Opinion

Baltimore City: Who’s In Charge There?

Alan Keyes Former Assistant Secretary of State

In a press conference that began just before midnight on Tuesday, with a curfew in place and several thousand Maryland National Guard members taking up positions to help police enforce it, Baltimore’s black Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said that Baltimore’s “Citizens are safe. The city is stable. We hope to maintain it that way.”

The question is, safe from whom? Baltimore’s mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has gone from calling violent rioters thugs and criminals on Monday night, to the rather ludicrous extreme of saying, “we don’t have thugs in Baltimore,” on Tuesday afternoon.

A quick look in the dictionary shows a thug to be defined as “a violent person.” Last fall the Baltimore Sun reported that “Baltimore had the fifth-highest murder rate in the country last year[2013] among cities with 100,000 or more people … The city also had the nation’s seventh-highest violent crime rate.”

That’s an awful lot of violence for a city with no violent people in it. The mayor said her “anger interpreter” led her to mistake her words when she called the violent rioters thugs. I wonder what interpreter caused her to think she could banish the perpetrators of her city’s violent crimes to the Phantom Zone.

Mayor Rawlings-Blake must feel a little like the poet who wrote:

Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there.
He wasn’t there again today.
I wish, I wish he’d go away

Apparently, the effects of Baltimore’s absentee perpetrators people aren’t so easily wished away. Apparently they also have at least as much political influence as many of the deceased registered voters who show up at the city’s polling places at election time.  That would explain the photo I saw that had Baltimore City Council President Jack Young and other council members standing with “self-described gang members” while Young, like Mayor Rawlings-Blake, apologized for calling rioters thugs. Instead, he called the rioters “misdirected.”

This is craven gibberish, the sort of pandering one would expect from officials speaking under threat. Are Baltimore’s city officials that intimidated by the situation? Or have recent events simply put a spotlight on the fact that Baltimore’s elected government now shares power with gang leaders who control chunks of urban territory the way warlords controlled regions in ancient China whenever its imperial governments were declining or in eclipse. Is the apparent stability Commissioner Batts hopes to maintain the result of the civil government’s show of resolve? Or does it depend upon the submissive posture city officials have assumed to placate gang leaders who outflank them in the streets the way they did at Council President Young’s press conference?

If the forces of violence responsible for the rioting renew their assault, will the Maryland National Guard be enough to deal with it? How would the present occupant of the White House respond to a call for assistance from the U.S. government? Hasn’t his so far successful implementation of anti-constitutional dictatorship partly relied on the tacit threat of uprisings in his support in the nation’s urban areas? Hasn’t fear of those uprisings intimidated elected officials in the Congress, just as it appears to be intimidating those in Baltimore?

I wrote about this last year:

Once the “race card” involved playing on America’s guilt over what were portrayed as racially motivated injustices (though the root of those injustices was more ruthless greed than racism). Now it involves counting on America’s fear of a violent black uprising if anyone interferes with Obama’s ongoing campaign to consolidate dictatorial rule. Hitler had his brown shirts. Obama has his black thugs … . I and others have called this the era of “gangster government.” As Obama and his collaborators take over the neighborhood, the threat of wholesale black violence is being manipulated in the background, buying the time they need to pervert the police, national security and military forces from local peace officers, responsible agents of law enforcement, and guardians for our defense, into compliant enforcers of the elitist faction’s dictatorial will.

So would Obama be willing to make a show of force to break the power of Baltimore’s violent gangs? Or are the riots in Baltimore literally a demonstration of the power now wielded by such gangs, in Baltimore and elsewhere, power Obama may be more interested in exploiting than cutting down?

If and when he moved to back Baltimore’s elected government with additional forces mobilized by his command, will he continue to let local authorities take the lead? Or will he take advantage of the situation to further his longstanding goal: i.e., a civilian national security force as powerful, strong and well-funded as the military? Didn’t Mayor Rawlings-Blake contribute to the development of Obama’s plan “to expand federal control of community police forces,” via standards handed down from above?

As I noted in an article earlier this week, “episodes of supposedly race-based unrest fit the paradigm of creatively destructive crises celebrated in Obama’s socialist background as ideal opportunities for consolidating dictatorial power.” With someone of that disposition in the White House, the inherently challenging task of maintaining ordered liberty is greatly exacerbated, especially in a society like ours, as diverse as humanity itself.

At every level of government, the only hope of succeeding lies in rediscovering the understanding of ourselves and our government that impels people of goodwill to insist that justice be served, but by means consistent with our character as people capable of self-government. That means offering no excuses for thugs willing to disrupt and destroy their own communities. It means offering no apology for doing what is necessary to stop them. And it means rebuking groveling government officials that are unwilling to do so.