Police Abuse

David Simon on How Civil Rights Were Destroyed in Baltimore And Why He Might Vote For One of the Men Responsible Anyway

Behold how intractable tribalism can make a problem

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"The Wire"/HBO

The Marshall Project has an interview with advisory board member David Simon, a veteran Baltimore reporter who covered the police beat from the early '80s to the early '90s and is best known for creating the HBO series The Wire, which chronicled inner city life, and many of its problems, in Baltimore.

Bill Keller, the former executive editor of The New York Times, interviews:

BK: What do people outside the city need to understand about what's going on there—the death of Freddie Gray and the response to it?

DS: I guess there's an awful lot to understand and I'm not sure I understand all of it. The part that seems systemic and connected is that the drug war—which Baltimore waged as aggressively as any American city—was transforming in terms of police/community relations, in terms of trust, particularly between the black community and the police department. Probable cause was destroyed by the drug war. It happened in stages, but even in the time that I was a police reporter, which would have been the early 80s to the early 90s, the need for police officers to address the basic rights of the people they were policing in Baltimore was minimized. It was done almost as a plan by the local government, by police commissioners and mayors, and it not only made everybody in these poor communities vulnerable to the most arbitrary behavior on the part of the police officers, it taught police officers how not to distinguish in ways that they once did.

Simon explained, for example, how you used to be able to get away with calling a Baltimore cop a motherfucker, but you might get thrown for a rough ride in the wagon if you called him an asshole. Sound like assholes, don't they? But that, explains Simon, was what they considered a code. And it's gotten worse since then. Now, Simon notes, the cops beat up on teenagers and elderly grandmothers.

Keller asked if having a black mayor, a black police chief, and a substantially black police force may have affected this slide into ever more egregious police conduct.

Simon explains, as others have, that black cops are certainly not guaranteed to be less brutal to black residents. The interview:

When Ed [Burns] and I reported "The Corner," it became clear that the most brutal cops in our sector of the Western District were black. The guys who would really kick your ass without thinking twice were black officers. If I had to guess and put a name on it, I'd say that at some point, the drug war was as much a function of class and social control as it was of racism. I think the two agendas are inextricably linked, and where one picks up and the other ends is hard to say. But when you have African-American officers beating the dog-piss out of people they're supposed to be policing, and there isn't a white guy in the equation on a street level, it's pretty remarkable. But in some ways they were empowered…  You take out your nightstick and you're white and you start hitting somebody, it has a completely different dynamic than if you were a black officer. It was simply safer to be brutal if you were black, and I didn't know quite what to do with that fact other than report it. It was as disturbing a dynamic as I could imagine. Something had been removed from the equation that gave white officers — however brutal they wanted to be, or however brutal they thought the moment required — it gave them pause before pulling out a nightstick and going at it. Some African American officers seemed to feel no such pause.

Simon also explains how Baltimore's last Democratic mayor, Martin O'Malley—there hasn't been a Republican mayor in Baltimore since the 60s—helped create this toxic environment where the rights of an entire population in Baltimore are systematically trampled:

The drug war began it, certainly, but the stake through the heart of police procedure in Baltimore was Martin O'Malley.  He destroyed police work in some real respects. Whatever was left of it when he took over the police department, if there were two bricks together that were the suggestion of an edifice that you could have called meaningful police work, he found a way to pull them apart.

But despite the damage O'Malley appears to have done to the constitutional rights of Baltimore, Simon insists there's no hard feelings. And he illustrates why, despite the upswell in expressed concern and awareness of the problem of police brutality, meaningful change is a long way away. Simon, apparently, would vote for O'Malley despite a record that ought to disqualify him as a choice for anyone concerned about civil rights. The interview:

Everyone thinks I've got a hard-on for Marty because we battled over "The Wire," whether it was bad for the city, whether we'd be filming it in Baltimore. But it's been years, and I mean, that's over. I shook hands with him on the train last year and we buried it. And, hey, if he's the Democratic nominee, I'm going to end up voting for him. It's not personal and I admire some of his other stances on the death penalty and gay rights. But to be honest, what happened under his watch as Baltimore's mayor was that he wanted to be governor.

A frustrating bit to find buried in a fascinating interview (which you should read in its entirety), but this is the political reality we live in—where mayors who are blamed for putting a "stake through the heart of police procedure" (to attain higher office!) still get the support (to attain higher office) of people concerned about civil rights, because they belong to the right party, because they're signaling the right things. It makes real life seem more fatalistic than The Wire.

Check out Reason TV's interview with David Simon here:

And Reason TV's interview with Bill Keller about the Marshall Project here:

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124 responses to “David Simon on How Civil Rights Were Destroyed in Baltimore And Why He Might Vote For One of the Men Responsible Anyway

  1. “Man’s gotta have a code”. And Simon’s code is to vote blue no matter what, how disappointing.

    1. Why is that disappointing? White liberals always say they care about the plight of black folks, but their priorities have always been 1) abortion, 2) gay marriage, 3) whatever else that doesn’t require a nuanced position and validates their social identity as “white liberals”. Everything else takes a back seat in the end, because ultimately they care about themselves and vote accordingly.

    2. What a fucking asshole. How disappointing.

  2. David Simon: ‘There are now two Americas. My country is a horror show’

    Ultimately we abandoned that and believed in the idea of trickle-down and the idea of the market economy and the market knows best, to the point where now libertarianism in my country is actually being taken seriously as an intelligent mode of political thought. It’s astonishing to me. But it is. People are saying I don’t need anything but my own ability to earn a profit. I’m not connected to society. I don’t care how the road got built, I don’t care where the firefighter comes from, I don’t care who educates the kids other than my kids. I am me. It’s the triumph of the self. I am me, hear me roar.

    What a hero.

    1. Arguing with the libertarian strawmen in his head. I think Simon, to use his own analogy from the “Two Americas” piece, is a better diagnostician than clinician.

    2. I wonder if it bothers him that he accidentally made one of the most libertarian shows ever.

      1. I completely disagree with the idea that The Wire is libertarian at all. Simon’s whole thing is that he points out truths, which is nice, but he makes absolutely no value judgement on them at all. He goes “this is dysfunctional”, but has no suggestions on how to fix it, or who or what might be to blame, etc. Just like he’s doing here. It was also the reason Generation Kill was so unsatisfying. There was no…opinion to it. No thoughts on anything other than “war is fucked”. No thought on why they happen anyway. No thoughts at all.

        Simon blunders into a reputation for making “libertarian” shows that is, in my opinion, completely undeserved.

        1. Yeah, Just because you show the cops to be corrupt assholes they are, doesn’t make you a Libertarian. You could argue that The Wire is anti Libertarian if it is anything. The show never showed anyone overcoming or being anything but a victim of circumstances and the system. That is hardly supportive of the principle of personal autonomy and freedom.

          1. Bubbles? Namond?

          2. Not true. Namond got out of the hood, but only b/c he got OUT of the system and Bunny Colvin, who also got out of the BPD bureaucracy, raised him. Cutty wasn’t a victim of circumstance, he changed once out of prison and became an entrepreneur. Poot got a ‘real’ job too, a menial one, but attempted to self-direct. Maybe Simon just did these things to tie up narrative loose ends, but there are several characters that were not strictly victims of circumstance.

            1. I’d also argue that if you’re a victim of circumstances but those circumstances are entirely the fault of corrupt governance that’s a pretty libertarian message. No matter how hard you try to improve yourself in Cuba, for example, you’ll still be utterly fucked because of how the country is run.

              The fact that you’re a victim of circumstances in that instance and can’t bootstrap your way up when you’re being held down by the Cuban state is hardly an anti-libertarian point to make.

              1. Which is what I think Simon diagnoses well in The Wire, but apparently his cure is to vote for the same party that’s run the city for 50 years.
                Simon can diagnose the gunshot wound to the back, but his treatment plan is to shoot you in face.

        2. Actually, there were some suggestions that I picked up on from the ranting of some of the main characters. For example, Carcetti is always bitching about that damn Republican governor who won’t give the city any more money for its schools. And then there’s the union guys bitching about free trade and the journalists bitching about TEH CORPORATIONS owning the media.

          1. For me, the fact that he didn’t single out the cops and the longshoremen’s union and the newsroom for more scathing treatment meant a lot. Because pretty much any libertarian would be going after them hard, and he actually is almost hands off.

            1. Some how he did all those seasons and police union never made the radar of his show.
              Curious.

          2. In other words, even when employees of a leftist government are massacring the poor, somehow, it’s the fault of corporations not giving that leftist government enough money; they made them do it.

            How much money do you need to get paid to not destroy everything you touch?

        3. It was also the reason Generation Kill was so unsatisfying.

          really, because that’s one of the reasons that I found GK so good – there’s no real ideological axe to grind, no hitting you over the head with a message anvil.

          It *subtly* shows how different factions inside a humungous undertaking, ostensibly allied but each pursuing their own goals, spend as much time unknowingly tripping each other up.

          In all that is just some Marines trying to get their mission done in the midst of what could have been a real clusterfuck if the US had faced a competent enemy.

    3. Proof that you can be a great writer and create a great show and still be incredibly disjointed and disconnected, if not outright superficial and vacuous, in your thinking. I mean really. He said that?

      Hey Simon, no. HEAR ME ROAR…

      BY THE POWER OF GREY SKULL!

    4. People are saying I don’t need anything but my own ability to earn a profit. I’m not connected to society. I don’t care how the road got built, I don’t care where the firefighter comes from, I don’t care who educates the kids other than my kids. I am me. It’s the triumph of the self. I am me, hear me roar.

      It’s hard to reconcile how a guy who is that good at writing and creating a believable world, filled with fictional characters, can know so little about them.

      Seriously. It’s like he has split personalities and one of them is retarded.

      1. I gave up on expecting brilliant people to make sense a long time ago. It’s basically like team sports for these people. A guy from Green Bay wouldn’t ask his genius friend in Chicago. “why hare you a Bears’ fan and not a Packers’ fan? I mean you’re so smart, you should be a Packers’ fan!”

        Politics is essentially the same way. You’re basically born and raised into a side, or maybe you convert to it, but once you’ve converted, you never actually really think about it again. That’s almost the whole point I think of political ideologies. When a question comes up, you don’t need to think about it at all: you’ve already got your ready made collection of brand name answers to whip out without a second thought. Smart people being every bit as lazy as stupid ones will do this too.

    5. Far and away the most common strawman against individualism, repeated ad nauseum. Oh, we all just want to be Ted Kaczynski living alone in the woods with no contact with society. Ugh. For fuck sake learn that there’s a whole classical liberal tradition from Adam Smith to Hayek that talks about interactions in society. We want society to be voluntary associations, not forced. Why is that so difficult to comprehend?

    6. People are saying I don’t need anything but my own ability to earn a profit. I’m not connected to society.

      Maybe “people” are saying those things, but those are not libertarian ideas.

      I don’t care how the road got built, I don’t care where the firefighter comes from, I don’t care who educates the kids other than my kids.

      Umm, this is the statist point of view. “The government will take care of it. Not me.”

  3. I’d say that at some point, the drug war was as much a function of class and social control as it was of racism

    Much, much more a function of class and social control. Racism is way in the back seat.

    1. The drug war is a war against poor people. It appears racist because a high proportion of poor people are black. But I don’t think racism is a motivator here. It’s all about sticking it to poor people who lack the ability to defend themselves in court, regardless of skin color.

    2. That may be true, but classist motivations can lead to racist actions. For example, “I don’t want to fuck with that white guy, because there’s too great a chance he has a lawyer that could raise hell, but I probably don’t have to worry about that if I mess with that black guy over there.”

      (The example’s meant to illustrate the point, not necessarily to represent exactly how the thought process and situations go).

      1. The drug war exists in rural West Virginia and Kentucky and Iowa as well

      2. The drug war exists in rural West Virginia and Kentucky and Iowa as well

        1. I am almost the worst.

        2. I didn’t suggest it didn’t, or that white people are never victims of it.

      3. True in a superficial sense. In the sense that policy is motivated by racism in the sense of bigotry against persons on account of their race, I don’t see much evidence that such is a significant driver of current policy.

        1. It would explain certain facets, but some sort of drug war has been practiced in many parts of the world over many centuries, so there’s something about drugs that seems to trigger. Probably because the squares are bugged that some people seem to be able to get off on tea, booze, herbs, pills, etc. with little effort, while the squares don’t get it & require too much effort to enjoy themselves.

  4. Simon seems to be a textbook example of how so many people who have a progressive world view can both see the problems in front of them but somehow not see how their own policies have created or exacerbated these problems. They seem to be utterly incapable of “thinking outside the their box”, and so go back to the same well no matter what. It’s why they can say “this politician was terrible, so I’m voting for them again because…uh…reasons”.

    It’s incredibly strange. How can one not change one’s approach when confronted with overwhelming evidence that one’s approach sucks monkey balls?

    1. Because you’ve secretly come to love the monkey, Epi. You worship that monkey, balls and all.

    2. I think that’s just human nature. Libertarianism simply has less failure modes than other ideologies in implementation, and as a minority viewpoint doesn’t have the choice of leaving its own sectarian preferences unexamined.

    3. They’re afraid of the Episiarchy.

    4. How can one not change one’s approach when confronted with overwhelming evidence that one’s approach sucks monkey balls?

      Criticism of the results of the approach are seen as criticism of the good intentions that bore it. If you disagree with the approach then you must also disagree with the good intentions. Not only that, but you must have bad intentions if you disagree with the good intentions, which makes you a bad person.

      So anyone who criticizes the results is a bad person with bad intentions.

      1. The trouble is that people take criticism as insult, instruction as put-down.

    5. It is actual not that strange. The truth is that Simon, despite his claims to the contrary, really doesn’t give a fuck about black people or the people of Baltimore.

      No politician is perfect. So when you support one you are necessarily supporting some things you don’t like or agree with. You support for that candidate doesn’t mean you like those things. It just means you consider those things to be a price worth paying to get whatever good you think the politician is going to provide.

      That is all that is happening here with Simon. Sure O’Malley was a totalitarian asshole who did all kinds of horrible things to the people of Baltimore and black people in particular. But O’Malley is also a liberal and supports high taxes and big government and a lot of things that Simon really likes. It is not that he supports what O’Malley did to Baltimore or doesn’t understand it. He doesn’t and he does. It is that Simon thinks getting progressive policies enacted is more important than what O”Malley did to Baltimore. Simon therefore has no problem with voting for O’Malley. He just views the black community getting totally fucked as a price worth paying to get that.

      Simon can never claim that he cares about the black people or the city of Baltimore, because he clearly doesn’t. Simon is a fucking racist who doesn’t give a shit about anything but his own ideology.

      1. Simon is probably one of the worst people I’ve ever encountered. He’s not even in denial, he just doesn’t give a shit.

        1. It would be like if it came out that Rand Paul had once been a crooked DA who got cops to torture people and had put multiple innocent people on death row and Libertarians were like “well sure we had some problems over that whole torture and sending innocent people to death row thing, but t hat was years ago and we have put that behind us.” Any Libertarian who said such a thing would no longer have any right to claim to care about liberty, justice or criminal justice reform.

        2. Yeah –
          Saw him in a coffee shop and didn’t approach him to gush about any of his writing BECAUSE he’s on the record so many times as being a partisan dickhead at the end of the day.

      2. Yep.

      3. Sadly, I think you’re right. At the end of the day it’s just narcissism and ego for them.

        1. Consider this. If O’Malley came out against gay marriage tomorrow, Simon would drop him like third period French. Yet, Simon admits that O’Malley

          The drug war began it, certainly, but the stake through the heart of police procedure in Baltimore was Martin O’Malley. He destroyed police work in some real respects. Whatever was left of it when he took over the police department, if there were two bricks together that were the suggestion of an edifice that you could have called meaningful police work, he found a way to pull them apart.

          And he is still happy to vote for him. That is some fucked up shit when you think about it.

          1. I think this is dead on. Being a contemporary liberal is primarily about social signaling. As long as you SAY the right things about blacks, gays, taxes, etc., then you’re a good person. Nothing else matters.

            1. Botard the Hotard is living proof of this.

  5. This is Jack’s complete lack of surprise.

    *sigh*

  6. And, hey, if he’s the Democratic nominee, I’m going to end up voting for him. It’s not personal and I admire some of his other stances on the death penalty and gay rights.

    Jesus fuck. So we’ll all be forced into a life sentence and get gay married in our little Gulag of David Simon’s making. Thanks, Dave, thanks a lot.

    Go Dems!

    1. That is one stupid motherfucking asshole.

    2. No kidding–it kind of proves John’s assertion above that Simon puts ideology ahead of whatever social issues he thinks are important.

      “This guy sucked when he was mayor of Baltimore, but I voted for him then and I’ll vote for him again because he’s a Democrat.”

      Simon’s really nothing more than a sheep who happens to have a bit of self-awareness that the flock he belongs to is being directed by a retarded shepherd.

    3. Some people’s priorities are bizarre. I get the idea of compromising on a candidate, taking the bad to get the good, but the weights given to the issues…I can understand for a narrow interest group, but widely shared??! The number of people in this country (although I guess it might send some signal to the rest of the world) legally put to death is tiny, and then usually their only other choice is life in prison anyway. Rather few people want to marry someone of the same sex,(almost always 2 women), & it’s only a matter of their getting it legally recognized by others. Contrast those issues w the danger we’re all in from the war on drugs (including effective pain rx) & police lawlessness.

  7. **trigger warning Gawker***

    OT: Article about how to billionaires are going to destroy Detroit, after capitalism already destroyed Detroit.

    David Simon is on the same level as Gawker. Way to go, Dave!

    1. Gawker is officially on my don’t click list. It’s a short list, really.

      1. I have a soft spot for Deadspin, even though I know better. And then I saw the Detroit story and clicked on it and read it, even though I know better. Also, because I hate myself. And you. I hate all of you.

        1. I remember when Deadspin was actually funny. Seems like a long time ago now.

          1. I go there a few times a week and mostly scroll through the stories looking for something interesting. It is a bigger waste of time than finding a libertarian woman who is into men who flash strangers at bus stops.

          2. Everything went to shit when Will Leitch left and the general tone of the site became identical to Gawker – mean spirited, nasty, full of itself.

            I still go to read Magary because the guy is reliably hilarious, but that’s it. It’ll be a cold day in hell before I ever click on anything by Tommy Craggs or Barry Petchesky.

          3. One of the best moments from the 2014 elections was when Deadspin completely fucked up a hit piece on Cory Gardner, by saying he was never on his high school football team after Gardner referenced it during a speech.

            It was glorious. A bunch of proglydyte slack-jaws went all a-twitter in the comments section: “Well, his campaign’s done.” “A Republican that lies? How unexpected!” Blah blah blah.

            Gardner then posted a picture from his sophomore year that showed him in uniform–the individual ones that you get on team photo day which show your face plain as day. The commenters that were yucking it up when completely silent. It was such a bad fuckup that not only did the original reporter double down on his hackery by claiming a bad source (which that person immediately disputed, revealing the reporter blatantly misrepresented what the source told him), but Commie Craggs finally had to step in with a full-throated “we really fucked this up bad” note.

            I didn’t even vote for Gardner, but watching that train wreck gave me warm fuzzies for a week.

    2. I have a friend who grew up in Detroit (near 5 mile and the Southfield Fwy) and I went to see his hood a couple years ago on a visit. The thing that he found so incredible was that the same buildings that had been boarded up when he was a kid in the 80’s were still boarded up and abandoned.

      Nothing has changed in Detroit for 30 years other than more murders and more empty boarded up houses.

      1. The problem is that the proposed solutions will be public/private partnerships. Capitalism will be blamed, yet again.

    3. Hilarious.

      “As Detroit’s government has been hollowed out by forces beyond its control?emergency management, a fleeing tax base, cuts to federal funding?a small group of rich investors have descended on the city, filling in public sector gaps with personal funds, and remaking Detroit in their image. On top of this, local politicians?like Democratic Mayor Mike Duggan and Republican Governor Rick Snyder?as well as national media, have become enamored with these men, painting them as philanthropists on a mission to rescue Detroit.”

      Clearly the best solution is having no money and totally defaulting.

      Then there’s this:

      “As many as 100,000 people could lose their homes as the county cracks down on people who owe as little as a few hundred dollars in back taxes. The county had for years allowed taxes to pile up, choosing not to go after tens of thousands of properties. It allowed people to go further into debt, increasing the likelihood they would not be able to pay off such large sums.”

      So high taxes are causing poor people to lose their houses. I wish there was some way to rectify this problem. I think I’d call it a ‘tax cut’ and I’m sure these leftists would be all in favor of tax cuts, right?

      1. If they didn’t tax them, they couldn’t save them

      2. “As many as 100,000 people could lose their homes as the county cracks down on people who owe as little as a few hundred dollars in back taxes. The county had for years allowed taxes to pile up, choosing not to go after tens of thousands of properties. It allowed people to go further into debt, increasing the likelihood they would not be able to pay off such large sums.”

        The mendacity in this statement is pretty typical for a Gawker-tard piece. It’s basically arguing that the county should have let people live in their homes without collecting taxes, because you know damn well Gawker would be squealing if the county had been more proactive about collecting taxes and bringing actions against “people who don’t have jerbs!”

        But when libertarians suggest that perhaps property taxes aren’t the most efficient way of funding basic public services, cue the outrage and fainting couches. Progressives like the Gawker claque are some of the most fork-tongued motherfuckers in today’s America. They make William Randolph Hearst look like St Francis of Assisi.

  8. The Negroes appreciate his nuance.

  9. What was the definition of insanity again?

    1. Voting Democrat, expecting different results.

      1. Voting Democrat, expecting different results.

        FTFY

  10. Missing a block quote in there, Ed.

  11. What an utter, depressing disappointment Simon is.

    He damn well knows who created the mess and STILL is willing to vote for them.

    Libertarian moment my ass.

    1. STATED INTENTIONS is all that matters, particularly in the media and entertainment businesses. Everything is superficial, nothing is examined below the surface.

    2. He is a racist piece of shit. Not only does he not care about the plight of the black community, he also happily exploited it to make millions in the form of the poverty porn known as The Wire. Simon has never done a God damned thing to help the people he claims to care so much about and is happy to reward the person responsible for so much of their misery with the Presidency.

      1. Simon is not a racist. You can’t read any of his books (which are very good, incidentally) while still thinking he’s a racist.

        Simon is a really, really simplistic thinker who is capable of seeing problems existing around him but has no self-awareness and is completely incapable of abstract thought. He’s like a robot that receives inputs and can explain those inputs to other people, but, being a robot, doesn’t have the ability for independent thought.

        1. Fuck him, he is a racist. You can’t look at what O’Mallley did and excuse it without being a racist at some level. The only way you can look past that and not be outraged and think “fuck him he should never be in charge of anything again” is if you don’t look at black people as real human beings and are not affected by their suffering the way you would other people. I bet if O’Malley had fucked over a bunch of Hollywood people, Simon wouldn’t be so forgiving. That makes him a racist. I don’t care how many nice things he says about black people.

          1. John, I think that people like o’Malley or Simon do believe they’re helping the poor minorities, but they’re so steeped in progressive politics, they believe that buying and operating a Hilton hotel will make it all better.

            It’s not motivated by racism, it’s motivated by believing in the economic equivalent of creation science.

            1. No. He knows what harm occurs and he doesn’t care. That is being a racist.

            2. By your logic, the Soviets really didn’t hate the Kulaks because they honestly thought they were doing the right thing and trying to make the country better for everyone. No, they hated the Kulaks because they were happy to sacrifice their lives to achieve some greater good. It is the same thing here. Simon views what O’Malley did to the black community as just some small price to pay on the way to a larger good. That makes him a racist.

          2. I bet if O’Malley had fucked over a bunch of Hollywood people, Simon wouldn’t be so forgiving. That makes him a racist.

            He’s a racist because of what your own predjudice leads you to imagine he would do in a hypothetical situation?

            1. He says that he wouldn’t support O’Malley if he didn’t support gay marriage. So yes, if O’Malley wanted to deny homosexuals marriage licenses, Simon would never support him Yet, screwing and oppressing thousands of black people is something Simon can get beyond. That makes Simon a racist.

          1. No he didn’t Paul. Sorry but good intentions and stupidity do not absolve you from having clearly malevolent and uncaring opinions.

            1. What I’m trying to avoid here, John is crawling down into the same pit NPR dwells in.

              While the cops increasingly became out of control in this country, NPR keeps screaming that the problem is race. That leaves the real problem unexamined: power, corruption, lack of accountability, municipal unions etc.

              The fact that progressive policies hurt the poor and most vulnerable is a natural consequence of those policies.

              Is it racism that the government in Venezuela is hurting poor Hispanics? No, it’s just the predictable result of progressivism and socialism.

              Rich people of any color will always be able to escape the progressive policies they often vote for. Race is a side effect.

              1. Progs know those policies hurt blacks and support them anyway. They are willing to sacrifice poor black people to get what they want. That is racist.

                1. Goddamn, no John it’s not racist. The progs would do it to anyone and they do. A lot of black people happen to be poor and a lot of black communities suck major balls but the progs aren’t abusing them because they are black.

                  There’s just as many poor *insert color here* people and the progs hurt them just as bad. It’s about power, that’s all a prog cares about in the end.

                  I imagine the progs like Papaltine, and how freedom will die, “with thunderous applause”.

                  1. The progs would do it to anyone and they do.

                    No they wouldn’t. They wouldn’t do it to rich, right thinking white people. Just because you also hate poor white people and anyone who disagrees with you, doesn’t mean you also can’t be a racist.

                    1. I’ll grant you that most of the progs spouting their nonsense live in their all white, gated communities, but there have been many instances of well to do leftists finally getting hit by their own policies. The taste of their crocodile tears when this happens is delicious by the way.

                      I really feel that it’s not about race but rather about them being afraid of poor people (they’ve admitted this much before). They look at poor people like animals that need to be controlled and them being the superior creature, they know what is best for them.

  12. But everyone knows it is the Republicans and the Tea Party who are the real racists.

    1. Of course they are. Democrat policies are based upon good intentions. Anyone who disagrees with the policies must have bad intentions. If a Democrat policy is intended to help minorities, then anyone who disagrees with the policy or points out poor results of the policy must have racist intentions. That’s why Republicans and the TEA Party are racist, and why libertarians are the most racist of all.

    2. Finally someone in this thread gets it. Can you imagine voting for a Republican? Gross!

  13. So we know he didn’t watch his own show.

  14. The thing you have to understand about us, the leftist elite, is that we don’t really believe what we say. We say we oppose “the system,” “the system”(substituent whatever synonym you want) is responsible for the Black man’s wows, ect. But we, the elite, not the idiot on the street, know that we ARE the system. Baltimore, like Fergusson, is not unique but is the pattern commonly seen in areas with large Black populations.

    Libertarians, who have no power, can easily decry our oppression of the Blacks in the cities and states we control. But I doubt you’d do any better. We mass imprison Blacks not because we hate Blacks, though we don’t particularly like them, we do it so that we can go about our day without fearing that we will be robbed or raped. Plus, the Black community for the most part wants us to. They don’t support legalization of drugs, they see the harm it does to their community. They whine of course, but they aren’t going to support the alternative of letting the most brutal and impulsive of their race run wild.

      1. I’m not sure this is American. American usually doesn’t say “blacks”, he tries to hide his racism behind weasel words.

        1. I remember his MO being to start off slowly and avoid being explicitly racist, but to then gradually build up until he was mouthing KKK talking points.

    1. They don’t support legalization of drugs, they see the harm it does to their community.

      WTF? There was a legalization of drugs? When did that happen?

  15. “My heroin addiction has really ruined my life…hold on, I’m jonesing again, I need more heroin.”

  16. VOTE TEAM!
    Because, intentions. What a maroon.

  17. As Detroit’s government has been hollowed out by forces beyond its control

    *head falls off, rolls under desk*

  18. “…this is the political reality we live in?where mayors who are blamed for putting a “stake through the heart of police procedure” (to attain higher office!) still get the support (to attain higher office) of people concerned about civil rights, because they belong to the right party, because they’re signaling the right things.”

    That tells me that his “concern” over civil rights is not especially important to him. Certainly not important enough to risk being seen as going against his stupid “team.”

    Another supporter of principals over principles — how sadly predictable.

  19. But to be honest, what happened under his watch as Baltimore’s mayor was that he wanted to be governor.

    Does this mean Simon is yet another ends justify the means type of liberal?

    1. BTW, I have to tell you – every time I see one of your comment, the Big Black song “Fists of Love” starts playing in my head.

    2. I thought all liberals were the ends justify the means types.

  20. Democrats have held Baltimore municipal government in an iron grip for 48 years – definitely keep voting for them, Dave. They’ve done such a wonderful job up to now, right?

  21. But everyone knows it is the Republicans and the Tea Party who are the real racists.
    .
    Exactly
    “O’Malley may be an incompetent bungler, and he may have made everyone worse off, but Republicans are EVUL!”

  22. “if he’s the Democratic nominee, I’m going to end up voting for him. It’s not personal and I admire some of his other stances on the death penalty and gay rights.”

    Translation: I value gay rights and elimination of the death penalty significantly more than keeping millions of black kids from having their lives ruined or ended through our insane criminal justice system.

    1. Bingo. It is actually not partisanship. If O’Malley came out against gay marriage or supported the death penalty, Simon wouldn’t support him, Democrat or no. Simon just doesn’t think oppressing and destroying the lives of millions of black people is really that big of a deal. He doesn’t like it and thinks it is a shame and all but it is not like doing something about it is worth sacrificing something important like gay marriage.

      He is a racist fuck.

    2. Keeping those black kids in economic bondage means maintaining the progressive status quo. It’s more about priorities than race.

      1. But those priorities tell you what he thinks about race. Think about it Paul, he is saying that he is fine with black people being treated this way if that is the price necessary to pay in order to get progressive policies enacted.

        It would be one thing if he were willing to pay that price himself or if he were willing for people like him to do so. He is of course not willing to do that. He says outright that he wouldn’t support O’Malley if he wasn’t for gay marriage. So Simon thinks gays not getting marriage licenses is too big of a price to pay for his team being in power but the entire police force in Baltimore being turned into a weapon to oppress the black community is a price worth paying. That is fucking racist. How is it anything but racist?

        1. It’s not racist because it’s not just about blacks. The police could be doing it against anyone and the progs wouldn’t give a shit. The progs care about 3 things: gay marriage, abortion, and taxing the rich (but not themselves). Beyond that, they are complete totalitarian fuckwads that want complete domination over everyone and every thing.

          The black community needs to get its head of its ass and see that the progs are not their friends/allies. Sadly they’ve fallen victim to the lip service/but do the complete opposite, game that the progs play.

  23. When Ed [Burns] and I reported “The Corner,” it became clear that the most brutal cops in our sector of the Western District were black. The guys who would really kick your ass without thinking twice were black officers . . .

    Ain’t nothing lower than a black slaver.

    1. I hate Ed Burns movies.

      1. Confidence was pretty good

  24. I firmly believe that a politician could come out and say, “I’m going to slaughter the firstborn of every family and I’m gonna rape every woman I see, but I’m also going to legalize gay marriage.” and every fucking prog piece of fucking shit would vote for that person.

    I know in principle I should support gay marriage but goddamn between the witch hunts and the complete inability to accomplish much, much more important things, there’s a big piece of me that just wants to tell the gays to go fuck themselves and to shut the fuck up, you’re not getting married, we’ve bigger fish to fry.

    1. By the same token, you know they’d oppose bigamy, because that’s for the wrong people.

      Can you imagine how it’d be if, say, homosexuality were primarily a thing of Mormons or some other non-mainstream Christian sect, while polygamy were primarily an interest of successful people in the visual, written, & performing arts (esp. Hollywood big shots)?

      1. By the same token, you know they’d oppose bigamy, because that’s for the wrong people.

        Pretty much. I’ve had gay people tell me flat out that the rights applied to them don’t need to apply to polygamists, even though in principle there’s no logical reason for them to oppose it.

        Our gay commentariat don’t hold those views, but that’s because they put principles over principals.

  25. One has to wonder how the Republicans have not caught onto this little game. All you gotta do is say you support something and then sit back and do jack shit.

    The progs will then love you because, “Hey the guy said it! WOW, what a great person.”.

    This article really made me flip fucking shit. Plus the one that someone linked to about “There’s two Americas.” The comments by those dumb fuck Europeans were some of the derpiest derp known to man. My favorite is now they are claiming to be small gov’t and wanting to eventually abolish the state. How they can say that shit with a straight face is beyond me.

    I let this shit piss me off too much. Goddamn let Iran get a nuke, hopefully Hezbollah will get it and we can get this painful fucking show over with.

    1. Tell me how you really feelz…

    2. are you retarded? republicans have been saying they support small government while building a totalitarian state for decades.

  26. And some of that “army” commutes to work from as far away as PA.

  27. Hey, if Jello Biafra can be friends w Jerry Brown….

  28. While Simon may be an ass , I’m glad to see someone mention the role of the Drug War in fostering Baltimore’s chaos .

    When I saw a list of Freddie Gray’s arrests , almost all of them were for Drug War manufactured offenses .

  29. I really hate it when leftists talk about “being part of society.” Society is precisely what I’m afraid of. Society will eradicate pieces of itself for arbitrary reasons (see the Holocaust). Forgive me for not wanting to be part of the hivemind, Mr. Simon.

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