May 2, 2011
Public officials and the news media praised former Baltimore mayor and Maryland governor Donald Schaefer following his death recently as a “man of the people” and “savior” of the city.
In fact, during his four terms as mayor of Baltimore, from 1971 through 1986, Schaefer started the massive turnover of city land and public funds to developers and other business interests that is still continuing now in Baltimore and other big U.S. cities.
Meanwhile, just a few blocks from new inner harbor restaurants, bars and shopping attractions for tourists; new office space for big corporations and financial institutions; and new luxury apartments and condominiums for the wealthy, there were – and still are – huge poverty-stricken areas.
Schaefer also pushed for the continued construction of highways through the city itself. And as a critical reporter for a small local newspaper noted, by getting one single mile-long stretch of highway built in West Baltimore – not connected to a highway at either end – Schaefer destroyed more houses and small businesses than had burned up everywhere in the city during the Baltimore riot of 1968.
Schaefer sacrificed the interests of Baltimore’s working people on a massive scale in order to produce profits for developers, corporations, banks and wealthy people. This is why politicians, public officials and the news media honor him today.