Here’s what President Donald Trump tweeted about Baltimore’s congressman and his city: “Rep. Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border, when actually his Baltimore district is far worse and more dangerous. His district is considered the worst in the USA.”
“As proven last week during a congressional tour, the border is clean, efficient and well run, just very crowded,” Trump added. Cumming’s “district is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place.”
President Donald Trump’s claims suggesting that Rep. Elijah Cummings’ Baltimore-area district is “considered the worst run and most dangerous” has been called racist. But whether Trump’s claims have any merit is an empirical matter settled by appealing to facts. Let’s look at a few.
In 2018, Baltimore was rated one of the “Rattiest Cities” in the nation by pest control company Orkin. According to Patch Media, although there has been progress in the last few years, Baltimore ranks ninth in rat infestation, down from its sixth position two years ago on Orkin’s list.
What about safety? In 2017, St. Louis had the nation’s highest murder rate, at 66.1 homicides per 100,000 residents. Baltimore came in second, with 55.8 murders per 100,000 people. The unpleasant fact is that predominantly black and Democratic-run cities have the worst records of public safety. The Trace, an independent nonprofit news organization, using 2017 data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program, listed the 20 major U.S. cities with the highest homicide rates. After St. Louis and Baltimore, Detroit was third, with 39.8 murders per 100,000 people. Other cities with high murder rates included New Orleans; Kansas City, Missouri; Cleveland; Memphis, Tennessee; and Newark, New Jersey. With 24.1 murders per 100,000 residents, Chicago ranked ninth in the nation, followed by Cincinnati and Philadelphia. Washington, D.C., was 17th.
What about education in Baltimore? In 2016, in 13 of Baltimore’s 39 high schools, not a single student scored proficient on the state’s mathematics exam. In six other high schools, only 1% tested proficient in math. In raw numbers, 3,804 Baltimore students took the state’s math test and 14 tested proficient. Citywide, only 15% of Baltimore students passed the state’s English test. Money is not the problem. Of the nation’s 100 largest school systems, Baltimore schools rank third in spending per pupil.
Baltimore’s black students receive diplomas that attest that they can function at a 12th-grade level when in fact they may not be able to do so at a sixth-, seventh- or eighth-grade level. These students and their families have little reason to suspect that their diplomas are fraudulent. Thus, if they cannot pass a civil service exam, they will accuse the exam of being racist. When they get poor grades in college and flunk out, they will attribute their plight to racism. The information that these black students have is that they, just as white students, have a high school diploma and the only explanation they see for unequal outcomes is racism. The same story of poor education outcomes can be told about most cities with large black populations.
The problems that black people confront are immune to who is the president of the U.S. Those problems were not ameliorated when Barack Obama was president. Those problems are not going to be ameliorated by Trump’s presidency, though the black unemployment rate is considerably lower. The lesson for black people is that politicians and government handouts are not solutions. If they were, at a public expenditure that tops $22 trillion over the past half-century, black people would not be confronted with today’s problems.
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Photo credit: By Famartin – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link
Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.
The views expressed in opinion articles are solely those of the author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by Black Community News.
Think some Communist, Saul Alinsky, listed the requirements for achieving Socialism in the country, and another simply stated that ‘Indoctrinating/educating’ our children would have America become a socialist country.
Alinksy’s listing of 8 steps are already in evidence in America:
1) Healthcare – Control healthcare and you control the people.
2) Poverty – Increase the poverty level as high as possible; poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.
3) Debt – Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes and this will produce more poverty.
4) Gun control – Remove people’s ability to defend themselves from the government. That way you are able to create a police state.
5) Welfare – Take control of every aspect of people’s lives (food, housing and income).
6) Education – Take control of what people read and listen to; take control of what children learn in school.
7) Religion – Remove the belief in God from the government and schools.
8) Class warfare – Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take from (tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.
Recognize that ALL of this is continuing, at a truly scary level. With the evidence in Baltimore that hundreds of children in over 13 schools can NOT function in math, you may as well modify that #6 item as “take control of what children learn, or DON’T learn, in school!”
Americans have, sadly, allowed the LOUDEST crazies to dictate the direction our culture has traveled these past fifty-odd years, traveling the slippery road to the ash heap of history! America has LOST the culture war; from a more religious society, America has degenerated to a completely secular one.
Baltimore is simply one of far too many SCARY results from having to “pay the Piper,” for sleeping at the wheel, as the country became LESS than anything it was envisioned to be! SCARIER, perhaps, is contemplating that, as Billy Graham once said, “only God can change the hearts of man,” and any hope of reclaiming the America I grew up in, for my grandchildren to experience, would be a false belief for Nirvana in this world!