Put the tweet down, brother, and just show up.’ Baltimore responds to Trump calling city rat infested

Butin GateJuly 30, 2019

BALTIMORE – Thomas Williams wasn’t shocked when President Donald Trump lit into his hometown over the weekend, describing the city he has called home for nearly seven decades as a “rat and rodent infested mess” where “no human being” wants to live.

But Williams said he does have a question for a president who promised to improve conditions in struggling cities like Baltimore and who called for an end to “American carnage” in his 2017 inaugural address: Where is the federal government?

“He’s critical, but he’s not helping,” said Williams, a 67-year-old security guard who was eating shaved iceinside one of the city’s beloved public markets Monday. “He’s in a position to.”

Trump attacked Baltimore – a majority-black city – as part of a series of tweets in which he blasted Rep. Elijah Cummings, an African American lawmaker and prominent House Democrat who represents the city and parts of its surrounding suburbs.

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Baltimore has a shrinking population and a stubborn homicide rate. In 2015, riots broke out there following the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who died from injuries sustained in policy custody. And a series of scandals have rocked City Hall, forcing two mayors to resign in less than a decade.But as city officials and longtime residents largely dismissed the president’s tweets as another effort to divide Americans along racial lines heading into the 2020 election, they also questioned the Trump administration’s commitment to heavily Democratic cities such as Baltimore, Detroit and Chicago that he frequently held up during his 2016 campaign as places that would benefit from a “law and order” presidency.

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If Trump holds such strong feelings about Baltimore three years into his presidency, Mayor Bernard “Jack” Young wondered, why isn’t he doing more to help?

“If he really wants to help cities like Baltimore, he has to direct federal resources here to help us with infrastructure, instead of just bashing the City of