White peo­ple chose to leave Baltimore rather than help di­ver­sify it

Baltimore Sun - - MARYLAND VOICES -

I agree with Dan Ro­dricks about the beauty and pos­si­bil­i­ties of row homes in Baltimore. I worked on sev­eral such homes when I was a pro­fes­sional car­pen­ter (“Dan Ro­dricks: Baltimore’s va­cants re­main sym­bols of fail­ure and fu­ture,” Nov.1).

How­ever, his de­pic­tion of the “push to­ward in­te­gra­tion” as driv­ing white fam­i­lies away ig­nores the fact that those fam­i­lies could have cho­sen to stay and help to cre­ate a stronger and more di­verse com­mu­nity. Oth­er­wise, Mr. Ro­dricks’ com­ment makes it sound like black peo­ple in­vaded and over­whelmed these neigh­bor­hoods. We now know that this process was a cal­cu­lated and per­ni­cious ef­fort to use racism, once again, to make money by play­ing on peo­ple’s fears.

I be­lieve that Mr. Ro­dricks un­der­stands this per­spec­tive, but it’s im­por­tant to call some­thing for what it is. Given all that, I share his hope that many of Baltimore’s row homes, and their com­mu­ni­ties, can be re­stored.

Gil­bert Bliss, Free­land

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