U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell called out the media and Democrats’ hypocrisy on Baltimore, tweeting a New York Times article from March 2019 on Sunday in response to claims that President Donald Trump’s criticisms of the city were racist.
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) July 28, 2019
Trump has taken on House Oversight Committee chair Elijah Cummings over Baltimore’s decay. Democrats have called his criticisms a “racist” attack.
But Baltimore’s dysfunction has been in the spotlight since the Black Lives Matter movement, when a CNN-encouraged riot against police caused law enforcement to pull back from policing in black neighborhoods.
The same phenomenon occurred in other cities, especially where elected Democrats declined to support police and backed protests against them.
“Spikes in homicides in Baltimore, Chicago and the District of Columbia accounted for more than half of the national increase in killings in the 30 largest cities in 2015, according to a final analysis of yearly crime data by New York University School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice,” the Baltimore Sun noted in April 2016.
The Times magazine article, “The Tragedy of Baltimore,” by Alex MacGillis, described “the crackup of an American city”:
In 2017, [Baltimore] recorded 342 murders — its highest per-capita rate ever, more than double Chicago’s, far higher than any other city of 500,000 or more residents and, astonishingly, a larger absolute number of killings than in New York, a city 14 times as populous. Other elected officials, from the governor to the mayor to the state’s attorney, struggled to respond to the rise in disorder, leaving residents with the unsettling feeling that there was no one in charge. With every passing year, it was getting harder to see what gains, exactly, were delivered by the uprising.
The violence and disorder have fed broader setbacks. Gov. Larry Hogan canceled a $2.9 billion rail transit line for West Baltimore, defending the disinvestment in the troubled neighborhood partly by noting that the state had spent $14 million responding to the riots. Target closed its store in West Baltimore, a blow to a part of town short of retail options. The civic compact has so frayed that one acquaintance admitted to me recently that he had stopped waiting at red lights when driving late at night. Why should he, he argued, when he saw young men on dirt bikes flying through intersections while police officers sat in cruisers doing nothing?
MacGillis noted that it was difficult to talk about Baltimore’s problems partly because “the national political discourse lacks a vocabulary for the city’s ills.”
Read the full Times article here.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.