Baltimore Officials Defend the City After Trump’s Attacks

Baltimore officials are defending the city of Baltimore after President Donald Trump launched a series of tweets attacking the city and one of its representatives.

On July 27, Trump attacked Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings, who represents Maryland's 7th Congressional District in the House. Cummings, who is also the House Oversight Committee Chairman, had criticized top Homeland Security officials for the conditions migrants are enduring while being detained at the southern border, according to the Associated Press. Trump lashed out on Twitter, calling Cummings a “brutal bully.”

“Rep, Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men (and) women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border, when actually his Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous. His district is considered the Worst in the USA,” Trump tweeted.

“As proven last week during a Congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient (and) well run, just very crowded.

Cumming District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous (and) filthy place,” he continued in his Twitter thread.

Cummings and many other lawmakers from the city were quick to stand up for Baltimore, with the hashtag #wearebaltimore trending on social media the same day.

“Mr. President, I go home to my district daily. Each morning, I wake up, and I go and fight for my neighbors,” Cummings wrote on Twitter. “It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch. But, it is my moral duty to fight for my constituents.”

The city’s mayor, Bernard C. “Jack” Young, also released a statement following the president’s attack and called his words “hurtful and dangerous.”

“It’s completely unacceptable for the political leader of our country to denigrate a vibrant American city like Baltimore, and to viciously attack U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings a patriot and a hero. Mr. Trump’s rhetoric is hurtful and dangerous to the people he’s sworn to represent,” Young wrote. “Mr. Trump, you are a disappointment to the people of Baltimore, our country, and to the world.”

Other leaders and members of Congress have also blasted Trump for his comments about Baltimore. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi came to Cummings’ defense and called him a “deeply valued colleague.”

“@RepCummings is a champion in the Congress and the country for civil rights and economic justice, a beloved leader in Baltimore, and deeply valued colleague. We all reject racist attacks against him and support his steadfast leadership,” Pelosi wrote on Twitter.

The Baltimore Sun Editorial board also slammed Trump for his comments about their city. The newspaper said, Cummings "has been a thorn in this president's side, and Mr. Trump sees attacking African American members of Congress as good politics, as it both warms the cockles of the white supremacists who love him and causes so many of the thoughtful people who don't to scream."

The publication also pointed out that Trump is still the president of the US, and if there are any issues in a city, those responsibilities also lie on him.

"(W)e would above all remind Mr. Trump that the 7th District, Baltimore included, is part of the United States that he is supposedly governing," the paper read. "The White House has far more power to effect change in this city, for good or ill, than any single member of Congress including Mr. Cummings. If there are problems here, rodents included, they are as much his responsibility as anyone's, perhaps more because he holds the most powerful office in the land."

This is just one of the racist tirades Trump has launched this month. On July 22, Trump called four freshmen lawmakers a “racist group of troublemakers.”

“The ‘Squad’ is a very Racist group of troublemakers who are young, inexperienced, and not very smart. They are pulling the once great Democrat Party far left, and were against humanitarian aid at the Border ... And are now against ICE and Homeland Security. So bad for our Country!” Trump previously tweeted.

The “squad” Trump referenced is comprised of Massachusetts Representative Ayanna Pressley, Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar, Michigan Representative Rashida Tlaib, and New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The president had attacked the four congresswomen on Twitter a week prior, writing that they should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” All of the women are US citizens, and Omar came to the country from Somalia as a child.

About the Author

Maria Perez is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has an M.A. in Urban Reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has been published in the various venues, including Newsweek, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, City Limits, and local newspapers like The Wave and The Home Reporter.