The New Mayor of Baltimore
by Wayne Flaherty
Television is a powerful medium. It instantly transports the viewer to anywhere in the world and inserts them into the local situation. I know because it happened to me. Yesterday I turned on the news in time to see the elected mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, as she left a building. Preceding her was the new unelected mayor of Baltimore, Al Sharpton. As a reporter tried to ask the elected mayor questions about the recent unrest in her city, he was cut off by Sharpton who informed the reporter that the mayor would not answer any questions. The reporter was informed (by Sharpton) that the mayor would answer questions later at a press conference. Incidentally, the mayor did appear at a press conference where she made a statement and promptly disappeared from the podium by exiting out a rear entrance without answering any questions.
I could barely believe my eyes as this elected official was ordered around by a professional agitator who was never elected to any Baltimore office. When people like Sharpton are suddenly giving orders to an elected official, that official instantly loses all credibility. Mayor Rawlings-Blake might as well step down as she has already ceded her position and all the power that goes with it to the new de-facto mayor of her city. Al Sharpton now calls the shots in Baltimore. He leads the elected mayor around like a willing puppet, pulling the strings to make her do his bidding.
The people of Baltimore had better wake up and begin a recall election so they can elect a real mayor - one who will accept and carry out the duties of the office. Their current pitiful excuse for a mayor ordered the police to stand down as the looters ransacked Baltimore businesses. Again, television was there showing the police standing idly by as the looters destroyed business after business - all with the blessing of the current mayor. To abdicate your responsibility to protect the lives and property of the citizens of your city is one thing but to then turn over control of your city to a professional agitator is nothing short of cowardice and stupidity.
It is obvious Ms. Rawlings-Blake is unfit for office and should be removed as quickly as possible. If Al Sharpton wants to run Baltimore, let him run for election, present his views, and convince the voters that he is the best candidate for mayor. For the present, Ms. Rawlings-Blake should try to find the courage to send Sharpton packing. Unfortunately, there is no evidence she will ever do that. In times of unrest, the last thing Baltimore needs is an agitator ready to throw another log on the fires of discontent.
These situations always resolve themselves in the same way. Investigations are held, responsibility is assigned, punishment is meted out, and new procedures are implemented.. Self appointed agitators have no place in the orderly solution to these kinds of problems.