Martin O’Malley: Rebuilding the American Dream, Like He Rebuilt Baltimore

I feel like I’ve been seeing way too much of Martin O’Malley lately. From being a guest on The Daily Show to playing the guitar on The View, O’Malley seems to not be deterred by his approval ratings. To the average person who only watches the debates and listens to the current soundbites, O’Malley sounds like a good candidate for Clinton’s cabinet (or whatever he’s aiming for at this point). I’ve seen many liberal leaning friends and news sources (especially those who consider police reform a primary issue) express their interest in O’Malley. His criminal justice reform plan even lists “build[ing] trust in law enforcement” as a top priority.

But the thing is, in Maryland we all know the truth about O’Malley.

How can the mayor that ordered mass arrests of innocent people and manipulated crime statistics possibly be the President we trust to understand and implement community policing?

How can the mayor who ruined community and police relations possibly be the President (or whatever position he’s going for) we trust to rebuild faith in the police force?

Back in April, I watched Martin O’Malley stop by West Baltimore for a photo op. Starting at the burned down CVS, he slowly made his way down Penn, shaking hands and smiling with the crowd that had gathered to protest the death of Freddie Gray. I’m sure he thought it was a great idea for him to do before announcing that he was running for President — until an angry protestor on a motorcycle started following him. “YOU DID THIS! YOU KILLED FREDDIE GRAY!” the man yelled. O’Malley quickly picked up his pace and escaped into the black SUV waiting for him at the end of the block.

He wasn’t wrong.

Nothing O’Malley has ever done shows he is capable of facilitating a community oriented policing program, or that he even knows what community policing is.

O’Malley now claims that he wants to make community policing a priority — though Baltimore didn’t get its Community Partnership Division until after O’Malley was long gone from Baltimore. O’Malley’s Baltimore focused on manufactured statistics and graphs, not human compassion or an understanding of how to treat the root causes of crime. Numbers get you noticed by White House, after all.

During the first Democratic debate, O’Malley assured us that in his Baltimore, arrests and crime fell.  He was half right — crime did fall in Baltimore, just like it did nationwide. But I don’t really know why he claimed arrests fell; in 2005 there were over 100,00 arrests in a city of roughly 600,000 people. How could crime possibly be falling if the police saw fit to arrest almost 1/6 of the city’s population? Under O’Malley the blanket policy of the BPD appeared to be “arrest everyone — or else.” People were not arrested for committing crimes, they were arrested and held for up to 54 hours with no charges ever filed. When people were assigned bail, they usually couldn’t pay it and would spend a month or two in jail until their cases would be dismissed. In 2006 the ACLU and NAACP filed a lawsuit against O’Malley for this practice. Spoiler alert: the city settled.

While O’Malley’s BPD were making mass arrests, they certainly didn’t prioritize arresting rapists. In 2010 the Baltimore Sun reported that police would aggressive question rape victims, causing 30% of victims to change their accusation to “unfounded” — which was five times the national average. On paper, the amount of rapes in Baltimore declined 80% versus the national average of 8%; the city didn’t even go for a believable, gradual decrease. 

Not to mention, O’Malley did his best to expedite the school to prison pipeline until political opposition was just too much to handle.

When you see Martin O’Malley talking on TV, please don’t let him blind you with charming jokes about the NRA or the honest good he did here with immigration and gay marriage.

Instead, please remember his first legacy — the city of Baltimore.

Remember Freddie Gray. Tyrone West. George V. King. Officer William Torbit Jr.

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 6.17.20 PM

Advertisements

I’d Rather be Dead Than Pregnant….

…and there are legitimate candidates for President who’d rather I be dead than aborting!

Gosh, nothing puts me in a better mood than watching 10 guys on a stage try to out-brag each other about how  much they hate women’s rights. What a blast the GOP debate was, with each contestant trying to demonstrate his regime had done more to harm Planned Parenthood. What a thrill ride!

There are so many problems I barely even know where to start.

First, we have the conservative idea that government should play a minimal role in our lives — and as a libertarian, I completely agree! That being said, this isn’t the way to do it. The funding that Planned Parenthood receives is more or less minuscule in the grand scheme of things. I can’t speak for all of us, but a large part of what made me begin to identify as libertarian was the stance that once we cut back on taxes and overbearing government red tape, people who can help out will help out.  Cutting something that receives such a tiny amount of the budget (whether at the state or local level) doesn’t translate to people seeing the benefit in their pocketbooks and take home pay; in turn, that doesn’t translate to people having extra money to donate.

I’m not saying the idea to take federal funding out of social welfare programs is wrong; I’m saying the order in which programs are being de-funded is reprehensible. $528 million to subsidize Planned Parenthood in their 2013-2014 fiscal year isn’t so bad when you consider $146 million went to building fucking sports stadiums (which doesn’t help the economy, sorry) or that $3 billion went to testing golf clubs and conducting elementary school experiments in space. So why are we really crying about women’s health services?

Then there’s the whole abortion debacle. The fact that abortion is still a political issue completely blows my mind, yet there stood crazy ass Huckabee, telling us that a fetus needs the same rights as US citizens –I thought you had to be born or naturalized to be a US citizen, but what the fuck do I know? I’m just a woman who was actually born in the US, no need for me to have rights.  

Of course, Trump was there to add his meaningful opinion on abortion. He said knew someone who almost got aborted but is now “a superstar.” What the fuck are you even talking about? Not only does that sound suspiciously like the nonsense Christian rhetoric of “what if Jesus [Christ, Superstar] was aborted?” it also isn’t relevant. Does everyone who knew Jeffrey Dahmer now have an ace in the hole argument for mandatory abortions?!

I’ve written before about how I don’t want kids, but I want to be pretty clear: that isn’t a passive feeling that will be overcome by the grace . I mean if I get knocked up, the parasitic clump of cells WILL be disposed of. Just will it be under the eye of a doctor or on the steps of congress as I stab my uterus until I die?

I can afford to go to another state or fly to Canada, and the idea of bullshit waiting period laws keeping me from being able to immediately get an abortion terrifies me. No, I don’t want to be forced to see the fetus on the screen — not because it’ll make me emotional and change my mind, but because the idea of something growing in me makes me feel physically ill if I think about it too long.

If I have the resources for a round trip international flight and private doctor visit to terminate a pregnancy and I’m still stressed out, I can’t imagine making barely enough to put food in my mouth and needing to drive 13 hours each direction for an abortion with a waiting period.

What disappoints me with the anti-choice crowd is that I go out of my way to talk about the steps I would personally take to abort a child. I would 100% kill myself, and I am not suicidal. Tokophobia and depression are *real* — fucking acknowledge it. I first started talking about sterilization at 18! There are people who DO NOT want kids, who will go through any length to not have them, but it seems like the candidates on stage last night want to keep on pretending only irresponsible teenagers and hookers get abortions. They want to hear “rah rah every kid gets a chance, life is precious.” They don’t want to hear about the expectant mothers of unwanted children are depressed and miserable, about the expectant parents of unwanted children who face financial destruction. So fuck them all.