This book depressed me so much that I hid it under a pillow for two days. There are two reasons for this: first, it shows the decline of our country; second, the supposed beneficiaries are not doing so well either.
Baltimore, MD is a city which has been handed to African control thanks to the popular vote. African-Americans staff its police, management and media. As a result, it has a pro-African slant; every race acts for itself, and anyone who says otherwise is delusional.
African-American violence is intense compared to white activities for which the city was designed. This creates a Hellish environment in which most of the victims are African-American and the murders, shootings, rapes and thefts go on and on. But no one wins except those who depend on the pretense of “equality.”
Kersey, borrowing perhaps from Colin Flaherty, uses a “counter-spin” technique: he quotes mainstream media and then shows us what was under-emphasized and nearly edited out, and uses that to reorient our consciousness toward the actual issues in each article. The end result is that we see the consequences of pleasant political activities, not the feelings behind them.
The black community, meanwhile, collectively “lynched” white civilization in Baltimore, turning once-thriving public housing buildings into “concentration camps,” and remaking the city in their image. Every week, another horrific crime occurs — such as the execution-style killing of five black women in 1999, three generations of a single family wiped out by black males — that does far more to threaten the stability of Baltimore than those two lynchings did back in the 1930s. (235)
I find this book brings up profound moral conflicts. I would like the best for everyone out there, but what happens when self-management by a third-world population ends up in creating horrible murder rates and constant degradation of civilization? I cannot step into the role of stewardship, or saying, “sorry, black people, but you need whitey in charge,” but nor can I endorse what has happened in Baltimore.
Let me be clear: plenty of people live happily in Baltimore, but they have moved to gated communities, hi-rise condos or the suburbs. The rest are living in rotting ghettos where urine-soaked buildings are bulldozed, gang warfare rings out in the streets, and violence of all types is endemic. The statistics in The City That Bleeds: Race, History And The Death of Baltimore are convincing enough, but it is the personal stories that resonate the most. If I have to read about the death of another honor student or normal, good person, I may vomit.
In fact, the most sensible response to this book is emesis. It is well-written and factually clear. What it communicates is that under the disgusting hybrid of diversity, no one succeeds. White people flee the city and so live in essentially disconnected suburbs, and black people get to live in war zones of drugs, crime, violence, rape and misery. Is this… is this working for anyone? It does not seem like it.
Gun crime in Baltimore is almost exclusively black, with a smattering of white homicide victims thrown in for good measure. The late Lawrence Auster dubbed it “Black Baltimore’s Youth Intifada,” but such a title fails to take into consideration that the internecine black-on-black (and tragic black-on-white) crime in the city has helped make Baltimore one of America’s least desirable places to live. (56)
This book consists of articles from Stuff Black People Don’t Like, Kersey’s acerbic and fact-based blog on the crisis of diversity. He describes various African-American behaviors as “eccentricities,” and it seems to me this is a gentle way to approach the issue. The fact is that races are different, and have different needs and thus different behaviors.
As Kersey illustrates, what has gone wrong in Baltimore is the attempt to apply a white social order to a black population. Every population and every race has its own needs and behaviors, and attempting to forge one rule for the ox and the lion is foolishness. In Baltimore, the result of diversity is a black leadership caste that will always excuse its constituents despite the constant violence that generally seems to leave good people dead and criminals wandering anonymous and indemnified in the night.
The dangerous conditions black people create in any zip code, neighborhood, or community they claim as “theirs” within the city makes Baltimore incredibly unsafe for either walking or bike riding. Mike Bowman, a white 32-year-old, was attacked by more than 10 black kids while he was biking through the city recently. Thankfully, he had a camera on his helmet, which captured the vicious, unprovoked assault. Most peculiar in the situation was the fact that Bowman’s attackers didn’t even steal anything from him. (258)
This approaches a question I find morally difficult. I grew up in the South, where black people and white people exist in harmony because we lived in different spheres. As a result, law enforcement in black communities was largely left up to blacks… and whites minded their own communities. It was not cruelty that made us disregard black crime, but respect. We let them choose their own standards and just switched off our judgmental, neurotic minds because we knew on some level that our needs, standards and values were different. In Baltimore, however, a mixed-race city attempts to find common ground between these groups, and fails.
I find Kersey convincing. He does not overplay his hand nor hide his viewpoint, but relies on facts and first-person reports to tell the story. It is an appalling and miserable story, but an interesting one nonetheless. It makes me wonder what would happen if we segregated Baltimore and let African-Americans rule their own areas, and vice-versa for whites, as I imagine most of these problems would disappear, at least in terms of the reports issued. But under democracy/diversity/equality such a logical solution is impossible.
I had to set this book side multiple times. The story of teen rappers with promise, or honor students with bullet holes in their heads, made me want to go to (mental) Disneyland and pretend that nothing was happening. But that kind of obliviousness is not only morally dishonest, but a sin. It avoids confronting the reality of Baltimore and every other city on earth, which is that diversity does not work.
Some may read The City That Bleeds: Race, History And The Death of Baltimore as a condemnation of blacks, but I see it as a red flag which says “diversity does not work.” Each population needs self-rule and its own standards, and African-Americans in Baltimore have gotten power, but not the ability to reshape white laws into black laws. That would make a society people could live with, but instead there is constant internal tension.
If this book showed me anything, it is that diversity does not work and diverse cities will never survive. I acknowledge that whites and blacks have different behaviors and needs, but the real sadness here is diversity. Black people in America are forced into a secondary role as people living within white rules, but still trying to maintain their own culture. After reading The City That Bleeds: Race, History And The Death of Baltimore, it seems to me that we should give them self-rule in entirety and leave white institutions and white rules for white people (only).
The essays in this book are short and hard-hitting. Kersey writes well, combining the modern blog style with the type of writing you might find at The Atlantic. If it needs anything, an editor like John Morgan — this generation’s Maxwell Perkins — might clean up some of the ambiguities and punctuation and make this even better, but as it is, this is a solid, hard-hitting book that will force any reader to confront moral questions of leadership regarding diversity and the autonomy of black populations in Baltimore. It is most definitely worth a read, but have a glass of strong whiskey handy!