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October 23rd, 2017

Insight

What Happened in Baltimore

Greg Crosby

By Greg Crosby

Published May 15, 2015

The liberal media has been quick to point out that the rioting which took place in Baltimore (over the death of a black criminal held in police custody) was justified for two reasons: 1. Because the citizens are convinced that the cops in Baltimore are out "to get" black people, and 2. The poor economic conditions of the area drive the youth to violent action.

The remedy for the first one, say the liberal elites, is to re-educate police departments, employ more black officers, and scale back on aggressive policing. The remedy for the second one is to throw more money into the neighborhood. Interesting theories, but they are just lousy excuses for criminal behavior.

Let's examine the economic equation first. The reality is lots of federal funds have already flowed to inner cities, including Baltimore to little effect. A Washington Free Beacon analysis found that the Obama administration and Democratically-controlled Congress did make a "massive" investment into Baltimore, appropriating $1,831,768,487 though the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), commonly known as the stimulus.

Of that amount, $467.1 million went to education; $206.1 million to the environment; $24 million to "family"; $16.1 million to infrastructure; $15.2 million to transportation; $11.9 million to housing; and $3.1 million to job training. And the spending was focused on inner cities areas.

According to Recovery.gov, one of Baltimore's central ZIP codes, 21201, received the most stimulus funding in the city, a total of $837,955,866. The amount included funding for 276 awards, and the website reports that the spending had created 290 jobs in the fourth quarter in 2013.

The thing is, in all these years, increased federal spending has never fixed the problem of inner city crime and poverty. $1.8 billion was spent and Baltimore still erupted in flames, so clearly it isn't a case of not getting enough money. Remember also Baltimore has been governed by Democrats and run by liberal policies for the past 50 years. Obama can't blame this one on the Republicans, instead he'd do better looking in the mirror.

So is the Baltimore problem not enough black representation in positions of power? Hardly. The population of Baltimore is 622,000 and 63 percent of its population is black. The mayor, state's attorney, police chief and city council president are black, as is 48 percent of the police force.

As John Nolte wrote on Breitbart, "Contrary to the emotional blackmail some leftists are attempting to peddle, Baltimore is not America's problem or shame. That failed city is solely and completely a Democrat problem." Failed cities like Baltimore and Detroit are a direct result of failed liberal progressive socialist polices. Democrats run the city of Baltimore, the unions, the schools, and yes, the police force. And they have for over 5 decades.

And what about the argument that the cops are out to get the blacks in Baltimore? But not all the cops are white and as stated above, almost half the police force is black. Out of the six officers arrested in the death investigation of drug dealer, Freddy Grey, three of them are black including the officer charged with murder.

The other thing is this. If a cop tells you to stop and you decide to run away, you're asking for trouble no matter what color you are. If you resist an arrest, or if you start a fight with a cop there's a pretty good chance that you might be hurt. And if you engage in criminal activity your chances of having a run in with police increases.

In all the talk over improving relations between police and citizens, no one ever mentions the personal responsibility of citizens to obey the law. It's all on the cops. The cops have to change, be less aggressive, and be culturally sensitive. But shouldn't it work both ways? Why aren't young people being taught to respect law and order? Why isn't anyone speaking of respecting private property and having respect for authority? Where the hell are the parents and teachers? Why isn't President Obama telling people "Don't break the law? "

Much of the problems in the inner cities have to do with the breakdown of two parent families, as in no fathers in the household. The decline of religion in society is another factor. Also the fact that decency, manners, and basic right and wrong isn't being taught to kids anymore at home or in school. Before you can do the right thing, you got to know what that is.

The liberal viewpoint is that economics is what determines social behavior. Conservatives believe that values determine behavior far more than economics do. I wish there was a way to infuse decency into these communities as easily as the Feds have poured billions of dollars into them. After 50 years we now know that throwing more money at the problem doesn't work. For a change, why not try old fashioned moral values?

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. He's also a Southern California-based freelance writer.

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