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Some or All Fears: “Breaking My Heart” post sparks debate

February 7, 2014
By

mediumYesterday, Tracey Halvorsen published a post on medium.com called “Baltimore City, You’re Breaking My Heart: This is why people leave.” In it, she talks about her struggles living in Baltimore, in which she reels off a litany of things she’s “tired of,” mostly the crimes and perils of city life, for example: “I’m tired of answering the question, ‘Is Baltimore really like The Wire?’ Answer: ‘Yeah it’s a complete shit-hole war zone depending on what street you turn down’.”

She describes what she loves about Baltimore and concludes by weighing the “Likes” and “Don’t Likes” of living in Baltimore City: “Being afraid you will be robbed, attacked or murdered where you live will be in the ‘Don’t Like’ list, but it really shouldn’t be in a list at all.”

The post provoked a flurry of comments on the site (all of which have been removed) and many more on Facebook and other outlets.

Deana Haggag, director of The Contemporary, posted her response on Facebook this morning, prompting its own flurry of comments:

Tracey, I am so sorry that you are so ‘tired’ of living around so many drug addicts, murderers, and amidst so much crime. I really truly am. I understand that you ‘don’t have to live here’ but want to stay. I am tempted to suggest that you, in fact, leave because, you see, you have this thing called ‘privilege’ and it gives you the ability to leave the ‘shit-hole war zone’ of which you speak.

But, alas, my temptations have seldom served me well so instead I will suggest that you consider the extreme racial and economic divides that have made it so that many of these ‘drug addicts’ and ‘murderers’ cannot leave and must continue to wreak havoc on your ‘walks in Patterson Park.’ I also want to encourage you to flex your privilege in a manner that is constructive and doesn’t rest solely on oversimplified, pedestrian solutions like ‘more police, less crime.’ Just give it a go– who knows, you may even resolve some of your own ‘tire’ in the process! Thanks in advance!

This afternoon, Lawrence Lanahan, who produced the award-winning WYPR series on race in Baltimore, “The Lines Between Us,” posted his own thoughtful response, “Whose Heart is Baltimore Breaking, Really?” In it, he suggests, “Crime is not the ‘elephant in the room.’ It’s all anyone talks about here. The elephant in the room is inequality.”

Baltimore Bike Party founder Tim Barnett, posted his response on medium.com: Baltimore City: You’re Not Breaking My Heart. I’m not leaving.

The debate has been going on at City Paper all day too, and a few staffers had responses of their own:

Edward Ericson, Jr., staff writer

Part of what I wonder is, should we respect people’s fear? Is all fear automatically racist? And if it isn’t, then can we talk about the problem in all its facets without devolving into another pointless twitter fight about who is racist, who wants to gentrify, and all that tired rot?

I was thinking about the way progressives, and progressive men especially, are expected to respond to women’s fears about walking alone at night, “rape culture,” and the like. Everyone agrees it’s a real thing, and the fear is justified. Yeah?

But if a white woman expresses fear about non-sexual crime–including a recent one which took another white woman’s life–then suddenly there’s this uneasiness because it might be racist.

She says not one word about the racial identity of the perpetrators. But everyone knows they are Black. And so progressive people of good will automatically shift to a discussion of “privilege.”

I’m OK with that, to a point. But not without unpacking how much privilege is on display here.

I would like to know: is it really a privilege, in a First World country, to expect not to be attacked with a brick on the street? Is it really privilege that demands one’s teeth not all be knocked out for no fucking reason at all?

Also: does a person who probably paid $450,000 in 2006 for a house near Patterson park–a house that today is worth maybe $250,000–and who pays, say $500 a month just in city taxes–have the right to complain? Or is such an economic situation too much privilege?

I’m as in-favor of coherent arguments as the next professional writer. But I also understand that frightened people–and others too–don’t always make every point as sharp and clear as we’d like.

The dividing line in this town right now appears to fall between the Have Nots, and the Have Not Much Mores. That second group is tarred with the gentrification brush because they like Peter’s Inn. I think that’s a bad thing.

Baynard Woods, senior editor

We can understand people being scared, angered, and outraged by the city’s crime. It is not with light hearts that we document every murder that happens in the city, every week. Upon reading this article, we asked ourselves, should we respect Halvorsen’s fear?

Fear is like any other idea or emotion, so the question becomes: should we respect people’s ideas? When they are coherent and well expressed. But should we respect them just because they exist? I don’t think so. In this case, there is clearly some truth there. There is crime in the city and people can be afraid of it and are likely justified in their fear. But part of making an idea or emotion worth respecting is a certain level of self-awareness. As Deana Haggag noted on Facebook, Halvorsen’s is tremendously blind to its own privilege and assumptions. That’s where, I think, the us v. them that riddles her piece comes from. A Chief Visionary Officer (her title at Fastfoward) doesn’t look at the role that she or her privilege plays in the problem.

So, we can respect fear, but not idiotic solutions to fear. Arresting everyone is not the solution. “All I know is when there are more police, there is less crime. When people get arrested for littering or loitering or being publicly intoxicated, they go do that shit somewhere else.”

Oh yeah, where is that somewhere else? If Halvorsen and her neighbors have “block parties” or hang out at Patterson Park, that’s cool. But, if other people hang out, it’s loitering and they should be arrested. Or if Halvorsen and her pals tie one on at Horse You Came In On, that’s all in good fun. If it is not a “neighbor,” then they should be arrested.

J.M. Giordano, web editor

The only people who “feel like prey” are the ones that act like prey. I live on the border of the Barclay neighborhood, I know my neighbors, I keep a mind’s eye photo of people who pass through and I look people in the eye when I see them on the street. I look out both ways when I get out of the car at 3 a.m., an hour which is dangerous in any city. I make little sacrifices like not talking on my cell phone while walking late at night or swinging my laptop bag thought an alley near Hopkins as I come home from class at 2 a.m.. Am I blaming the victim? No. I’m asking potential victims to be more aware of their surroundings. Could you get mugged in a city? Yes. I’ve had friends beaten in Brooklyn, New York and robbed at knife point in London and Prague.

As a resident of Harwood/Charles Village it sounds to me that Tracy has a beef with city living. We’re not as prosperous as say San Fran, Portland, or Austin. We live in a relatively big, formerly manufacturing East Coast city where, gasp, people get mugged and robbed. My issue with this piece is not the whiff of “white privilege” odor it gives off, but her seeming lack of effort to get involved and offering alternatives. The best way for a city resident to cure the city’s ills  to get involved with the local voting process, attend neighborhood meetings, and keep a watchful eye on their neighborhoods. We’ve had record low turnout for the mayoral elections in the past (source). As an active voter having lived in both Fed Hill and Charles Village, I can tell you that the more affluent (dog whistle for “white”) voters in those neighborhoods largely ignore the local elections. I wrote about the problem here. Is there a crime problem in Baltimore? Yes. Could the mayor be more hands on instead of going to bike party every month? Sure. Can locals choose their leaders? Yep. Its the most American way to fix your city’s problems. Choose the voting finger instead of the trigger finger.

  • Erin Fitz

    This morning upon my waking social media sweep, I noticed this article trending in my feeds, “Baltimore City, You’re Breaking My Heart. This Is Why People Leave.” It was often reposted by people who shared the author’s sentiment, that Baltimore is a scary, scary place, and that all the people with promise in life are basically going to take their business elsewhere.

    And then one person in my feed called the author out on a certain level of bull. I started to leave my Facebook comment, like, “yeah, yeah, I know what you mean! I kind of hate this article! It’s a a load of complaining without any solution except high tailing it out of dodge.”

    And then I realized that I had more to say.

    I observed similar sentiments of fear and exclusion during the time when I worked in a certain Baltimore neighborhood. If someone appeared “out of place” the police were called. The neighborhood hosted its own night separate from Halloween so that the children could trick-or-treat with out the “big kids.” I don’t know about you, but I saw “big kids” as a euphemism for another “b” word.

    I understand wanting to preserve property values in neighborhoods that are surrounded by those that are not so savory. It is a constant struggle to keep a neighborhood in this city void of crime and litter while maintaining a certain standard of visual prestige. People have put endless time and money into the preservation of their homes and neighborhoods. That is commendable and I get it.

    But basically, it seems that this author, as with the residents of that particular “community”, would be a-ok with crime and litter as long as none of it stumbles onto her block. It’s why people move away instead of staying in a neighborhood and being one of the positive role models. Sure, no one likes the idea of robberies, murders, drug deals, trees full of plastic, streets full of discarded drug baggies, but if they had the ability to put all their money together and build a magical fence to isolate these things from their neighborhoods…boom! My bet is that they’d do it in a heartbeat.

    And then forget that these plagues exist.

    These plagues are for other people. These plagues are for poor people. The author is “tired of being surrounded by drug addicts.” I’m sure there are drug addicts in her life whose problem she is unaware of. They have resources to mask their addictions outwardly. They are not poor.

    This is a city that needs integration, and productive members of society like the author to contribute her resources (time, knowledge, writing abilities, etc) back into her community instead of hiding from it. And by her community, I’m not just talking about like-minded, college educated homeowners. I’m talking about all the people who are a part of the space that she complains about.

    In the same breath, I also don’t condone being naive. That would be straight stupid. There are dangers out there. I’m a single woman who lives a block off of Greenmount, two blocks north of where the blue lights spot corners. My old apartment was robbed 3 times, once when I was home asleep. I don’t walk at night with my phone out. I look up and down the street before I get out of my car. I’ve heard people on my street mention “catching bodies.” I’m no longer a young, idealist art school kid. I’m 36 years old. I want to be safe too. I am not talking about being naive.

    I am talking about being a strong presence in one’s neighborhood. I am talking about looking into the troubled neighborhoods surrounding one’s own, and starting a dialogue on how the things that are good in one’s own surroundings can trickle out.

    You’ve had a middle class upbringing, bought a nice house in Baltimore, and you want to be surrounded by other mostly-white, educated, “non-scary” people with bank accounts and yoga matts. You want the people who are poor and addicted to drugs to be punished for their circumstances so that they can be put away and you don’t have to see them. Sure, moving away in a self-righteous huff and puff may be the easy way out, but if your heart is really broken about the condition of your beloved city, stop complaining and do something about it.

  • doctormoe

    Having been in this area of the country for 5 months I’d say Baltimore City is definitely the sphincter of the state and the rest of the state is the dirty asshole of america.

  • Jamie Schott

    I had some of these same fears when I first moved to Baltimore but I quickly learned that I could live with Baltimore or I could live against it. I chose to live with it which also requires one to live with everybody else. I agree 100% with being aware of your surroundings, not talking on your phone while you are walking down the street, keeping an eye on your neighborhood and just not putting yourself out there to be a crime statistic. I’ve made my rounds of the nice white hoods in Baltimore and now live where I am the minority and I am actually more involved in this neighborhood than when I lived in the author’s bubble. And I have never been a victim to any type of violence or even disrespect. Look people in the eye. Say hello and don’t make others feel like you live in some irrational fear of them. We have not always live in a society of fear. This is relatively new in American society.

  • bosco222

    The picture Tracey Halverson used is the former 900 block of Duncan Street, slightly north of Johns Hopkins Hospital. The reason in the picture those homes are entirely boarded up and abandoned is that the block was seized a long time ago by JHH. It has since been demolished and is currently being transformed in to the Elmer Henderson Elementary School, which is the partnership school between Hopkins and the city. When done it will look like this: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bal-md-henderson-p11-hopkins-20131230,0,7477748.photo

    Nice try, Halverson, no cigar.

  • bmore_grind

    Wow, 5 whole months, huh?

  • Mike Stanik

    Why do we have to turn on Halvorsen? Yes her post had flaws, but to make this an issue over privilege or race or affluence is attacking the wrong person for the wrong reasons. She is asking for help for the city as a whole and instead she is criticized for not specifically including other areas that have been besieged with these problems for decades, or for things she either didn’t mention, but have now been alluded to for the sake of discussion or for not empathizing with those she has no idea how hard they have it. Is her blog off message, is she counterrevolutionary in tone, is she off base in being pissed off? A problem is a problem. Why should she have to accept it and shut up because of where she lives, her federal income tax bracket, her job title and description and her skin color? In what way and how specifically do any of those things minimize her right and justification to be concerned for herself, her neighborhood, the city, its people, and Baltimore’s future?

  • hivalb

    While I don’t make a lot of money and I rent, I’m one of the so-called privileged whites. I’ve been mugged 3 times at gunpoint, had my car broken into 3 times, had my home broken into 4 times. This all happened in my neighborhood in Charles Village. The early muggings might have been prevented had I not been new to Baltimore, and naive. That was back in the 1990s. But the last time I was aware, yet couldn’t stop the teenage boys that ran up on me and put a gun to my head. That kind of experience, and those I’ve seen around me (stabbings, beatings, murders), do change a person and make them afraid. So I can relate to Tracey’s feelings, and the weariness behind it. As I’m sure those that aren’t as privileged as I also feel, probably even more so since minorities are the victim of crimes way more than whites.

    By the way, something I’ve long felt weary about in Baltimore is the fact that so many impoverished neighborhoods have not improved in the 20+ years I’ve lived here. Schmoke, O’Malley, Dixon, SRB… they all allowed this. Perhaps our silence has as well (do you vote?). But I digress….

    I try and do my part to improve this city. I help the homeless. And I work with inner city kids, bringing programs into some of the worst Baltimore City Public Schools. I teach science, introduce youth to careers and professionals, take them on nature walks, help them plant trees, and release fish into streams. Most of my students are African American. Their lives are often heartbreaking. I see what inequality and drug addiction have wrought, for them and their families. Education is very important, but it is not enough. I think what people need, and what a lot of the youth need, are mentors. Baltimore especially needs some positive male role models for the young men. We need opportunities, and second chances (google “restorative justice” where after a crime you can work with non-violent youth to resolve crimes out of court). More cops on the streets won’t change inequality. It will only add to it.

  • morningbell

    There were a lot of things to disagree with in Halvorsen’s piece. The solution to Baltimore’s problems isn’t to move the poverty and crime to other areas, it’s to work to find solutions that remove them from all areas and improve the quality of life for all residents. However…I don’t think expecting not to be beaten to death in your house by teenagers is a privilege issue.

  • BaltimoreDave

    The only filth I see is you. Feel free to leave my state and city

  • bosco222

    I’ve lived here long enough to take an interest in why things are the way they are. This city’s problems cannot be fixed with a mere can-do, pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps lecture. Baltimore’s problems began with the Homeowner’s Loan Corporation Act of 1935, continued on with the formation of the Department of Housing in the 1940s and its mandate for overt racial segegration that was implemented with a heavy hammer locally. The IRS rules for rental property depreciation turned an already failing housing stock into a wasteland of vacant property. Pile on Reagan’s War on Drugs, subsequent prison expansion, sentencing biases, a massive racist police department and we have the city that is left. Baltimore is not the only city with problems, there is New Orleans, Chicago, St. Louis and now several California cities as well. Baltimore will never be fixed on a local level, and the federal government has no motivation to make any drastic changes to help us because it is controlled by America’s suburban heartland which is terrified of all things urban.

    There will be a day off in the far future, where people with coffee colored skin outnumber whites, the price of gas reaches $10/gallon, and singles will outnumber the current family-values set that controls the power structure. When that happens, only then will the cities be respected enough so that the positive changes that can help all cities including Baltimore will be mandated by Washington D.C..

  • Megan Cohen

    It isn’t that she she should shut up and accept it. It is that she offers no solutions nor does she make any mention of how she and people like her are a part (not the whole) of the problem. Not because she is white or affluent but because she isn’t doing anything to become involved. We’re all tired. But when people complain without giving of ourselves…. that is when they have to shut and accept it.

  • BaltResLB

    As if that was the only neighborhood in Baltimore where every house on the street is boarded up.

  • Over It

    I am leaving Baltimore in one month and I honestly can’t wait to get out of here. I love cities but Baltimore is a wasteland. I can’t fix the problems – I doubt they can be fixed at this point. I have lived here for many years and the combination of apathy and naiveté I see on a daily basis coming from those who mean well has ceased to be endearing and now simply annoys me, at best. Good luck to those of you who stay; I am moving to a walkable, bustling, vibrant city that is worth being frustrated by occasionally. Baltimore sucks.

  • sevensixfive

    The only thing I find problematic is the suggestion that more police action would result in less crime. This is dangerously reductive. History tends to show that police action tends to fall disproportionately along demographic lines. Social problems are way more tricky than ‘more x = less y’. Culture, race, class, history and economics are more complicated than a two variable function.

  • Herodotus

    She doesn’t understand public policy and isn’t an expert on crime and public services. That’s irrelevant. Just like regular folks shouldn’t be expected to be MBA financial advisers in order to avoid predatory lending, consumer financial scams, and interest rate ripoffs of public money, regular folks also shouldn’t be expected to have some expertise in crime before they complain about their personal safety.

    One of the incredible issues here is the chorus of people discounting her fears and concerns. They’re progressives, conservatives, activists, a**holes, City, County, people from out of the region entirely. The problem is, that isn’t going to save the city that everybody (or most people commenting on this at least) loves. If everybody loves this city, they will care that freedom from fear of home invasion, personal injury, and death is a basic human motivation and it DOES matter. An answer, in the best interests of Baltimore, is not to say to Halvorsen, “Don’t be afraid.” She SHOULD be afraid (to the extent it is reasonable and as basically every Baltimore resident will tell you, there most definitely is a reasonable level of fear and concern that most folks carry with them in this city that is greater than most other Americans experience). So don’t tell her not to be afraid, or anything else even less helpful, like, she’s privileged, or racist, or not a public policy expert (her post could have been MUCH more racist, privileged, and offensive, by the way, but it wasn’t, which says a lot). Everyone else should be afraid for her. To the extent that it is felt reasonably, and grounded in sober, unexaggerated facts of life and reality, that’s called concern and empathy for your fellow (wo)man. It’s big, big part of what drives human community. Halvorsen needs more community, in case you didn’t notice. Hers is a cry for help, to people beyond her immediate community. Meeting it with anger and dismissing her concern is the exact opposite response.

    Something I can guarantee is that no one reading this post, or this article, or Halvorsen’s post – no one commenting on them – knows exactly what to do or what needs to be done. No one. If someone did, we’d all be doing it – or enough of us would. People should stop being so arrogant. Stop being so defensive and offended that someone feels afraid. Halvorsen doesn’t know what needs to be “done,” if that even is such a thing. Neither does anyone else. Admit that. Accept and understand her fear. Try to make it through the next 30 to 60 years that will pass like the blink of an eye. Maybe, just maybe, things can get incrementally better before our lives are over. But right now, no one – literally, no one – knows exactly how that can be accomplished.

  • sevensixfive

    I’m not dismissing her concern at all, I’m saying that her suggestion about “what needs to be done” (and she is making one, quite explicitly) is based on false assumptions, and may cause more harm than good.

  • thisonly

    “The only people who “feel like prey” are the ones that act like prey.” What non-sense, Mr. Giordano. I am prey because I am a woman. I don’t act like prey. I also look out for myself the way you describe. I would never walk alone at the hours you mention, because, duh, in a rape trial I would be blamed. I am prey because I automatically have something that men want, and because I am weak enough that they can take it and anything else they want from me. I am prey and I know it, and how dare you wave your male privilege around and tell me I’m not. By the way, the reason that you take the precautions you mention is because you feel like prey. I think you’ve just been living in Baltimore for so long, that you’ve forgotten what it’s like to NOT feel like prey.

    Edward Ericson, Jr, you should get a promotion. I’m hoping the job of web editor will be opening soon, as Mr. Giordono’s comments seem very insensitive and out of step with reality.

  • wondra

    thank you. i just thought the same thing.

  • Herodotus

    If you went to Halverson and said, “Hey, I’m not sure exactly what you meant, but from what I’ve studied and experienced, heavier, more aggressive policing isn’t going to work. I have all of this data (source, source, source, source) demonstrating how and why.” Do you get the impression, from her post on medium, that she would not listen? Because I definitely get the impression that she would. Of course, then I’m sure you could follow that up with, “Instead, we should consider [miraculous universal solution to urban social issues and violent crime].” Right?

  • Darren F

    I’ve was born here and agree 100% with the good doctor.

  • Todd

    Be gentle with the Patterson Park residents buddy. Were not all overprivledged assholes who overpaid for our houses and only drink swanky wine at gourmet eateries. Those blanket statements is just as misguided as Halvorsens.

  • Todd

    Are you enjoying Portlandia or pretty suburban enclave? Five months? Glad to see your gone.

  • Diogenes

    Now here is a great campaign to increase the city population by 10,000 families: Any white women who is middle class and expresses fears about the genuine demographics of crime in the city compared to the suburbs should be attacked and mauled verbally for being privileged.

    After that you can whip out the bromide of she should vote (no need to check in and see if she votes)! …and being involved in neighborhood block parties and other community activities is not adequate either. Let her know she should really put her shoulder
    to the wheel. If you disagree with her suggestion that more police presence is helpful, for extra measure make sure you let her know again that she is privileged. You can say just to rub it in a little more that you are “tempted” to just tell her to move out to the suburbs (not that you would ever to do that for heavens sake).

    I think this is the makings of a campaign to increase the city tax base by making sure the middle class feels welcome.
    But really, who needs a tax base anyway? We already have declined from almost a million to around 630,000 people–what difference will a few more privileged white women moving out to the suburbs make? Nah- I got a name for the city campaign to increase the population: LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT!.

  • Highlandtownie

    So if I don’t spend (x) hours per week with poor underprivileged yadda yadda kids, I should shut up and accept the fact that someone two blocks away from me was murdered in her own home?

    Also, if I experience a broken water main, should I try to fix it myself first, or is it okay to just call 311 and leave it to the people whose job it is to fix water mains?

  • J Blake

    I live in the Ghent neighborhood of Norfolk Va and being some call it an affluent neighborhood there is some crime and being a walking district you need to be aware of your surroundings and make an effort to better your neighborhood. Don’t complain about your area do something about it.
    JB

  • Diogenes

    40,000 abandoned properties in the city and you are going to make a deal out of the photo as if that undoes her whole article.. Really?

  • thisonly

    Thank you.

  • bosco222

    No, just goes to show that Tracey Halverson has no idea where that photo was taken and when. It has to be at least 2 years old because that block is long gone.

  • Highlandtownie

    Yes, I want to be surrounded by non-scary people. No, I don’t want poor people to be punished or put away. I want them to NOT MURDER ME IN MY OWN HOME.

    Oh, and not every poor person is just waiting patiently for their very own do-gooder white middle class social worker to come along and pour out a measure of charity upon their grateful little heads. Some of them just want decent jobs, you know?

  • Mike Stanik

    That all you got on an blog that included several links to stories supporting her out rage? A generic picture that reflects a lot of what this city looks like?

  • Sarah Weissman

    Being afraid is not definitely not the problem. I get fear in this city, I have it too. But the tone was very self-involved and seemed indulgent to me. There was something about it as if the author was the only one in her situation. I was just frustrated that a solution wasn’t offered. As if Baltimore needs a worse reputation.

  • Mike Stanik

    She owns a home in the city, she pays taxes on that home. That gives her as much right as anyone else to start a discussion on this poorly run imploding city. Out of curiosity and to apply your own criteria what solutions do you propose?

  • thisonly

    Everyone keeps saying that. Why does she owe anyone a solution? It was a rant. There is no solution. You are dealing with crime and poverty and drug addiction and graft so deep it doesn’t even notice you.

  • Sarah Weissman

    I guess there’s so much noise about Baltimore, that I would have at least liked to have seen a new angle or perspective. There was also something about it that made me feel like readers were supposed to beg/convince the author to stay. I would never invalidate anyone’s feelings, I just wished there was something new said here. I guess it felt like pointless negativity that we’ve heard time and time again. Again, I think, Well I’m tired of those things, too, it’s not just her, and the way it was written felt egocentric to me. *Edit: I’m not saying she needs a million solutions, but at least make me think about something in a new way. Rants belong on Facebook walls – this was more public.

  • thisonly

    It was a blog post, hardly a matter of public record, and certainly not representative of any official opinion. Y’all are not in charge of the internet and where people can rant and where they can’t. I guess the new angle for her was that she had been trying to love the city, and putting up with the craziness for a long time, and then someone who looks like her got stabbed to death in her sleep, and suddenly it all looked really hopeless.

  • Sarah Weissman

    It seems like Medium.com is more than just a personal blog site, but I’ll admit to not being familiar with it. I don’t really believe in censorship but I feel like what someone makes public is open to criticism. And I guess part of me, has sort of a mean “OF COURSE you could get stabbed” response, mentally. Fear is really prevalent, especially as a young woman myself, I feel it. I mean it’s much scarier when it’s a neighbor, and I did feel bad about judging for that, I just feel like it’s part of the package of living here. I just don’t think this city needs more criticism without a new light or call to action. My thought is if you want to fall back in love, you can’t ignore all the crap, but look more at what’s beautiful about it. The awesomeness of Baltimore is so overlooked. Yes we ARE the Wire, but we are so much more.

  • jdfrmMD

    We need population to fill in those boarded-up-gap blocks, and for that we need industry. Something other than hospitals and universities. People begging on the street, or stealing, or doing the ‘lean’ aren’t living to their full potential. Education and public transportation that didn’t suck would be good, too.

  • Megan Cohen

    She didn’t start a discussion. She posted what amounts to a pamphlet and walked away. There is no place to comment on her post. I am all for discussion. But she just threw out a bunch of negativity and walked away.

  • Megan Cohen

    IF we could go to Halvorsen that might be true. But guess who is conspicuously absent here? Halvorsen. She poisoned the well and walked away.

  • Diogenes

    RE: Mentoring — Baltimore has the most innovative and successful mentoring program in the nation. Incentive Mentoring Program. Only takes kids in the bottom of the class starting at 9th grade with GPA’s of 1.00 or less in most cases. After nine year it has 100% graduation rate defying all the demographic projections. Right now operating in two high schools and starting to expand to more schools now that it has mastered the process and has impeccable metrics. Check it out on line.

  • Diogenes

    Bosco222 You said in relation to the picture posted and I quote “Nice try, Halverson, no cigar.” A lot more respect if you just said I made an unwarranted snarky comment rather than try to walk back from the implication of your first post.

  • Seamus

    Well said. I’ve been living in the city for 10 years and own my home. I am not priveledged, having come from a lower middle class family. Like our parents before us ( who persevered against bigotry), my wife and I have worked for all we have and pay taxes to the city without complaint, although they are high. Besides working as teachers, that is our level our involvement at this time. We have children, grandchildren and elderly neighbors who need and get our attention. One of the young men who murdered the woman in Patterson Park was the son of a police dispatcher. The police were looking for him for months. Did his family intervene and help police? Probably not. Baltimore has become a backwater, stagnant and yes, imploding town as too many people continue to make excuses for what is just simply very bad behavior, all circumstances considered. There is no good excuse for this. All the community involvement and organizing in the world will not help change things. The people who are committing these crimes don’t care that you care more. They laugh at you. They have been coddled and enabled for years and will continue doing what works for them until it doesn’t.
    I suggest Minneapolis, where there were 2 murders in January compared to 27 in Baltimore.

  • Seamus

    Well said Diogenes. Remember the BELIEVE bumpstickers? I like the BEHAVE one myself.

  • HopeforBaltimore

    I’d say she started a discussion

  • anonemus

    Be. Leave.

  • Michela Caudill

    I cannot believe the self righteousness of some of the commentators. Crime is crime and if J.M. Giordano, Lawrence Lanahan, and the new Director of the Contemporary collectively think that murder,drug addiction and violence are acceptable and ‘the result of inequality’ they are either naive or stupid. Blaming the victim is absurd. Until this City begins to look at the issues confronting the breakdown of moral and social values, and addresses them instead of pontificating about the poor criminal. To attribute the murder of an innocent woman by two teenagers in the Patterson Park neighborhood to inequality is almost beyond the realm of reality. But I expect that some of the benighted individuals who think all crime stems from inequality will do so.

    Baltimore needs to change and if it does not it will lose its very soul, it may have done so already. I lament the terrible destruction of so much of this City. It is more than a white or a black issue, In order to be part of a social structure that functions one must accept that there are laws and controls without which the entire thing will fall apart.

    Finally, both the Mayor and the Police Commissioner need to sit down with the citizens of Baltimore and address their concerns. In particular, the Mayor needs to spend more time in the City rather than flying at taxpayer’s expense to other parts of the country. She should try to govern the City and listen to the people who elected her. The Police Commissioner has not done much to convince people that he is able to either direct the Police Department nor get a handle on crime.

  • anonemus

    EXACTLY: “To attribute the murder of an innocent woman by two teenagers in the Patterson Park neighborhood to inequality is almost beyond the realm of reality.”

  • Barnadine_the_Pirate

    The numbers don’t lie — the vast, overwhelming majority of murders in Baltimore are Thug A killing Thug B. And if you look at the statistics helpfully provided by the City Paper, you see that white women are not murdered in Baltimore City at a rate higher than white women in the suburbs.

    On a per capita basis, white people who don’t associate with criminals are no more likely to be killed in Baltimore City than in Baltimore County.

  • thisonly

    Speaking of comparing apples and oranges, can you show us the statistics on how many white suburban women are killed by strangers in their own home as opposed to say, killed by abusive husbands? I mean murdered is murdered, but the sheer randomness of the crime, I think, is probably the most troubling aspect of this particular crime for those left alive to contemplate it.

    I also think writing off murder statistics as being mostly Thug on Thug crimes is just a tactic to try to downplay the real hold crime has on Baltimore.

  • thisonly

    Amen.

  • phanes

    no one is telling her not to be afraid. no one is discounting her fears.

    you don’t need a college degree to understand that privilege affords somebody like Tracey Halvorsen a neatly advantaged perspective. if she should have all her legitimate concerns addressed, why shouldn’t any citizen of Baltimore? a lot of people living in conditions Tracey Halvorsen couldn’t begin to imagine feel (quite legitimately) that they have no recourse to the city’s offenses against them. that nobody is listening. the people with the time, money and resources to do things are too busy complaining about how their poverty affects those of better means. that is the very definition of privilege.

    this sort of ignorant selfishness creates these conditions. don’t those with money deserve to be protected from the frustrated, impoverished people swarming at the gates? these questions lead to white flight. they have, throughout history, led to the oppression of the lower classes by the upper classes.

    it will only serve to create more problems. breed more tension. yes it is selfish to demand that your concerns be catered to when those around you have to live like this because people like you have been thinking like this for centuries. (for those apologizing for her lack of solutions, she offers a solution – she gave the city money and now they must fix it.) this is foolishness; it perpetuates an unending cycle of race and class tensions.

    what you’re asking for, safety and contentment, will only come when it is offered to everyone, and when everyone is allowed a seat at the table. how can we come to that table when you put up walls around it to prevent us? leave if you want. it won’t have been the first time.

  • Imperfect Curmudgeon

    Having lived in Portlandia for many years, I can say that even there, things can go terribly wrong — one difference I’ve noticed is that in Portlandia (and perhaps in other “pretty suburban enclave(s),”), bad things are noticed and acted upon. In Baltimore… not so much. Unless you happen to have been born with white skin.

  • Seamus

    Oh BEHAVE.

  • bradley

    I agree. I was a newspaper boy in Chinquapin Park and I got robbed. I was beaten and robbed in my early 20′s after serving in the US Army. I had a gun to my head down on McCabe Ave, too. Then I moved to Charles Village and I carried a Buck knife in my pocket.

    I moved to Virginia 12 years ago and now I have two kids. I’m in Fairfax County and there is no way I would move back to Baltimore. I loved my neighbors, and that neighborhood camaraderie is lost down here, but I no longer even consider carrying a buck knife.

  • Mike Stanik

    I guess we are using to different definitions of the word discussion then. I am pretty sure that my definition is correct. Could be wrong though.Your comments here have believe it or not contributed to what you say she did not do. Just because you couldn’t comment on the original blog does not mean there has been no discussion started. A discussion occurs in forms and forums besides and beyond internet comment sections. By your minimalist definition I guess Socrates and his method of asking questions while walking around the Agora is not to be considered discussion. Those discussions failed to possessed your mandated simple requirement that when he posed a question to Plato that Plato had to be able to digitally comment and neither the question or the response was subject to up and down votes or facebook image crafting likes and comments. I guess the above is not a response to the Halvorsen piece, because she did not as you say start a discussion. Instead it is some written word version of some of that Ornette Coleman free jazz stuff. So I can get on the same page for the sake of discussion with you Megan Cohen I am going to paint a theoretical picture as to how the CP piece above, which you have repeatedly commented on arose. “Hey CP contributors lets improv a bit here, theoretical blog is posted about Baltimore city and crime. I want 500 words lets mentally vamp.”

  • justsayin

    I grew up in Baltimore. I spent the first 18 years of my life there, and I have been trying to get back for the past decade. Baltimore runs in my blood. I love this city, and this conversation hurts. I know the problems. The problems haven’t changed since I left, and were here long before I was born, as one of the comments rightly pointed out. Houses have been getting broken into for decades. Once my father scared away a burglar and would-be thief by hitting him with a paperback copy of David Copperfield — there’s some irony in this story, I think. This was not the only break-in in my house. By the way, I’m white, and come from a working-to-middle-class family. My family goes back to the time of the Arabers. My grandfather and great grandfather walked the streets of South Baltimore selling fish. (if you don’t know what Arabers are — don’t worry it’s not a racial slur — look it up). When I was born, we were working class, and moved on up. Anyway, I grew up on a border neighborhood in Govans. That’s my preamble because we need to qualify ourselves nowadays. I hope whoever reads this hasn’t already gotten bored.

    Here is why this conversation hurts:

    1) This city has a soul and community that has stood the test of time and continues to beat the odds. Yes, there are drug addicts, in fact I get rides from the people in the halfway house down my street if I can’t catch a hack. Now that I’m in my 20s people think I’m the police and won’t pick me up anymore. Yes, there is a lot of crime that my family’s property has been a victim off. What is even more troubling is that the people who commit crimes are often victims of crime as well, or were seeing perpetration of crime. The stories I could tell… not the place. My knowing some people who others in this conversation call drug-addicts and thugs leads me to think that the conversation right now is just too superficial. This is complicated stuff we are dealing with. Ranting is important, offering solutions is important. Empathy is also important. And so is calling out for more, deeper solutions. Yet what are these deep solutions? We don’t know, really.

    We need jobs and opportunity; we need education to not only be in the schools but in all aspects of life (some great stuff happening in bmore in this regard); instead of the mis-education of street business; we need politicians who are competent AND not crooked; and we need a change in momentum from what has been happening in the past few decades. It would be naive to say that building broader community ties to those not on your street, or in your enclave is the answer, although it is part of it. It would also be niave to say that job creation would fix the city, although that is a major part as well. Solving the problem of inequality sounds good too, but more than that it is about opportunity for things in life that are real and achievable for people who have become nihilistic. There needs to be a multi-pronged approach to this with the voices of not only the scared middle class, but the poor Black, White and increasingly Latino individuals who are scared too (can’t forget about Dundalk).

    We need to first identify the issues, and then figure out the variety of ways to overcome them. If I can ever find a job in this city I’ll pitch in too. This brings me to my next point:

    2) Where are the voices of the people who are struggling and scared who are the poor and drug addicted, and often young adults who are being blamed? I’m not one, I don’t know what “they” are doing, but I don’t hear their voices very often, unless it is in some heartbreaking story I get when I go home — yes I still see Bmore as my home even though I haven’t lived there for ten years. Why aren’t their voices heard or out there? Because right now no one (in power) is really listening to them.

    We need a muti-pronged approach but it starts with listening, both ways. The fear is legit, and we should be afraid in cities, any city. Neither should kids be running around without anything to do and enough anger and disregard for others that they feel like it is ok to harm people. If there is no respect, even through the fear, then there is not going to be any movement to make things better. Will it get better or not? Is it possible? I don’t know. But, I do know that it won’t if we don’t make opportunities to be heard and to really listen, on a wide scale. This is simple, but not easy, and it is not the answer. It is a step. It is not us vs. them. This attitude is why the original posting and the subsequent conversation hurts.

    We are all in it together, and while this idea might be a little too soft for some, and impossible to achieve for others, until we can extend our ideas beyond the immediate and into the broader context then our ideas will be just as limited as our perspectives.

  • Mike Stanik

    The article you are commenting on here started from a counter rant on a facebook wall. I guess facebook comments, twitter beefs, and comments to articles are the new muse of journalism in this day and age. Journalism that fits the pointless soap box of one facebook newsfeed and our lets argue with meme’s malaise. We get the clouds we deserve..

  • Mike Stanik

    Some of what was said here in the CP response maybe regretted one day.

  • Jen

    Why can’t someone complain without offering any solutions? It’s her blog and a snippet of her mindset at one moment.

  • Darian

    To go a little further on that, why is it her responsibility to solve Baltimore’s crime problems?

  • Darian

    Agreed. All of the people complaining about her privilege are themselves privileged, but apparently took a Women’s Studies 101 class at Towson and want to show how evolved and superior they are. Nice.

  • Darian

    Yes it was a rant. And, while I totally disagree with the notion that you can’t rant or show your headspace at one particular moment, what solution could she offer? This one woman is going to have the secret solution to inner city crime and saving Baltimore that NO ONE HAS HAD SO FAR ACROSS THE NATION AFTER DECADES? Come on. Agreed it was self-involved, but I took the piece as saying out loud part of her inner conversation with herself about whether she should move to the ‘burbs or not.

  • Robbie

    Exactly.

  • Sarah Weissman

    Even if she didn’t offer a solution, I would have liked to have seen a new angle. Baltimore doesn’t need more of a bad rap and when I see criticism of the city I love, I’d like to see even a first step offered or a new light shed. This articulates things so much better than I have: http://livebaltimore.com/news/details/our-heart-is-still-in-it/

  • Sarah Weissman

    So you’re criticizing comments with…a comment? I think it’s great that social media gives so many people voices, but we have to know it spreads sooner and more vastly than ever before, and anything public is game for criticism, which when thoughtful, is not entirely a bad thing.

  • Sarah Weissman

    This, from the Executive Director of Live Baltimore, is absolutely my favorite thing I’ve read on this. http://livebaltimore.com/news/details/our-heart-is-still-in-it/ I had a gut feeling that that negativity can be damaging, and this is more articulate than I’ve been.

  • Sarah Weissman

    But, unlike Halvorsen, you offer a new angle and an interesting perspective.

  • Sarah Weissman

    So crime has nothing to do with marginalized populations? Nobody is saying crime is acceptable but Halvorsen is definitely guilty of “othering”. But again, I appreciate your comment because you offer a step to be taken.

  • Sarah Weissman

    See I respect people who feel like Halvorsen does and DID something about it. You were unhappy. You took action. Oddly enough, I spent my entire pre-college life in Fairfax County and now live in Baltimore, and love it.

  • Herodotus

    I’d like to point something out here. You are creating false dichotomies.

    “[I]f she should have all her legitimate concerns addressed, why shouldn’t any citizen of Baltimore?”

    Halvorsen never said that other citizens of Baltimore shouldn’t have their legitimate concerns addressed, YOU did. You made that assumption. You made the assumption that her interest in safety is single-mindedly myopic and self-centered (despite nearly all of her examples being trauma and terror experienced by others). Then you used it to trample her concerns and dismiss her perspective entirely. And yet, not once did Halvorsen say anything that resembled, “I demand safety for myself, I am entitled to it; the rest of Baltimore, THOSE people and the others, be damned if I care.”

    Why is it so hard to believe that Halvorsen could want safety for herself AND, in an ideal world, for everyone? Honestly, you should ask her, because I saw nothing in her post that warranted the classic, canned rant on race, privilege, and class you just delivered. In my experience, most people – the vast majority of most people – want the entire world to be better off, not just their immediate experience. They don’t know how the entire world can be better off, and often times have terrible ideas about how it can be accomplished, but so what? The Brookings Institution really has no idea either. But people are people, they’re the only ones living their lives, and necessarily speak from their own experience and perspective, because who else will?

    p.s. – It is not foolishness to complain of paying money into a corrupt system that doesn’t serve the people. If you went across Baltimore and phrased it as I just did, there would be such universal agreement on the legitimacy of this critique that you could potentially build a campaign for mayor around it. Problem is, could people trust you any more than the rest? Do YOU have any real ideas? Do YOU have the moral compass?

  • Mike Stanik

    This is like Ron Artest’s brother Meta World Solutions.

  • Anne Ominous

    I was born here and I think you should both leave or do something instead of moaning. After all, the dr. came here for something.. and I’d guess it was an educational or employment opportunity. So he’s the one who’s full of shit in my book.

  • Willso

    Why stay? I hung out for years and finally gave up. It just wasn’t worth it. Now living in the Rocky Mountain area and loving it. Sure, we have crime but not in the volume of Baltimore. The city is kept clean because it is not filled with pigs who throw their trash in the streets. I can ride the bus/light rail without having my children exposed to a lot of filthy language, and the vehicles are clean. Baltimore used to be nice but the elected ones let it all go to the toilet. All of the money was spent on the Harbor or new stadiums. They forgot about the neighborhoods and schools. Its a shame but I don’t miss the city.

  • Sarah Weissman

    Yea, I was not a fan of the article, but that is a really problematic thing for Giordano say, and can often lead to victim-blaming.

  • chris8lee

    I am black, i have been able to know people on all stops across the social spectrum. I like to encourage white people to express themselves candidly, because I know that they are the most censored in these types of discussions. Don’t buy that “white privelege” PC bullshit. Tell it like it is loud and proud. That’s the only way there will be REAL change, “the element” isn’t on these comment threads. Disingenuous white liberals and black apologists are, and they will insist that your innocuous candor is “white privilege” and the trump card “racist”…There are alot of people black, white, asian, gay, latino, and otherwise that are victimized or affronted by the dysfunction plaguing our cities and until people are permitted to be honest and FED UP, we won’t break the grip of the gangsta and ghetto undertow that’s strangling many inner cities.

  • chris8lee

    “decent jobs..” oh and “education”..oh and..”opportunity”..any more vacuous panaceas?

  • chris8lee

    black crime..go ahead and say it..

  • bluffcreek1967

    Tracey’s liberalism allows her to see the symptoms of the problem, but not the root cause – which is the large presence of a black population!

  • Frank_DeScushin

    Halvorsen writes as though these crime problems are unique to Baltimore. In reality, these crime issues occur in all cities with a comparable black percentage of the population.

  • Ernest

    “so progressive people of good will automatically shift to a discussion of “privilege.”

    Hmm ‘good will’, really? We must think they mean different things.

  • gthog61

    Of course it is a sh!thole – libs run it

  • raybbr

    I wonder were Ms. Halvorsen able to arm herself if she would feel safer?

  • Jocon307

    “Could you get mugged in a city? Yes. I’ve had friends beaten in
    Brooklyn, New York and robbed at knife point in London and Prague.”

    Mr. or Ms. (but I’m feeling pretty sure it’s Mr.) Giordano is pretty blase about getting mugged. I wonder if s/he has ever been mugged.

    For women the fear of crime is much greater, I think. For one thing we fear being raped, for another we are generally at a physical disadvantage against most men (and the overwhelming majority of criminals are men); and relatedly we are easier “prey” for criminals.

    NYC went through all this angst 30 years ago; but it may be they have recently surrendered the hard won gains that “privileged” the law abiding over the criminal.

    IMHO anyone who thinks things should be the opposite, that the criminals, or the “feelings” of criminals, should be valued more than the lives, limbs and property of the law abiding is NUTS.

    Never, never mentioned in these discussions (when had by liberals) is that the vast majority of victims of black criminals are black law abiding people. Black crime victims are truly the “silent majority”, unless and until one is victimized by a white person.

    Then it’s front page news.

  • iberianpride

    So it’s the fault of racist Whites? wow, what an original thinker you are. It seems that aside from rampant crime, Baltimore is overflowing with delusional, self- loathing liberals.

  • Frank N Short

    How does inequality have anything to do with crime and If you can blame inequality, wouldn’t racism (black on white) follow that line of thought? Psycobable from people who have no idea how to fix thing because they lack courage to do what’s right… they can’t even call it for what it is.

  • golgisupreme

    Eventually you will run out of places to hide. Sometimes you just gotta turn around and fight.

  • http://tmasierrahills.blogspot.com/ tma_sierrahills

    Probably the best part of the article was when the oh-so-brave writer declared that we must talk about the “elephant in the room” . . . drum roll . . . “crime”! When obviously the elephant in the room is race. In fact Halvorsen inadvertently acknowledges this by finally defensively admitting that she is white. What difference does that make if the nightmare she describes has nothing to do with race (which she has since tweeted)?

    Sometimes when I read one of these unintentionally hilariously articles by PC liberals who contort themselves into pretzels writing about staggeringly disproportionate black crime, while maintaining that the problem is not racial, an astonished voice in the back of my head whispers in awe: ‘And these clowns, and their financiers, have been winning for 50 years.’

  • Bill E. BOBB

    like many other cities in america, baltimore has fallen victim to the blak plague.

  • 48224

    Cris Rock can tell it like it is because he’s black. Go on YouTube and searh “cris rock is tired of ni66ers”
    Although it is comical, being from Detroit I know how true it is.

  • Sloppo

    “Never, never mentioned in these discussions (when had by liberals) is that the vast majority of victims of black criminals are black law abiding people”

    In your mind, does the fact that blacks often attack each other mean whites should excuse blacks for making the cities we built unsuitable for our civilization? If it were sharks, rattlesnakes, or wolves attacking us and driving us from our communities (but sometimes attacking themselves also), would it be evil for us to speak openly about the problem?

  • Sloppo

    I wonder why Tracey Halvorsen didn’t mention the following facts:

    Of the nearly 770,000 violent interracial crimes committed every year involving blacks and whites, blacks commit 85 percent and whites commit 15 percent.

    Blacks commit more violent crime against whites than against blacks. Forty-five percent of their victims are white, 43 percent are black, and 10 percent are Hispanic. When whites commit violent crime, only three percent of their victims are black.

    Blacks are an estimated 39 times more likely to commit a violent crime against a white than vice versa, and 136 times more likely to commit robbery.

  • Alexandra1973

    Baltimore is the way it is for the same reason Chicago, East St. Louis, and Detroit are the way they are: DEMOGRAPHICS.

    That is the elephant in the room that lefties want to ignore. To their own detriment, I might add.

    I used to live in Detroit. Now I’m happily residing in a small village in Ohio near Amish country…one that’s pretty crime-free. Guess what the difference is?

  • truuuth

    liberals are always good for a laugh, and nothing more

  • William Bond

    One could argue that anyone who uses the word ‘intersectionality’ to divert responsibility in any way from those who commit crime is ‘clearly beyond the realm of reality’…

  • Bill E. BOBB

    my favorite blak fact is that blak males 14-39 are only about 2% of the population, but commit 50% of all rape in america

  • Bill E. BOBB

    and don’t forget africa, they have destroyed an entire continent.

  • Bill E. BOBB

    blaks kill more whites each year than they kill other blaks, blaks kill more whites each year than the KKK has killed blaks over their entire 150 year history

  • bobalicious

    That isn’t true. Atlanta has a very similar black percentage of the population as Baltimore yet the homicide rate is less than half of Baltimore’s. My first thought, as a liberal, was to point to economics. But the amount of poverty seems to be about the same. So I’m not sure what to finger here. Having to drive everywhere? Perhaps you can enlighten us?

  • jackryanvb

    I like to use humor and sarcasm in these “discussions”.

    I’m “liberal”, believe in liberal use of the death penalty.

  • jackryanvb

    Crime is crime. Poverty is no excuse.

    When Guiliani and the (White) NYPD cleaned up the city, the life of poor people improved. Thousands of Black and Brown people who would have got murdered, didn’t get murdered.

    It’s the same with French military forces intervening in parts of Africa.

    Talk of “Privilege” is just BS.

    Whites demand civilization and we will bring order anywhere our people choose to live and other places as well.

    Civilization… It’s a White thing.

  • jackryanvb

    Quietly round up the thugs, drug addicts, gang bangers and…. Relocate them to Vermont (in the Summer). The good people of Baltimore, rich and poor, Black and White and others don’t need to be harassed by bad people. Vermont needs some more “diversity”

  • Sarah Weissman

    You have a point, and I’m not trying to absolve responsibility, but everything happens in a context, which inequality informs.

  • jackryanvb

    Sarah, not to be critical, but you are sounding like some BS Marxist Jew.

    Negative stereotypes have some basis in true life.

    Most Americans like Italian Americans, but…

    The Gambino crime family was involved with…

    Crime.

    The Chicago Black Gangster Disciples were/are…

    Black Gangsters.

    Marx, Trotsky, Belak Kuhn, Rosa Luxemberg, the Rosenberg Atomic spies – yeah Jewish Marxist, Communists.

    Right now you’re spouting typical Jewish Liberal Marxist excuses for bad Black African American crime. Stop doing this.

    Regular people in Baltimore of all races and ethnic groups don’t want to be victimized by criminals. Nor do they want to hear typical, same old, same BS from some Marxist, Lib Jew.

    This is our country, if you wish to live in our country, p,ease respect the legitimate rights of law abiding citizens of our country.

    Don’t like it? You now have your own country.

    Maybe it’s time to go home.

  • Sarah Weissman

    I was going to give this reasonable thoughts, but if you want to make me think about things, attacking my religion with anti-Semitic remarks are not going to help. I’m done.

  • jackryanvb

    I said nothing about “religion” the negative Jewish Marxists/Communists I mentioned were atheists.

    The problems associated with the Gambino Crime Family and the Black Gangster Disciples were/are also not “religious” bigotry.

    You’ve been spouting some tired, old excuses for terrible Black crime, throwing in some equally tired, old Marxist explanations of why people do bad criminal behavior.

    Regular, law abiding citizens are tired of all this, so I’m calling you out and telling you to stop doing this.

    Yeah, this type of behavior gives Jews a bad name. So how about cleaning up your act and giving Jewish people a better name?

  • Guest

    I wasn’t absolving anyone completely of crime. I just came back to say that the fact that you think you can change my behavior with such a disrespectful tone (oddly, while preaching disrespect), is laughable. And whether those Jews were observant, your comments were still anti-Semitic. By the way, I am a law abiding citizen. Good luck with your gross generalizatoins.

  • Frank_DeScushin

    Atlanta’s murder rate may be less than Baltimore’s, but Atlanta’s murder rate (per Neighborhoodscout[dot]com) is still well over double the national average and is considerably higher than far poorer cities with a smaller black population percentage. I’m glad that you’re open to looking at urban crime outside the box of poverty equals crime. The below linked article is based on an extensive study of urban crime.

    http://www.unz.com/article/race-and-crime-in-america/

  • Asok Asus

    “The elephant in the room is inequality.”

    Lawrence,

    That is just so easy to fix. Like Detroit, when the workers, producers and makers all move out of Baltimore, those who will be left will all be quite equal. Somehow, though, I suspect you still won’t be happy with the results.

  • Justin_Igger

    Baltimore, you share the same problem as most of the rest of the world: ni66ers. There are no “black people”, they are all ni66ers. Maybe one day you’ll wake up to reality and exterminate them all, as the rest of u have been doing for decades.

  • Justin_Igger

    If you are a ni66er, then it never was yours. Get out yourself, or we will kill you.

  • Justin_Igger

    The entire problem lies with ni66ers. you can deny it, but everyone knows you’re full of shit.

  • Justin_Igger

    Privilege only comes to fully evolved human beings, ni66ers need not apply.

  • Justin_Igger

    All of your problems have been caused by ni66ers. It is time you start taking out your problems.

  • Justin_Igger

    The solution is to start exterminating ni66er,s one square block at a time.