Conor Lynch: The Roots of the Baltimore Tragedy

Diane Ravitch's blog

Conor Lynch writes in Salon that the rightwing media is having fun blaming liberals and liberal social policies for the unrest that followed the death of Freddie Gray.

He quotes commentators from Fox News who see the civil disorders and riots as the fault of the protestors.

What Lynch points out, however, is that Baltimore (like Detroit) was once a thriving industrial city. As globalization and technological change produced deindustrialization, jobs dried up, especially for those striving to rise from poverty to the working class. The war on drugs, he writes, led to mass incarceration of black men, even though whites use drugs as often as blacks. And then there is the historic residential segregation in Baltimore, enforced by federal, state, and local policies.

Back in the mid-20th century, Baltimore was a booming manufacturing hub, as were many other cities that today have become shadows of their former selves, such…

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