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August 7, 2015

Baltimore Homicide Spike Is the Harvest of Leftism

Three months after Freddie Gray’s death, a record murder spree.

Chicago rightfully gets headlines for being America’s most prolific murder city, but three months after Baltimore erupted in flames following the death of criminal suspect Freddie Gray, the city’s total number of homicides has set an all-time city record for a three-month timeframe. The 116 homicides recorded in Baltimore from May through July included last month’s total of 43, which was its highest monthly toll since 1972.

Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has already ousted her police chief and called in federal help to combat a thriving drug trade, but the city is still feeling the effects of April’s unrest — not to mention half a century of Democrat rule.

As one beleaguered city resident put it, “The ones doing the violence, the shootings — they’re eating Percocet like candy and they’re not thinking about consequences. They have no discipline, they have no respect. They think this is a game. How many can I put down on the East side? How many can I put down on the West side?”

In practically every Baltimore case, though, it was black-on-black crime that inflated the murder rate. “Black Lives Matter” has been a handy slogan for the race-baiters who descended on Baltimore, Ferguson and New York and shouted down a former mayor of Baltimore whose delusions of grandeur make him believe he’s presidential material. But one has to ask if those lives matter enough to people in the city who refuse to relinquish their status as victims.

The answer would seem to be “no.” Black lives seem to matter only when the race-baiters can make a show of things, not when blacks kill other blacks, or otherwise destroy their own neighborhoods.

There doesn’t seem to be an appreciation of life in the minds of those who feel the need to deal with their pain through overuse of narcotics — a supply bolstered by the stock taken from the 32 pharmacies looted in April. Nor is it among those who willingly mow down their drug-dealing competition in turf wars that occasionally snare an innocent victim. These are the tragedies that matter.

A few days after the riots, we observed, “For Baltimore to change, its people must change.” It’s folly to expect all the needed change can occur in three months’ time, but by the same token it’s discouraging to see the city going in the opposite direction. Just getting back to normal would be fine for most situations, but the city of Baltimore cannot long function if citizens only return to the status quo that led to a city on fire.

The solution is really not difficult to grasp — better schools, more job opportunities and in-tact homes. Residents must turn away from a “thug” culture to one that values the stability of a two-parent family and works to cut down on the illegitimate birth rate. After all, seven of every 10 black lives start out from an unmarried mother and absentee father. That’s if the black lives even make it out of the womb. Without this shift in culture, Baltimore (and other Democrat-run inner cities like it) will continue to murder its future at a rate of more than one per day. It’s a grim toll, and America — the land of Liberty — can do better.

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