It was something gleaned from C. Fraser Smith's book William Donald Schaefer: A Political Biography. The last white mayor of Baltimore - before the might of collective black voting power in a city rapidly losing its white population (fleeing black crime for the safe suburbs, where nary a black was to be found) made the executive seat a black seat of power - Schaefer had spent almost his entire life in the city, working to make it a better place for every citizen.
|Blacks remade the city of Baltimore in their own image...|
Not just white, not just black, but every citizen.
He was the proud mayor of Baltimore from 1971 to 1987, until he abdicated the position to become the governor of the state of Maryland. Kurt Schomke would become the first elected black mayor of the city of Baltimore in 1988.
Schaefer was born into a Baltimore that was 80 percent white; by the time he died in 2011, the city was less than 29 percent white.
It's in Smith's biography on the longtime Baltimore public servant, we learn this:
He spent a fair amount of time complaining publicly and privately about the Schmoke administration, sounding cranky and bitter or worse. He was certain Schmoke and [Larry] Gibson wanted to make Baltimore an all-black city. The old integrationist ideal was fading under Schmoke's housing and neighborhood revitalization policies, Schaefer thought, and he resented it. He resented Schmoke personally because he thought his successor had not paid his dues and had not accorded Schaefer the honor of recognizing that the job was a hard one, one that had to be learned. Schmoke was, in a sense, an accident of history, a man whose resume made him the ideal bridge from Schaefer's era to a new one. Schmoke had enormous promise, education, and charm, but he was not in a job he seemed particularly well suited for or one he might have chosen for himself on the basis of his talents or interests. History had chosen him... (p. 367-368)William Schaefer was certain Schmoke and Gibson wanted to make Baltimore an all-black city... not exactly a fact or theory that got much airtime in David Simon's critically acclaimed documentary about black dysfunction in HBO's The Wire.
But the consequences of an all-black city (one where the burden of funding the city government and public institutions falls squarely on the dwindling white tax-base) is obvious in stories such as the push by the majority black city council of Baltimore to "Ban the Box" and make it illegal for employers to force predominately black ex-offenders to check on application designating them as ex-cons. ['Ban the Box' bill advances over opposition from businesses: Legislation intended to help ex-cons find work could get final vote this month, Baltimore Sun, 4-7-14]:
Supporters of a proposed law to help more ex-convicts land jobs in Baltimore scored a victory Monday when they fended off efforts by the business community to block the measure indefinitely.
The protracted debate over the so-called "Ban the Box" legislation — which would remove the box ex-offenders must check on job applications — underscores a sharp divide among city leaders over how to help those with criminal records become gainfully employed.
The issue has had resonance in Baltimore, with its sizable population of residents with a criminal record and relatively high unemployment.
Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young said city leaders have spent enough time talking about the problem, and need to take action. Young said he is especially concerned about the hardships faced by African-American men with criminal records.
"I am tired of people who look like me continuing to be discriminated against," said Young, who is black. "They paid their dues by serving their time. When is enough enough?