Unbelievable, a new day by dawn’s early light will be when the paradigm shifts. Anyone who must frequent Baltimore regularly to visit one of the several major hospitals in the community, or who want to dine on seafood at the Inner Harbor, or visit the National Aquarium or Fort McHenry, as instances, know that the diverse city is a complex mix of “haves” and “have nots”. Because it is so tightly integrated, the dispersion of economic inequality changes from block to block. Poor people, vagrants, panhandlers, drunks and drug dealers are interspersed with students, medical professionals, lawyers, city workers, office workers and the like.
If you are not from around here, and you are a very white person, you might feel like the minority, and the environment may be surely different from that from which you came. In steadier times, one can become accustomed and go about business as usual because citizens are just living their normal routines and don’t pose a threat to anyone with some exceptions.
The exceptions are clearly marked by police monitoring with blue lights. When they are blinking on, an incident has happened in that area. Those blue lights are right on the main path to and from major medical facilities so one cannot avoid them.
Oh yes, Baltimore is a sports town with a large football stadium and baseball complex. The Orioles are playing at home today, but there will be no crowd. The game is closed to attendance because the city is in lockdown with National Guardsmen on duty. Imagine that, a baseball game without any fans.
Freddie Gray died here. Francis Scott Key wrote the National Anthem here.
Freddie Gray was a citizen like many Baltimore citizens who was African American and who had a police record. Too many citizens in Baltimore have police records. That is a symptom of a problem.
Leaders and pundits explain it as being the product of people who are raised in impoverished conditions, who perform poorly in school, and who have few prospects for self-sustainment. There may be demand for qualified workers, but this population is not qualified. They are in a steady state of perpetual poverty and eventual crime because frustrated, uneducated people see around them what others have while they are without. They have no prospects and no future living under the blue light.
The only thing that can change this circumstance is when we as a nation declare poverty to be illegal. Providing an adequate start is required. Providing upward mobile opportunity is required for those who qualify. Opportunity to qualify is required. Pursuit of self-sustainment is expected. The absence of progress from deficient self-development is dissuaded. Progress from self-development is rewarded. Exceptionalism is rewarded greatly. Disabled and incapacitated persons are assisted to live adequately. A good life for all is assured for those who earn it.
Those should be the business rules for living in America, don’t you think? Oh say can you see, by the dawn’s early light, a compassionate and competent America that takes care of its own.