What Does $130 Million Buy? In Baltimore, Continued Squalor

Strange how, no matter how much money is applied, Liberalism keeps failing Blacks. As one person in the comments notes in relation to the Washington Post headline “Because it’s not about the money, ultimately.”

Why couldn’t $130 million transform one of Baltimore’s poorest places?

Along the street where Freddie Gray was arrested, abandoned houses are gashed with gaping holes. The roof on an old red-brick building is collapsed. A storm drain is clogged with concrete.

Sandtown-Winchester is crumbling, and there is little to suggest that two decades ago visionary developer James Rouse and city officials injected more than $130 million into the community in a failed effort to transform it. Instead there are block after block of boarded-up houses and too many people with little hope.

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“It’s frustrating,” said Stefanie DeLuca, a Johns Hopkins University sociologist who has studied the neighborhood. “How much money would it take? It certainly seems on an instinctual level that $100 million should have made some difference.”

But for much of Sandtown, life remains bleak. Once home to Thurgood Marshall, Billie Holiday and Cab Calloway, the West Baltimore neighborhood has suffered from unemployment, crime and poverty rates well above the city’s average, census and other data show. The state spends nearly $17 million just to incarcerate its former residents. Life expectancy is 10 years below the national average.

There are typically three major schools of thought on the failure of these big cities. One, from those that the Southern Poverty Law Center terms “White Nationalists” (being a Black or Hispanic nationalist isn’t considered hate to the SPLC, but that’s a different story), this is the fault of Blacks. They say that Blacks “revert to the mean” as a group when gathered in large groups. They say this is what is expected.

Then you have those on the Right who say that this is exactly what one would expect from Leftist doctrine.

Then there are those on the Left who will say there hasn’t been enough money put into these neighborhoods and cities.

My thought is that Liberalism may be good for mostly White liberal cities and areas, such as Portland, Seattle, San Fransisco, and Vermont, but utterly fails in majority-minority (Black) very liberal cities like Baltimore, Detroit, Birmingham, Camden, etc. To use Liberals own talking points, Liberalism is racist. It’s methods and modes fail Blacks. How is it that $130 million dumped into a neighborhood has failed?

This project was started in the late 1990’s, in a poor area, 72 blocks which had been decimated by the crack epidemic. And just decimated period. After $130 million, what has changed?

The effort to revive Sandtown was massive. More than 1,000 homes were eventually renovated or built. Schools were bolstered. Education and health services were launched.

But there were many obstacles along the way, according to Enterprise’s report. Some residents complained that the vision was too grand to execute. Others involved said the city’s bureaucracy stifled innovation.

The most significant problem, according to community organizers and the Enterprise report, was that new businesses and jobs never materialized. And as Baltimore’s decent-paying manufacturing jobs vanished — a problem shared by Detroit, Cleveland and other Rust Belt cities — there were fewer and fewer opportunities for Sandtown residents to find meaningful work.

If you’re just giving people things, but do not change the dynamic of the neighborhood, jobs won’t simply show up out of thin air when it is still dangerous, criminal, the properties left to rot, the residents didn’t care less, having been completely dependent on government, oh, and government gets in the way. Drugs continue to be rampant, and residents were hooked left and right, committing crimes left and right. One of the schools is now a drug rehabilitation center.

The city tried. It hired people to knock on doors and offer health screenings. Others visited the homes of truant students to find out what was preventing them from attending school. Organizers helped form community groups and began a neighborhood newsletter to bring people together.

Rather than empowering people, giving them help, the ever helping hand of the Nanny State got involved. And once again failed.

“We were naive,” said Diane Bell McKoy, president and chief executive of Associated Black Charities and a former top aide to Schmoke. “We meant well, and we mean well, but I don’t think we have taken time to dig deeply enough to find the answers.

Liberalism in a nutshell: naive and good intentions, that fails to solve the issue. And continues to fail in the Black community. Why is it that Portland, with a population of 609K, which continues to grow, has half the number of police officers as Baltimore and its population of 622k, which is going down? Baltimore needs 53.4 law enforcement employees (includes civilian employees) per 10K residents. Portland has 20 per 10k. Seattle has 28.7. San Francisco is at 16.8.

Portland is 76% white, 6.3% Black. Seattle is 69.5% White, just 7.9% Black. San Fran, 54.3% White, just 6% Black (34.4% Asian). Baltimore is 31.6% White, 63.3% Black. The first three, featuring mostly White liberals, are doing well. The latter is mostly Black and liberal, and failing. Why, exactly, do Blacks keep voting for a Party and doctrine that fails them as a group? Why is it that the liberal White cities need so many fewer law enforcement employees? Why is it that Portland can piss away taxpayer money on “climate change” initiatives, as well as have money to spend on parks and greenspaces, whiles Baltimore has to spend a huge percentage of its budget on law enforcement and the criminal justice system?

Liberalism apparently works well for White Liberals, and fails Blacks. Strange, eh? It’s almost like it’s set up that way.

BTW, if this conversation is “triggering” and makes you want to go to a “safe space”, you should ask Eric Holder to stop calling people cowards for refusing to discuss race.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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