Baltimore Is Everyone’s Problem

3 May

Mural, Baltimore(Image by Eli Pousson used under CC 2.0 via)


I could write about the year I spent in downtown Baltimore, when I rode past the above mural every day, when the neighborhood I lived in was serving as the inspiration for the crime show Homicide: Life on the Street. But this is not the time for white people to talk about themselves.

This is the time to consider the undeniable disparities between white people and black people living in Baltimore, and elsewhere in the U.S. This is the time to acknowledge the privileges and freedoms black Americans still cannot enjoy today. And this is the time to listen to what we are being asked to do by those who have good reason to be upset about all this.

If we spend most of our time telling poor and disenfranchised people how they should behave rather than examine what we regularly take for granted, then we’re not interested in fixing the problem. We’re just interested in congratulating ourselves for being better than others.




6 Responses to “Baltimore Is Everyone’s Problem”

  1. oosorio456 May 3, 2015 at 2:11 pm #

    Inequality is a serious problem that hurt us as society, the federal government has to establish a big coalition where all local authorities join forces against poverty.

    • Emily Sullivan Sanford May 3, 2015 at 5:21 pm #

      Indeed! It would be so helpful to attack poverty at the national rather than the local level. Human rights should not be regional.

  2. Jenisis May 3, 2015 at 5:18 pm #

    Reblogged this on Race Relations in America.

  3. Galaxian May 28, 2015 at 3:02 am #

    Baltimore is a problem precisely because it isn’t a problem unless you live there. Modern money allows you to buy freedom from problems to a considerable degree, and anonymously to boot. Even blacks don’t have to face black community social disasters if they have money, and many of them have moved on and no longer wish to have a conversation which has gone on 150 years without resolution.

    In the absence of direct financial reparations, court-ordered “hands off” policing in black neighborhoods, and a race-based system for allocating opportunity, the USA has likely seen the best that can be achieved in requiting this history. Most white Americans are now willing to acknowledge the wrongs done, but less likely to assume personal guilt in connection with them or approve of changes in the way money and inheritance are handled.

    Indeed the raising of children by their own families, when those families differ in social status, guarantees inequality derived from birth situation will continue: It’s inherent in the state itself.

  4. clanton1934 November 28, 2015 at 3:31 am #

    May I introduce myself? (My son and his life-partner are graduates of Peabody and they live in Baltimore; I follow Baltimore closely. I’m a retired teacher. I write a blog. I just published Roses and Foxes.
    Thank you, Charles Rogers

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