MD Pol on “Black Youth Mobs”: Anticrime Crusading or Race Baiting?


Maryland legislator Pat McDonough won’t back down from a press release he issued alleging that ‘black youth mobs terrorize” downtown Baltimore, says the Baltimore Sun. In a Saturday night radio show, he seemed to ratchet up the rhetoric ripping Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake while vowing to bring the issue of downtown public safety to the front burner of public consciousness with a “news conference” and other actions this week. He did not sound like a man about to apologize for what one of his legislative colleagues characterized as “race baiting.”

The Sun’s David Zurawik says that “McDonough’s on-air efforts Saturday make this a media story that raises important questions about role media play in how a community talks about race — and whether the media in Baltimore have been facilitating or failing in that crucial conversation. One minister has already called for McDonough to be pulled from the airwaves.” On the radio, he said, “Either Baltimore city overcomes crime, or crime will overcome Baltimore city — and the city will no longer be livable at all. And it’s very close to that situation in a lot of ways. This is not just a black issue. Yes, the gangs down there, the mobs, are black. I know we have knuckleheads and criminals that are white, but I’m trying to focus on this issue.”

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