Baltimore: Anatomy of an American City

Baltimore: Anatomy of an American City

Ratings: 7.37/10 from 30 users.

Baltimore: Anatomy of an American CityThe election of the first black US president offered hope to millions of African Americans across the country. But have four years of an Obama presidency seen positive change for black communities in the US' inner cities?

"It's not a war on drugs, it's a war on the blacks. It started as war on the blacks and it's now spread to Hispanics and poor whites. It was designed to take that energy that was coming out of the civil rights movement and destroy it." - Ed Burns, the co-creator of the TV series The Wire.

While the 'war on drugs' rages on inside the US, there is some political consensus it is failing. White House officials have even indicated a federal policy shift away from incarceration and towards a public health strategy.

In Baltimore, one of the most dangerous cities in the US, the police have reframed their 'war on drugs' as a 'war on guns'.

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31 Comments / User Reviews

  1. buttercup123456

    Dear MobTown Awake 303. Are you kidding me? Pay you and your neighbors to clean up your cr*p? Why don't I just come and do it for you, I'll bet that would solve the problem, at least for a short while. And as for the low paying dead end jobs, they are at least a way to start crawling out of wherever you are now or reverting to crime and complaining about how people get locked up for it. You see, t really is that simple and doesn't take "Einstein" to figure it out. By the way, what would i have to pay an hour to get you to clean up your own cr*p?

  2. Don Sampson

    Perhaps more blacks are committing crimes and that's why more blacks are in jail.

    1. G.P. de Bies

      Offcourse yes, "driving while being black" seems to be one of those crimes blacks are committing daily Don Sir Sampson.

  3. Camreeno

    I don't like these arguments about drugs or guns being the problem to situations seen in this doc. People turn to violence and selling drugs because of poverty. They even explain in this documentary how steel industry jobs left the city en masse. It's the same situation with all the crime and poor blacks in Los Angeles. The car industry left, causing many people to lose their jobs... and viola, many desperate unemployed people turn to crime or violence to make a living.

    If guns were the problem, why is it that countries like Canada have similar gun ownership rates yet far fewer gun-related deaths? They clearly aren't the problem. Things like poverty and unemployment are.

    1. Lookin4Some65

      Actually, if you were to remove the figures from the cities with the most restrictive gun laws (NYC, Baltimore, Washington DC, Chicago), the US is actually one of the safest countries when it comes to gun-related homicides.

    2. Dwight Swan

      Canada does not have the same gun laws and ownership rate ..Canadians own maybe 10-20 million guns. There are heavy restrictions. There were less than 700 murders last year. Mostly by gangs and blacks. Compared to the US...There are nearly three hundred million privately owned firearms in the United States: a hundred and six million handguns, a hundred and five million rifles, and eighty-three million shotguns. And the murders.. over 16,000. The state of Ohio with only 11 million people had more murders than all of Canada with a population of 36 million. The problem?? Black population.!!

  4. Bou

    War on drug=white men war against black and Mexican

  5. manfruss

    A "war" on anything fails. They all have, and they will all continue to. This has not been learned yet, and the current "War of Terror" is the next in line. Feels like an excuse to keep a military industrial complex going.

    I always thought that treating the disease was the way to cure, not the symptoms. Policy today, deals with the symptoms and doesn't delve deep into real cause of the problems. Universal education will be a huge step in that direction.


    war on guns? lol. you couldnt make this **** up. how do you go to war against an inaminate object?,
    especially one that is usually required in any modern war?
    so how do you fight the war on guns?
    with guns of course so its not really a war on guns is it?
    if your using them?
    its just an ordinary war?
    why not justcall it that?

  7. Lenie Adolphson

    The documentary is powerful it is addressing the structural and institutional causes for these communities that are so blighted, it is easy and somewhat comforting to simply state these people are criminals and just wash our hands of them. However, that is a simplistic look at a systemic problem that has to be addressed with children and investment. Whether we like it or not, we as a society are already spending billions of dollars on these issues and we getting absolutely nothing in return.

  8. 4Christ

    EXSCUSE ME?!@ "If there is a "war on the blacks"

    No...I haven't watched it YET. So when are you gonna post one about the blacks beating up on the Caucasians...for the "fun of it" eh?

    I have black people - granddaughter and son-in-law -...BUT they are like all people! Just because one has a certain "skin color" makes them NO DIFFERENT than any other God-Created and loved people!

  9. buttercup123456

    I can't believe the comments people have made after viewing this documentary. The "City of Brotherly Love", are you kidding me? The place is a pig sty. Whats funny is that the best idea that comes from the film is that too many blacks are being put in jail for the crimes they committ. Lets face it, they are in jail because they are CRIMINALS. Drug dealers, murders etc. On top of that, the primary interview in the film is listening to a convicted murderer telling everyone what the cities problem is. The answer is simple and its not drugs or guns, its the people and there culture! You can't tell me that all these people are doing what they do because they are just trying to survive. If they had not committed the crimes they could find work somewhere, even if they needed to leave Baltimore. I'm a bit tired of people beating around the bush and blaming everything from politicans to slavery, com'on people, separate the trees from the forest. Iits the people and their culture and its the same everywhere you go. Always trying to make a buck the fast and easy way instead of working for it. If you want the government to throw more good money after bad and to create more intercity programs, why doesn't someone suggest that O'Bama fund a "Pick up the Trash" program for the place. It certainly needs it and there seems to be plently of people there with nothing better to do.

    1. cofo

      You are just being blinded by Privileges.

    2. G.P. de Bies

      That's easy for you to figure out. But you cannot realisticly reason things out of you're prospection. You appearantly grew up among those who through decades justified this all, through the same kind of reasoning you're displaying here. The people who physically constituted the US were Afro's that's the historical truth ! ! You'd propably say that's crazy and defend you're position with similar concocted figment's of your inherited imagination.

    3. Guillaume de Bies

      Buttercup you piece of sh...., if there's no crime commited, a crime is fixed at the spot by the Police in the US to incriminate blacks. By a throw down or what, OJ's glove; you KNOW this. The whole world knows and watches this going on everyday. So it doesn't chance reality by puking your filty trash here. Take a second look who the real criminals are in youw USA. Boehner is one who a shot between the eyes is long overdue; people die for less everyday in the US. Boehner is committing uphauling crimes against the America People as a whole, on an ongoing rate everyday. This is most baneful pernicious and noxious. These wicked man devoted his idle, feckless and shiftless live to do just that, to me there is no greater criminal ! ! Or wait a minute it is called politics and free speech in the US; Oo yes it is ! !

      There in jail for the crimes the've commited, there in jail for the crimes the've commited. What crime the've commited to deny them for decades to visit a God created beach in Virginia and California. It's probably nothing to you, it's supposed to be that way you'd think I presume.

      The whole world always watches this Police humanrights violation on blacks, in traffic and during all normal Police work. You know it's true. Nobody listens to their complains about that, while the whole world knows this.

      Buttercup honest to God you're a disgrace to human kind should be ashamed of yourself for what you've become/are. Or even better yet, go and take you're guns and do some target practice you dog, I know you're in your element doing that; If that's not enough go shoot up children in schools, or become a serial rapist murderer like all other sick honkeys before you. You'll be a good at it ! ! Curse of this earth that's what you people are ! !

    4. MobtownAwake303

      First of all Buttercup, Philadelphia, PA is "The City of Brotherly Love," not Baltimore, MD. For the record, many of us Baltimoreans refer to our beautiful but corrupt home as either "Charm City" or "Mobtown." Furthermore, if you paid any attention to the rhetoric and stories of the directly affected "people and there culture!" as you so eloquently proclaimed, you would have noticed that WE KNOW THIS EINSTEIN! A very insipid part of the culture is that the well paying jobs that are reachable by public transportation in Baltimore show an unspoken predjudice that I have witnessed first hand on many occasions and is this: if the address on your application or resume is in a "bad" neighborhood, it will effectivly disqualify you for the job. What is left is dead end retail and fast food jobs that do not even pay a livable wage. So whaddya say, since you got it all figured out why don't YOU come to my "pig sty" and pay me and my neighbors to clean it up for ya! Then you can single handedly solve the class genocide tragedy that is destroying our nation more and more every day! "Stop selling drugs and get a job, duh" Sorry, not that simple around here Buttercup.

    5. Lancev32

      Why should anyone have to come and clean your pig sty? Clean it up yourself. Have a little pride in your community. When communities want something done, they come together and make it happen. Maybe the problem is you are looking for someone else to help.

  10. Javed060

    Usual story of sweet and beautiful words of reforming the society and dangerous intention behind it. Cops are not for common men, they never were. They are meant to protect the elite. And to protect the law and order, again to benefit the elite.

  11. wcb123

    Guns are legal. There's your answer, its not rocket science

  12. freeyourmind

    Powerful documentary but again...never any real solutions...we can point the fingers, and to be honest it is important to KNOW who is behind all of this, but where are the solutions? Give me solutions....and not money thrown at "programs". Real solutions... changing the way we live would be a first...stop so much consumerism, be cognizant (aware) of your own money trail and choose intelligently who you will buy from. I don't know... I didn't grow up in that environment but I have relatives who have. They are "damaged" and not easy to talk with, but dialogue needs to happen, and out of the box solutions must be tried.

  13. dewflirt

    Squeeze the poor 'til they pop then lock them up. Helpful.

  14. Kwamla Hesse

    Its amazing...people can make a TV series like "the wire" or reality documentary like the one above describing the direct assault on generation after generation of Black people criminalized into selling drugs and killing each other. Yet eve
    ry one knows about it but just has to accept it as a fact of life?

    This is planned manipulation and control of the African-American population. soon to be experienced by the rest of the American population. It really is time for people to collectively "Wake Up" to what is happening in our own environments.

    1. Jtbonini

      It ain't about race nowadays. It's about criminalizing the only economic opportunity young people have, that live in economically depressed areas. I only know felons and I'm from a rural town. Please google "Virginia, MN statistics." Much worse than Baltimore by population ratio.

  15. G.P. de Bies

    It's been a long time coming.

    The facts are; 350 years of repressing opression "slavery" is a term that fits.
    To me it's more accounts owing for 350 yrs of unpaid work ! !

    These are decade long proceedings: institutionalized in a national custom of differentiation and disfavouring.

    To this very day, US Police action and demeanour is unstable when it comes to minorities yesterdays murder of 1 man by 5 heavily armed policemen again is a clear example.
    Not because I say it, the world knows it clearly !
    This will not go away through negotiations in 4 yrs Sir. No siree.

    NO WAR ! !
    The only war Americans people, ever fought against each other; was to end the above mentioned.

    Except for the rednecks nobody in his right mind wants to wage war.

    For the good of the USA we have BARACK OBAMA, maybe heaven sent, allow him to do his devine magic 1 more term.

    1. Lancev32

      Hows that good ole Obama magic working for you?

    2. Dwight Swan

      When are blacks going to pay back the taxpayers?? Working white taxpayers payers have been bailing out your failed race since 1965 to the tune of 25 trillion dollars. Are you animals going to rebuild all the cities you have destroyed. There are no whites in Haiti.. who can you blame for that hole .. or Rwanda. NO to reparations yes to separation. America hasn't faild blacks..Blacks have failed America.

    3. Dwight Swan

      You need to check some stats before opening you... Blacks are more likely to kill cops than be killed by cops. This is according to FBI data, which also found that 40 percent of cop killers are black. According to Mac Donald, the police officer is 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black than a cop killing an unarmed black person. Stop making excuse for your failures as a species.

  16. David Ewer

    Chilling film about the US caste system. There is a war on women, a war on blacks, a war on poor people. So who is prosecuting this war?
    The rich elites control the media, the banks, the military and the police.
    And the same elites claim to be ethical and tell us they love Jesus and he loves them. Oh, and their God is just.
    This situation clearly cannot continue.
    Which side are you on?

    1. ZarathustraSpeaks

      So you want another war? You sound like Bush talking about your either with us or against us.You just threw a lot of people in a neat hate group. How is that better than what the people you are condeming are doing?

    2. misterwong

      Zarathustra,I don't believe that the people want war.Wars are profiteering mechanisms disguised as patriotism or terror or nationalistic fervor (as the Bush agenda clearly was) to the interest oof those who will benefit.The lines between the HAVES and the HAVE NOTS are widening and more clearly defined now in this land.It is foolish to think that the wealthy and powerful will change their agenda until there are only Masters and Peasants.A road to ruin and we are to be the stones

  17. phelony_jones

    10:30 no mention of LBJ's war on Poverty, which is the original sin.