Let’s give West Baltimore a rest. No doubt that community 40 miles up the road from the District is, for journalists and talking heads, a paradise of easily obtained stories of rage, anguish, neglect and fear — more than enough to satisfy the morbid interests of an audience that would never set foot in the place.
But leave West Baltimore to Baltimore. There are enough West Baltimore-like treats here in our own back yard. We don’t have to search to find them.
If we care to look.
Peter Tatian of the Urban Institute has provided a road map to the District’s own West Baltimores, with careful documentation of neighborhoods with the heaviest concentration of grim conditions.
Tatian’s maps illustrate births to teen mothers; families headed by single women; violent crime; where police recorded gunshots; people age 25 and older without high school diplomas; the unemployed; people living below the poverty line; and welfare and food stamp recipients.