowledge that this culture exists. Those same groups must create solutions and take action to make a difference. The time for excuses, rationalizations, and plain lies is over. To her credit, the Mayor has begun the process with the "call to action program" in Baltimore. This good program is only the beginning.
Law enforcement and protecting the public must be part of the equation. There are too many elected officials, like the black Caucus and the City Delegation in Annapolis, that are criminal advocates in the Maryland General Assembly. During the 2015 Session, 37 pieces of legislation were introduced that would benefit criminals. Not one serious proposed law was introduced to protect crime victims and their families. That is why I created the slogan, "The Year of the Criminal." Laws were passed that reduced sentencing for drug dealers, including heroin. Convicted felons, including murderers, rapists, and child molesters, are now allowed to vote before they have completed their sentence. All of these pro-criminal benefits are part of a ticking crime bomb that will result in more murderers, thugs, and other violence against the innocents as they return to our communities. Too many politicians will not admit that there is a difference between non-violent offenders and murderers. The difference is, one is a kitten and the other is a tiger. Early release through legislation should recognize that difference.
The peaceful demonstrations that occurred in Baltimore should be a model for the nation.
The problem that exists between the police department and the community is real. It must be fixed by an honest, comprehensive and effective solution.
Delegate Pat McDonough