On Monday, street reporter Austen Fletcher, a.k.a “Fleccas,” released about ten minutes of footage of West Baltimore residents talking about the conditions of the area and how they felt about President Donald Trump’s recent comments concerning West Baltimore — which the mainstream media and many top Democrats framed as racist.
The residents told a grim story about the decline of the area they love, plagued by crime and murder, and said Trump was right in his assessment even if, as one female put it, she’s still “Team Obama.”
Fleccas also highlighted another inconsistency within the mainstream narrative. When controversial activist Rev. Al Sharpton popped up in West Baltimore following Trump’s comments, residents heckled the political figure, calling him a “phony” and a “hustler” and asking why he only comes around during politically opportune times.
“It’s just sad man, everyday I’m crying inside because I wake up and I’m still here. It used to be okay, but it’s not now,” one man told Fleccas’ crew.
Another woman with a legally obtained firearm on her hip, said, “You can’t go home without feeling a threat of being shot, you’re scared to walk anywhere. … The violence is that bad.”
“Baltimore city is definitely ‘Murderland,’” she later added. “There are contracts out here for nothing, to kill someone for less than $100. The statement is definitely true. I got my gun permit eight years ago. You really have to feel some type of way that you have to be armed to live in Baltimore city — granted, mine is legal.”
“I saw a man rob a man, right here,” a man working from behind a shield at a convenience store said. “A customer went out of the door, and this guy, he just opened the door for him and put a gun to his head and he robbed him right in his car.”
“I feel like nobody cares about this area here, they’re not concerned about us,” a middle-aged female said.
Two men then complained that Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) has been representing the area for 25 years and has nothing to show for it.
“He allocated $4.6 billion for illegal immigrants but he hasn’t donated any money right for North Avenue … West Baltimore. Where has he been at? It’s drug-infested, it’s homeless people right there in West Baltimore — two blocks from his district. He don’t come there everyday. I haven’t seen Elijah Cummings in ten years ride up and down North Avenue,” one of the men said, noting that the last time he was around was following the death of Freddie Gray, which was quickly politicized.
When asked about President Trump’s comments, one of the men answered, “Me personally, I want him to say things like that because it’s true. … I don’t have no problems with the man. I really respect him as a man because he’s upfront, he’s truthful. They keep wanting to say, ‘he a racist, he a racist, he a racist’; that’s not the problem, especially with black people, because I don’t see white men killing my own kind, you know what I mean.”
The woman with a firearm on her hip told the interviewer, “It’s sad but it’s true.” She later added, “I’m still ‘Team Obama,’ but with that being said, he’s (Trump) a powerful man and I believe he can make a lot of changes happen.”
“I don’t want to make a comment on the president, but he has a point,” the man working at the convenience store said. “Crime is very high and something has to be done.”
Two other locals had a back-and-forth over Trump suggesting “no human” would want to live in the area. “That’s true! I moved. I moved out of there. I can take you, right now, where there’s no running late in a whole block — ten minutes from Elijah Cummings’ block,” one of them said.
In another part of the video, men living in West Baltimore heckled Mr. Sharpton while he was giving a speech about Trump’s comments, painting the president as racist.
“You go back to New York! You bring that s*** to New York! You ain’t do nothing for Baltimore! You a phony!” an elderly man yells at the political figure.
“Our schools are failing us! Where are you when our schools are failing us? You’re just a hustler,” another man yells at Sharpton.
Late last month, Trump highlighted the issues in West Baltimore while going after Mr. Cummings. Trump ridiculed the top Democrat for neglecting the American people he represents to focus on the southern border.
“Rep. Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & 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 said in a series of tweets. “As proven last week during a Congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded. Cumming[s’] 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 & filthy place.”
Though the media were quick to paint Trump as a racist for calling out the conditions, during a congressional hearing in 1999, Cummings called Baltimore “a drug-infested area” where people were “walking around like zombies,” as previously reported by The Daily Wire.