(Editor’s note: Colin Flaherty has done more reporting than any other journalist on what appears to be a nationwide trend of skyrocketing black-on-white crime, violence and abuse. WND features these reports to counterbalance the virtual blackout by the rest of the media due to their concerns that reporting such incidents would be inflammatory or even racist. WND considers it racist not to report racial abuse solely because of the skin color of the perpetrators or victims.) Videos linked or embedded may contain foul language and violence.
Black History Month in Baltimore is a busy, busy time. Every aspect of black life in this city is remembered and celebrated: Black schools. Black music. Black movies. Black churches. Black literature. Black clothing. Black politicians. Even black trains.
Then Tracey Halvorsen had to go and spoil it all: She wrote an article about crime in Baltimore. How she and her mostly white neighbors live in fear. And no one seems to care. Or worse, lots of people think it is normal. “Baltimore City,You Are Breaking My Heart,” is going viral for an on-line magazine called Medium.com. A few quotes:
“I’m tired of being looked at like prey.”
“I’m tired of thinking about the horrifying final moments for 51 year old neighbor, Kim Leto, stabbed to death in her own home by two teenagers.”
“I’m tired of wondering why city leaders haven’t said s*** about recent horrific murders committed by children in supposedly ‘safe’ neighborhoods.”
“I’m tired of living next to a beautiful park that I’m scared to walk into at any time of day, thanks to regular stories of day-time muggings, drug dealing and gang violence.”
Much like a similar article last year, “Being White in Philly,” Halvorsen’s story contained all the requisite apologies for noticing. All the protestations about her black friends. All the denials that she was a racist.
That did not change one fundamental fact: Crime in Baltimore is a black thing. And black on white crime is a secret that is simply not discussed. Other than to excuse it as a product of white racism, that is.
As indictments go, Halvorsen’s was pretty mild. She left out the dozens and dozens of examples of black mob violence documented in Baltimore in“White Girl Bleed a Lot: The Return of Racial Violence and How the Media Ignore It.”
In 2012, this violence became so bad that Maryland State legislator Pat McDonough asked the Governor to declare a “No-Travel” Zone around the downtown Inner Harbor area. McDonough said he wanted to “prevent the consistent and dangerous attacks upon citizens by roving mobs of black youths.”
Yes, he really said that. And more: “St. Patrick’s Day witnessed another out-of-control incident involving hundreds of young people in a mob-like posture, fighting among themselves, and attacking innocent tourists and visitors to the harbor area.”
Millions around the world watched it on video.
McDonough also saw an episode of black mob violence at the Inner Harbor while downtown with his wife.
Over the summer, just a few hours after a rally to protest the verdict in the trial over the killing of Trayvon Martin, a black mob stalked and attacked a restaurant worker on his way home. They put him in the hospital with broken bones all over his face. That’s on video too.
At a Baltimore skating rink, black mob violence involving hundreds of people has a been a regular feature of weekend festivities for years. The dozens of examples of black mob violence connected to the rink range from throwing bricks through police car windows to vandalizing the Denny’s restaurant next door. The violence includes beating clerks and stealing merchandise from a nearby convenience store, fighting with police, jumping on cars – breaking windows and ruining paint – and much, much more:
Amber Ruth was caught up in one of the periodic spasms of violence where hundreds of “children” walk in the street, stop traffic, destroy property – and worse. Says Ruth to the plucky Patch newspaper:
“I was on my way home on a Friday night around 9:30 p.m. and they shut down Skate Land at Putty Hill because of fighting and those little hoodlums busted out my back window with me sitting in my car when i was stopped at the light in at Rossville blvd & BelAir Rd.”
This is a very long list. But last summer it got so long that one of the largest employers in Baltimore, T. Rowe Price, threatened to move its headquarters out of downtown if the violence continued.
T. Rowe Price is still there: But more and more people like Halvorsen are deciding the old world charm, small town feel and big city amenities are just not worth it anymore. Not if you have to worry about violence every day, everywhere you go. Not if friends have to borrow your pit bull for a stroll through the neighborhood.
Some of the black mob crime is aided by city officials. Last year, 13 guards were indicted for their role in allowing inmates who were members of the Black Guerrilla Family gang to take over day to day operations of the Baltimore City Detention Center. The guards, many of whom were women, allegedly “had become romantically involved with certain gang members – [and] smuggled drugs, cellphones, and other illicit material into the jail for the gang’s benefit,” said Slate.
The inmates are running the asylum. And sometimes have they help from the local media: The Baltimore Sun has been a leader in ignoring, condoning and denying the black mob violence and black on white crime. It led the effort to condemn Pat McDonough for his comments about violent black mobs. When it does report racial violence, it is only to dismiss it. Or claim it is some kind of Baltimore holiday tradition, dating back to at least 1995.
But most of these stories are not about the violence, but how black leaders object to people identifying the race of the people responsible.
Racial violence came home to the Baltimore Sun a few weeks ago. One of its editors, John Fogg, was attacked when he was getting out of his car and heading for his house just a few blocks from Halvorsen’s. His skull is fractured in six places. He lost 10 teeth. The black suspect, in custody, was recently arrested for two other assaults, but charges were dropped before the case came to trial.
That might have been Halvorsen’s tipping point: Like the “Being White in Philly” article, Halvorsen’s story is provoking what one observer called “one big group therapy dialogue” – with every major media site in the city running stories on it.
Critics of the article are breaking down along racial lines: Some of the white commentators said race had nothing to do with crime in Baltimore. It’s poverty they said more from hope than experience. Over at the Baltimore City Paper the “professional writers” took turns contemplating whether Halvorsen was a racist or just a bad writer.
Halvorsen said race had nothing to do with the violence.
The black commentators disagreed: They said crime had everything to with race and Halvorsen’s racism: They talked about the “white privilege” that caused Halvorsen to notice the violence and somehow feel as if she were entitled to live in a safe neighborhood.
The white racism that caused the black people to commit the crimes and violence.
“I think the problem here is that many white and/or upper/middle-class residents of Baltimore – and, of course, the Maryland suburbanites who work or play in Baltimore – show no sense of the structural problems plaguing the city and the roots of violence,” said Shereen at a local blog that focuses on journalism and music operate by NPR reporter Lawrence Lanahan.
Lanahan says it’s time to give some tough love to the white people in Baltimore who notice – and do not like – crime.
“It’s tough to talk about white privilege in the face of crimes like the ones Halvorsen cites, with innocent victims killed and badly injured and stunned families left to grieve,” Lanahan said. “There’s also a lot that goes on, from individual decisions to local, state, and federal policy, that ensures – whether intentionally or not – that all the social ills stay where they ‘belong’ in the neighborhoods that people like Halvorsen and, frankly, I won’t live in.”
White neighborhoods “get more resources” than black neighborhoods, Lanahan said. That disparity somehow causes violence, he said.
The Medium news site published a push-back a few days later: “What breaks my heart is when someone says they are tired of looking at black youth in the city as potential predators, as if they are the ones at fault,” said Tim Barnett. “What breaks my heart is when someone acknowledges the sadness of the death of a white woman, but does not acknowledge the sadness of the bleak lives of 2 young black men.”
Two young black men have been arrested in the recent home invasion and murder of Kim Leto, also close to Halvorsen’s home.
So far the Mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, has not made comments similar to what the mayor of Philadelphia said about “Being White in Philly.” He said it was “despicable.”
But her point of view on crime is clear: Last year, when the governor of Maryland suggested that Baltimore should put more cops on the street to fight a spike in visible and violent crime, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was having none of that.
“Returning to the days of mass arrests for any and every minor offense might be a good talking point but it has been proven to be a far less effective strategy for actually reducing crime,” Rawlings-Blake said in a statement to the Baltimore Sun.
During her tenure, arrests have gone down to 50,000 a year, compared to 100,000 in 2005.
One of the reasons police do not arrest more black people in the Baltimore area is because black juries are often reluctant convict black defendants. This observation of racial jury tampering comes from academic and legal studies such as “Jury Nullification, Race, and The Wire.” And from David Simon, creator of the Baltimore crime drama, The Wire, a veteran of 13 years on the cop beat for the Baltimore Sun.
Simon is the Hollywood uber-liberal who recently made a few headlines in the wake of the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin: “The season on African-Americans now runs year round,” he declared. “If I were a person of color in Florida, I would pick up a brick and start walking toward that courthouse in Sanford.”
In his recent book, “Homicide, A Year on the Killing Streets,” Simon talks about racial jury nullification with unusual candor:
“As with every other part of the criminal justice machine, racial issues permeate the jury system in Baltimore,” Simon said. “Baltimore prosecutors take almost every case into court with the knowledge that the crime will be seen through the lens of the black community’s historical suspicion of a white-controlled police department and court system.”
The effect of race on the judicial system is freely acknowledged by prosecutors and defense attorneys-black and white alike-although the issue is rarely raised directly in court.
Race is instead a tacit presence that accompanies almost every panel of 12 into a Baltimore jury room. Once, in a rare display, a black defense attorney actually pointed to her own forearm while giving closing arguments to an all-black panel: “Brothers and sisters,” she said, as two white detectives went out of their minds in the back row of the gallery, “I think we all know what this case is about.”
Black mobs routinely terrorize cities across the country, but the media and government are silent. Read the detailed account of rampant racial crime in “White Girl Bleed A Lot: The Return of Racial Violence to America and How the Media Ignore It.”
See a trailer for “White Girl Bleed a Lot”: