It’s actually about rats. But the first thing visitors see on that day are oysters. They are in wire baskets on the quays of the inner harbor Baltimore raised – not for human consumption, of course, but later as a natural water filter in the Chesapeake Bay being able to be exposed. Demonstration objects are exhibited on the lively waterfront. You can touch the rough shell of the noble shells.
“Just Play!” – a simple game – is written on colorful flags on the promenade, over which white and black youths whiz on e-scooters, while tourists enjoy the view of the water with a glass of beer or wine. “No human being would want to live here,” has Donald Trump claims. Something can’t be right with the American president. Or with Baltimore. Or with both.
In fact, the port city is fighting on the American Atlantic coast for a long time with their bad image. The decline of heavy industry has hit them hard. The predominantly black population has been since the end of the Second world war shrunk from a million to 615,000. “O Baltimore! Man, is it hard to just live, just to live, ”complained in 1977 Randy Newman wistful in a famous song. A quarter of a century later, the drama series “The Wire” painted a bleak picture of drug trafficking, corruption and crime in the city. With a wild Twitter tirade, in which he defamed the birthplace of the US national anthem as “disgusting, dirty hole infested with rats and rodents” Trump at the weekend the reputation is finally ruined.
The series “The Wire” already painted a dark picture of the city
“I am the last to claim that there are no problems,” says Leon Pinkett. The eloquent city councilor descends the steps of the city hall in an elegant dark blue suit. A proud dome sits enthroned on the four-story Empire style building. Under Pinketts Shirt cuff peeps out an orange plastic bangle with the inscription “Stop the gun violence!”. Yes, there is too little affordable housing, the infrastructure is deteriorating and there are deficits in the schools, the Democrat politician admits: “But there are many cities.”
Has two decades ago Pinkett a semester in Munich educated. It was a great time, he reports. But he was born and grew up in Baltimore, and here he lives with his family. “I just looked at the menu again,” jokes the African American with his well-groomed three-day beard bitterly: “Baltimore lies in the USA. And the president bears responsibility for the country. ”He sees an important reason for the high crime rate in the city Pinkett in the lack of job opportunities for the black underclass. The local politician demands that the president should take action here. Instead, he aggravates the problem by teasing the community of bad talk and huge holes in public budgets with tax cuts.
The city center and poor district are less than 5 kilometers away
It all sounds very reasonable. And still you can go through with a ride Pinketts Do not avoid the constituency of the impression that the problems are somewhat greater than the politician describes. Less than five kilometers separate the city center from the poor district of West Baltimore, where many episodes of “The Wire” played. There are no shops here. But countless dilapidated houses with broken roofs and barred doors and windows. Lost figures sway along the side of the road in the intoxication of drugs. Dirt and garbage are lying around on the sidewalks. A hydrant was broken open on a street corner. A dog tries to cool off in the massive water jet. “What three things in life are free?” Someone sprayed on the wooden crate of a ruin a few streets away: “1. Education, 2. a prison sentence, 3. death. ”It is supposed to be an encouragement. But for many here, only the last two options seem to exist.
When darkness falls, it becomes dangerous in some corners. Danger to life. With more than 300 murders a year Baltimore one of the most violent cities in the world USA. On a website on the Internet, you can follow the development on a daily basis. Every murder is recorded with the date and details of the victim. Virtual needles on a city map indicate the crime scene. This hot July alone killed 39 people. If you fight your way through the statistics of horror, you’ll notice that only two of them were white.
If in Baltimore when darkness falls, it becomes dangerous
Baltimore is a divided city. While in civil Mount Vernon the fountains splash and the world famous in the Meyerhoff concert hall Baltimore Symphony Orchestra plays, the city further west or north actually looks as depressing as it was portrayed in “The Wire”. Still defends itself David Simon, the series’ s screenwriter, decided against the political rights taking over his series. “There’s a party at our block today,” he wrote over the weekend for a photo that showed him on the steps of his house with guitar: “This is a city with good Americans who earn something different than a fraudulent, dull, and self-possessed failure like their president. ”Since then he’s been firing tweets after another. Trump abuse the city to fight its uncomfortable black MP Elijah Cummings to rush the head of the House Control Committee, the author argues: “The complex problems of Baltimore he doesn’t care about Deut. “
“Baltimore Sun” Breaks “All Records” With “Rat” Commentary Against Trump
You can see it similarly in the local newspaper “Baltimore Sun“. Under pressure from economic conditions, the editorial team moved to the industrial area on the outskirts of the city, but continues to critically monitor the development of local politics, which is full of corruption scandals. The black mayor had to wait until May Catherine Pugh resign after the sheet revealed that she had sold a children’s book she had written to urban societies for half a million.
“This city has a lot of problems,” says opinion editor Peter Jensen. Nevertheless, he has the most powerful counterattack at the weekend Trumps Failure delivered, for which it has since been celebrated online. With its wide braces and rolled-up shirt sleeves, from which two massive forearms spring up, shines Jensen to have emerged from a journalist film of the last century. He has been writing comments in his newspaper for 15 years, six every week. In the meantime, 3000 should have come together, he calculates with amusement: “But this was a little different.”
Actually wanted to Jensen enjoy his free saturday when he from Trumps Tweet heard. “The president calls my home the worst place in the world that is unsuitable for human settlement?” The journalist was certain that the repulsive rat metaphor was “full of racism”. After a short discussion with his boss, she was fine Jensen sure: “This is the one chance to fight back.” In a short time he chopped up a brilliant settlement with the president. “It is better to have a couple of rats than to be one,” he wrote about it – a deliberate crossing of borders. “All newspapers have struggled with it as they have with the phenomenon Trump bypass. We usually stick to the rules while he’s marauding like a street fighter, ”says Jensen: “But sometimes you have to choose an emotional language to clarify the seriousness of the situation.”
Many in Baltimore are convinced that Trumps Target attacks on the majority black population
Jensen knows what he’s talking about: Amidst that of Trump A heated mood against the “lying press” had a confused man in the sister newspaper “The Capital” shot five colleagues last year. Since then, a security guard has been protecting the editorial rooms of the “Sun“.
Many in Baltimore are convinced that the president attacked the city primarily because the majority of its population is black. “That didn’t surprise me at all,” says Kobi Little: “This is the native version of his dirty-hole countries.” Little is sensitized: the Baptist pastor worked in for seven years Tanzaniabefore heading the local group of the black civil rights movement NAACP took over. Describe on the surface Trump The 48-year-old analyzes objective grievances in a calm voice: “In fact, he uses a dog whistle to stir up his base with hostile language.” Little criticizes the connection of dirt, laziness and brutality with African-Americans to white racists: There is a direct link to slavery and its policies. ”Talk about it Trump of course not.
Again racism allegations against the US President Donald Trump – there is resistance
Nevertheless, Little is demonstratively optimistic in the conversation: “I hope that the hatred that this man emits strengthens the country’s resistance.” Baltimore just actually get that impression. “I received tons of letters, most of them positive,” reports the journalist Jensen: “Many people are angry with the President.” Just hours after the Twitter tirade from the White House, thousands gathered online behind the hashtag #WeAreBaltimore. With 3.7 million page impressions, the editorial in the local newspaper broke all records. “Trump underestimated the pride of the people here, ”believes the city council Pinkett: „Baltimore has grown together in a way that I have never experienced before. ”How robust this movement is still to be seen. In any case, the oysters from the harbor basin are to be released in nine months.
By Karl Doemens / RND