Race test in traffic decisions? Let's not go there
So do we really need a racial test for the placement of speed cameras and parking meters? The city NAACP seems to think so.
Baltimore NAACP President Marvin "Doc" Cheatham has called on Mayor Sheila Dixon and City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to convene an independent panel to vet such decisions for any signs of racial bias. The basis for this demand: "concern that discrimination is taking place."
Cheatham offers little evidence of any bias -- except perhaps his own.
On speed cameras, Cheatham raises the tired canard that speed cameras are "Just another way for the city to acquire revenue." Asked and answered in multiple public hearings: No. And what does that question have to do with bias?
Then comes the assertion that "there seems to be discriminatory factors as to where the speed cameras will be located." Again, no evidence.
On parking meters, Cheatham cherry-picks a few instances to suggest the city likes Italians and Jews more than it does African-Americans.
The NAACP cited that there is three hours free parking in Little Italy, but meters/2 hours zones/pay to park zones elsewhere in the city. It is questioned why this part of the city gets such privilege. Additionally, there are parking meters on 26th street where the NAACP Baltimore City Branch is located, which has both residential and businesses, but there are no meters where the Jewish Museum of Maryland is located on Lloyd Street which also has both residential and business."
Privilege? Does the NAACP think three hours of free parking is a gift to Little Italy residents? They must love competing with vistors for spaces. And what's this business of trying to draw a parallel between his own office and a major Jewish cultural institution over parking meters? Do we really need to go there?
My take: You have a government of Baltimore with an African-American mayor and majority black Council. You ought to let them run the city government with the same administrative discretion exercised by all the white-majority adminstrations and councils before them. Anything else would be discrimination.