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Baltimore City: You’re Not Breaking My Heart.

I’m not leaving.

Baltimore City: You’re Not Breaking My Heart.

I’m not leaving.


(note, this article was written in response to another article written here: https://medium.com/p/1873a505ce2a)

What breaks my heart is when someone gets so much attention from complaining instead of acting.

What breaks my heart is when someone thinks that the solution to violence is in more police.

What breaks my heart is when someone thinks what will make things better is to just keep the "bad" people away from the "good" people, deepening the divides that already exist in our city.

What breaks my heart is when someone thinks that those who litter, loiter, or are intoxicated need to "do it somewhere else."

What breaks my heart is when someone acknowledges the sadness of the death of a white woman, but does not acknowledge the sadness of the bleak lives of 2 young black men.

What breaks my heart is when someone thinks that paying their taxes is sufficient to solve the problems of our city, pointing the finger at the mayor for not doing enough.

What breaks my heart is when someone is upset because they are tired of hearing about violence, despite the fact that so many of our citizens witness and live in it every day.

What breaks my heart is when someone says they are tired of looking at black youth in the city as potential predators, as if they are the ones at fault.

What breaks my heart is when someone acknowledges the murder rate in our city, but chooses only to highlight white murder victims, as if they are the only ones who have been wronged.

What breaks my heart is when someone is "very fond" of their neighbors, but that fondness so clearly dissipates a few blocks away.

What breaks my heart is when someone of seeming affluent white privilege seems so far removed from so much of the city and its residents and can only seem concerned with how these problems are affecting her and those like her.

What breaks my heart is when someone says they want to love this city again, but that love is conditional.

What breaks my heart is when someone says they want to love this city again, but that love is partial.

What breaks my heart is when someone says they want to love this city again, but doesn't seem to fundamentally understand what it means to LOVE a CITY, not just the arts, not just the cuisine, not just your neighbors, but ALL OF BALTIMORE.

My heart is not broken. I love you Baltimore. I love your art. I love your food. I love your culture. I love your people, all of them. I love the mayor. I love the BPD. I love my neighbors. I love those who are not my neighbors. I love my friends who work for cycling advocacy, adult learning, AIDS research, reducing sex trafficking, civil rights. I love the thousands of other people who are doing equally amazing things in this city. I love the people who can't afford to do these things, who have to be the recipients of a tradeoff that is so far from reaching equal. I love the people who can't afford to, but do anyway. There is much work to be done, but there is so much already happening.

Love is not partial. Love is not conditional. Love does not always mean I am HAPPY. Love does not always mean I am CONTENT. And not just to hold accountable but to embrace, understand, and strive to improve; to make things better, not to ask others to make it better for you. And to love Baltimore is to love it WHOLLY. From the president of Legg Mason to the homeless heroin addict. From the Garrett-Jacobs Mansion to a boarded up shell. From Harbor East to Harlem Park. It is all Baltimore, we are all Baltimore, and I still love it.