Club Soda and Salt

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Balitmore And Trinidad: Two Peas In A Pod

Posted by clubsodaandsalt on February 9, 2005

A passage in this article about Baltimore’s high murder rate struck me as eerily familiar:

City officials say it can. Turf wars have made Baltimore more violent for drug dealers, they assert, but the city is freer from crime for the law-abiding majority than it has been in decades.

“Baltimore is actually a very safe city if you are not involved in the drug trade,” Health Commissioner Peter Beilenson said.

I think the authorities in both Baltimore and Trinidad need to understand that statements like this don’t make the populace feel safer, especially since it’s basically a PC way of saying, “Hey, it’s just some poor folk dying anyway, what do you folks in the nice part of town have to worry about?” Not terribly tasteful. Moreover, the problem with crime is that it drives people out of cities, and it hurts local commerce. It’s not just the killing, it’s the way that it can decimate an urban area (as Baltimore should know all too well). Saying it doesn’t matter because it’s all drug dealers doesn’t help to prevent that, because if there’s a murder outside my house, I’m going to want to stop living in that house, regardless of who got killed there. Being in close proximity to a lot of crime is just inherently traumatizing, as any average Trinidadian can tell you.

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