In 1999, Elijah Cummings Called Baltimore 'Drug Infested' and No One Called Him a Racist


President Donald Trump is being called a racist over his recent comments about Baltimore.

In a tweet last week directed at Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, Trump called the congressman’s Baltimore district a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”

Many criticized Trump’s choice to use the word “infested” and denounced the tweet as a racist attack. The left claims that the use of the word dehumanizes and therefore must be racist.

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Even during Tuesday night’s Democrat debate, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota shamed the president for his Baltimore tweets and promised that if she got elected, “that will stop.”

But the media and the Democrats didn’t object to the use of “infested” when Cummings himself used it in 1999.

During a House hearing, the congressman referred to Baltimore as a “drug-infested” area. Cummings was lamenting the difficulties of counter-narcotics efforts in the city’s high-crime areas.

“This morning, I left my community of Baltimore, a drug-infested area, where a lot of the drugs we are talking about today have already taken the lives of so many children,” Cummings said, “the same children that I watched 14 or 15 years ago as they grew up, now walking around like zombies.”

You can look for 1999 media reports of experts, politicians or commentators criticizing Cumming’s use of the word “infested,” but you will not find any.

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The reason is simple. The left is playing politics with semantics in an effort to smear the president and gain cheap points.

To be clear, the 20-year-old footage of Cummings portrays a man deeply connected to the pain and suffering within his community. I doubt neither his sincerity nor his accuracy as he describes the heart-wrenching conditions of Baltimore.

But for the left to now attack Trump’s use of the word as a disguised signal of a desire to exterminate a race of people, or to call it “racist,” is a cheap and disingenuous smear job.

And, according to some, it’s a tactic that might cost the Democrats the presidential election in 2020.

“It’s one of the greatest things that they can do because there’s no substance to it. The more they cry racism, the more they guarantee Donald Trump is going to be re-elected for four more years,” Pastor Mark Burns told The Epoch Times. “People see through the foolishness.”

The Democrats are anxious to pounce on any opportunity to denigrate the president’s image — even if that means taking obviously nonsensical and hypocritical positions in an effort to gain short-term polling bumps.

But I believe the American people are smarter than that.

I believe the American people have a better memory than the mainstream media gives them credit for.

So when those on the left jump in unison to condemn a phrase or term as politically incorrect, when previously they cared nothing about the same word being used by people from their own side, they reveal they have no answers for America’s problems. They reveal they must play smoke-and-mirrors with the minds of their audience rather than deal with real solutions.

The efficacy of their act will be judged by the voters in 2020, and I am not optimistic for their victory.

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G.S. Hair is the former executive editor of The Western Journal.
G.S. Hair is the former executive editor of The Western Journal and vice president of digital content of Liftable Media.

After graduating law school from the Cecil C. Humphries School of Law, Mr. Hair spent a decade as an attorney practicing at the trial and appellate level in Arkansas and Tennessee. He represented clients in civil litigation, contractual disputes, criminal defense and domestic matters. He spent a significant amount of time representing indigent clients who could not afford private counsel in civil or criminal matters. A desire for justice and fairness was a driving force in Mr. Hair's philosophy of representation. Inspired by Christ’s role as an advocate on our behalf before God, he often represented clients who had no one else to fight on their behalf.

Mr. Hair has been a consultant for Republican political candidates and has crafted grassroots campaign strategies to help mobilize voters in staunchly Democrat regions of the Eastern United States.

In early 2015, he began writing for Conservative Tribune. After the site was acquired by Liftable Media, he shut down his law practice, moved to Arizona and transitioned into the position of site director. He then transitioned to vice president of content. In 2018, after Liftable Media folded all its brands into The Western Journal, he was named executive editor. His mission is to advance conservative principles and be a positive and truthful voice in the media.

He is married and has four children. He resides in Phoenix, Arizona.
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