The East Side Of Baltimore City
Confessions from the East Side....
Baltimore is one of the nations biggest murder capitals. There is a reason it's known as Bodymore. In the swirl of paranoia and profit surrounding the heroin trade in the inner city.. guns are pulled quickly and indiscriminately with no regard for the loss of human lives or the consequences to the individual and the community at large. The drug game has long held roots in B-More, where the majority of the city's population is black. The politicians are black, the citizens, the cops, the administrators, the addicts and the drug dealers. Two years ago it was reported that Charm City had 10,000 dealers serving 65,000 heroin and cocaine addicts. This in a city with a population of well under a million.
The critically acclaimed HBO series, The Wire depicts fictional drug lords of the city's past in their struggles against law enforcement. But the cities real life history is more BET's American Gangster than make believe. As the emergence of Stop Snitching, the now-infamous underground DVD that discourages cooperation with police, that Carmelo Anthony had a cameo in, showed dudes from Bodymore go hard. The Wire portrays stretches of abandoned row houses, hard faced street characters and police helicopters trailing suspects with a spotlight, but to the natives of the city all that is nothing new. That shit is real life, day in and day out. Since way back in the day. When names like Little Melvin, Marty Gross, Anthony Jones, Itchy Man, Joe Dancer and Black Barney inspired fear, respect and admiration in the inner city. And it was not that long ago that Peanut King was the man, plain and simple. No and, ifs or buts about it. If they were talking about B-More premier drug lord they were talking about the man know as Nutt.
In 1982, the news from the television reported that the FBI had a warrant for the arrest of Maurice Peanut King, one of the biggest kingpins of the heroin trade in Baltimore history. The case which took five weeks to try arose from the operation of a major drug distribution organization in Baltimore City, court records indicate. The defendants were convicted in 1983 in the United States District Court of Maryland fengaging in a conspiracy to possess and distribute heroin and cocaine. King and Thomas Joe Dancer Ricks, two of the leaders of the conspiracy were convicted of conducting a continual criminal enterprise, CCE 848, the kingpin charge. Along with Clarance Magic Meredith they were named as the heads of the organization; defendant James Carter was the financial adviser; defendants Marcell Black Barney Moffat and Kerney Wilco Lindsey were lieutenants of certain inner city street corners where drugs were sold; defendant Clifton Frisby was a sub-lieutenant and distributor; defendant Stanley Rodgers was a courier of drugs and money; and defendant Beatrice Roberts was the girlfriend of Ricks who allowed her apartment to be used for illegal purposes and who otherwise assisted in the operation, court records relate.
The evidence was more than adequate to prove all elements that were charged in the narcotics prosecution, court records say but all of the above is just what was reported in the official record. And you know that's only one side of the story. We went to the street to get the other version of events and here it is the real story of the Peanut King Mob, one of the most notorious crews to ever do it in Baltimore. Allegedly led by one of the biggest names in the drug game- street legend Peanut King.
He was making $25 million a year, says a dude from Holbrook Street who was around during the Nutts reign. â€œPeanut King had Hoffman and Holbrook. That was the most lucrative area. He was putting seven to 10 percent pure on the street. He had a better cut on the heroin. They'd be coming from DC, Virginia- all over to get that bang for their buck. Most dealers put out three percent pure in that area so the heroin that Nutts people allegedly put out was of a higher quality and with the better product Nutt quickly cornered the market. The Peanut King Mob sold a lot of heroin and the price of a bag was $60 and $70. The Federal government said they estimated his mob made $45 million a year through his drug business.
Peanut King was bigger than the mayor because he took care of the ghetto,An oldhead from the era remembers.He did things in different ways. He was a businessman with morals. He knew if he took care of the people the people would take care of him. He had big Christmas dinners at Lafayette, pulled up a U-Haul van and gave a way presents for the kids, so how can you say something bad about a man like that. He was like the savior of the ghetto. He was one of the best con men in the business. If he could fool society and get them on his side while pushing dope and employing ruthless killers his game was tight. He knew how to play every angle.
He drove a Delorean and had a huge house in Silver Spring, Maryland. It's said the house had no windows, just surveillance cameras on all angles of the house. King and Meredith Market and Deli on East North Avenue was one of three stores owned by Joe Dancer, Meredith and Nutt. Peanut was feared by just about everyone. He wore bedroom slippers that cost $100 to $150. He dressed like a Mafiosi, top notch suits, top dollar shoes. A classy dresser well known in all the big nightclubs for his extravagant ways. It's said he used to step out of a big old limousine in front of the clubs wearing flawless diamond pinkie rings that Nutt said cost 40 grand
He had police, city cops on his payroll. Might of had a couple judges. He got out of a lot of shit. His style was like no other hustlers I have ever seen in Baltimore City's underworld. Him and his crew shopped at Bernard Hill, the best clothing store in the city. The old head says while the dude from Holbrook adds, He was a fly man. He had the Delorean. The stainless steel joint. The man was sharp. He had a lot of charisma. Real laid back. Very humble for the type of business he was in. He had the latest of everything. All the women gravitated toward him. They said he was a vicious crime lord, but we didn't look at it like that. He was trying to put people to work. He was trying to bring a better quality of heroin to the people in a way that showed respect to the addict. His business was about respect and that's how you get money, and Nutt put his money back into the community.
I heard about the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education while listening to the car radio from the back seat of my father’s ’49 Studebaker. I was 11 and just finishing the sixth grade at a legally segregated elementary school in Baltimore. I thought that the court’s decision would take effect right away. It was, after all, supreme. I was unaware that the justices would hold the Brown case over for a year so that they could consider arguments about its implementation. The Baltimore Board of School Commissioners, however, acted more quickly than the court. Three days after the announcement of the Brown decision, Board President Walter Sondheim convened the commissioners to consider how they should respond to the ruling. Exactly two weeks later, the board voted unanimously to desegregate the city’s schools when they reopened in September 1954. The decision took about three minutes, and there was no public discussion. A week after that, the board members voted, again unanimously, to approve the desegregation plan that the school superintendent had drawn up at their direction. My expectations about the speed of the integration process turned out to be roughly accurate. In September, I would be attending a racially integrated, citywide junior high school named, ironically, the Robert E. Lee School.
Under the freedom-of-choice plan approved by the school board, the number of black students attending formerly white schools in September was not large. But they were concentrated in a relatively small number of schools, and several black children started with me at Robert E. Lee. We never talked about race. Neither did the teachers. In fact, I never heard anyone discuss the racial integration of our school with the students—no teacher, no principal or vice-principal, no counselor. No one tried to explain to us what was happening or why.
The city at large was almost as quiet as my teachers on the subject of school integration. It was so quiet that one segregationist expressed his puzzlement at the absence of debate in a letter to The Baltimore Sun. “Somewhere in this town of ours,” he wrote, “there must be others with the urge to voice the opinion.” For four and a half months, however, Baltimore did nothing but congratulate itself—quietly. Then, in white, working-class Pigtown, about thirty women picketed the neighborhood elementary school to protest its integration. A much larger crowd—mostly students—gathered at Southern High School. Fistfights broke out, and there were several arrests. But the protests lasted for only three days and affected only about three percent of the school population. In a statement that would later be echoed by public officials in the deeper South to dismiss integrationists, Southern’s principal blamed the segregationist disturbances on “agitators” who had spread false rumors about conditions at his school by telephone. Nineteen civic and religious organizations announced their support for the school board’s decision to desegregate voluntarily. A Superior Court judge threw out a suit challenging the desegregation of the city schools. The city’s police commissioner delivered a televised statement in which he warned that the picketing of schools might constitute a misdemeanor under a state law prohibiting disruption of classes, and that inciting children to boycott their classes was also a crime.
The protests evaporated, and for the time being the debate about school integration in Baltimore was over. Prolonged discussion would have suggested uncertainty and encouraged resistance. Saying as little as possible was the conscious policy of the superintendent of schools. According to a subsequent review of school integration, sponsored by city and state human-relations commissions, the superintendent “and his administrative staff, backed by the Board of School Commissioners, believed firmly that the less said in advance about integration the better, since talking about it would focus attention on presumed problems and create the impression that difficulties were anticipated.” In the schools themselves, integration would be carried out “by ‘doing what comes naturally,’ so that children would look upon it as a natural and normal development and hence nothing over which to become excited or disturbed.”
The silence that I encountered at Robert E. Lee was not just one school’s response to integration. It was not just an accident. It was the intentional response of the school system. The school board’s early and abrupt compliance with the Brown decision had been intended to minimize political conflict on the issue of race and foreclose public discussion of school integration.
School officials might find it convenient to pursue strategies that stifled public conflict about education, but the acquiescence of Baltimoreans in general could not be taken for granted. Thousands of white Southerners had migrated to the city during World War II to work in defense plants, and many whites who were native Baltimoreans shared southerners’ segregationist views. The city, after all, had named one of its public schools after Robert E. Lee. For the most part, however, Baltimoreans made little or no trouble for their leaders. The muffling of racial conflict was not just a matter of elite convenience but widespread political convention.
Racially Reticent City
African Americans have been a majority in Baltimore since the mid-1970s. But it was 1987 before the city elected a black mayor, and race was not an issue in the campaign, because both of the leading candidates were black. Only in 1995 did black representatives become a majority of the city council. They still hold a majority of the seats, but the mayor (as of press time) is once again a white man. If race had been a polarizing issue in city politics, the African-American majority would surely have risen up to claim its share of Baltimore’s government sooner than it did, and held it longer. But racial politics has been unexpectedly muted in Baltimore, a fact that puzzled the only black mayor that the city ever elected. Shortly before leaving office in 1999, Mayor Kurt Schmoke complained that Baltimore was a “city where issues of race continue to be important, but they are issues that no one wants to talk about. It’s almost as though people would like to ignore the fact that race continues to be a significant factor determining the quality of life in the city and the metropolitan area.”
Since Schmoke had been mayor of the city for twelve years, one might well ask what kept him from disrupting the culture of avoidance that has generally prevented the race issue from rising high on Baltimore’s political agenda. Schmoke himself conceded that he tried to avoid making race a subject of city politics. And as Schmoke suggested, Baltimoreans’ capacity to ignore the fact of race is striking. The city is hardly innocent of racial discrimination. It has a history of legally sanctioned segregation, and when it lost the force of law, segregation retained the force of habit. In the aftermath of the Brown decision, whites abandoned public education for the suburbs or private schools. Today the public school population in Baltimore City is eighty-eight percent African American. There are scarcely any stable, integrated neighborhoods.
Nothing about the present circumstances of Baltimore seems to explain why its deep racial divisions do not figure more prominently as political divisions. There is no reason to believe that Baltimoreans are less prone to racial antagonism than the residents of other big cities, but those antagonisms seldom come to roost on the city’s political agenda. Racial animosities have occasionally surfaced in local politics, but they do so only briefly and without much noise. When political candidates try to make racial appeals, they usually do so indirectly and cautiously, as when a black mayoral candidate in 1999 urged African-American residents to “vote for a man who looks like you do.” Mayor Schmoke’s bumper stickers in his 1995 reelection campaign were red, black, and green—the colors of black nationalism. Though he said almost nothing about race in his campaign, whites accused him of playing the race card, and the Baltimore Afro-American took offense at Schmoke’s belated discovery of the race issue. Schmoke himself later expressed regret about the design of the stickers. Baltimoreans have delicate sensibilities when it comes to the politics of color.
I didn’t discover just how delicate until I left the city to go to graduate school in Chicago, where I found that the discussion of race was loud, public, and raw. When I arrived in 1963, black Chicagoans were engaged in a full-scale ground offensive against the school superintendent, Benjamin C. Willis. They charged that he was blocking the racial integration of the schools by installing temporary trailers (“Willis Wagons”) to handle overcrowding at mostly black schools instead of moving the students into available spaces in mostly white schools. Almost every week an intense black activist named Al Raby would lead a protest march into the Loop to tie up rush-hour traffic. I had never seen anything like that in Baltimore. Four years later I moved to Boston. “Southie” had not yet been brought to a boil by court-ordered busing, but you could feel it coming. Baltimoreans harbor prejudices, some of them just as poisonous as the ones I encountered in Boston, but unlike Bostonians, most Baltimoreans don’t insist on telling you about them.
Why are we like this? Why don’t we scream at one another about race like people in other cities? Should we congratulate ourselves for being so non-confrontational? Probably not. The avoidance of race as a subject of public recrimination was invented long before we were around to take credit for it.
In 1840, wealthy British social reformer James Silk Buckingham made an extended tour of the United States, which included a month’s stay in Baltimore. He found that Baltimoreans did not defend slavery as residents of New York and other cities did. They tolerated a variety of opinions on matters of race, but also exhibited a marked reticence on the subject. “In all our intercourse with the people of Baltimore,” Buckingham wrote, “and we were continually out in society, we heard less about slaves and slavery than in any other town we had yet visited.”
Polite discussion within Baltimore’s antebellum “society” reflected its position on the margin between North and South. Its merchant class included gentlemen from Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, where slavery was an established institutional presence. But during the Revolution, Quaker businessmen had emigrated from Philadelphia, where the British occupation had become an inconvenience to commerce, and they relocated in Baltimore, where their sons and grandsons made fortunes. Others were already here, taking advantage of Baltimore’s rapidly growing economy. Quaker abolitionists and proslavery patricians coexisted in Baltimore’s elite, socializing and doing business with one another. Among Baltimoreans who were “out in society,” there was one subject that could not bear discussion. When issues of race and slavery arose, polite citizens of the city probably changed the subject. That was why Buckingham heard so little talk of slavery, and Baltimoreans have been changing the subject ever since.
Baltimore’s location just below the Mason-Dixon Line has made it a place where white Northerners lived with white Southerners. In the past, the political and cultural differences between the two groups may have been more acutely felt than they are today. As a boy growing up in one of the city’s white neighborhoods, I was expected to declare my loyalty to either the Union or the Confederacy. The distinction occasionally became a cause—or an excuse—for fistfights and rock-throwing. But our elders managed to accommodate such differences without open conflict or public comment. It was the traditional way in which Baltimore’s grown-ups handled the issue of race.
Even the Quaker abolitionists toned down their expressed principles because they had to get along with proslavery business colleagues in a border town. The Quakers joined other emancipationists to form the Maryland Society for the Abolition of Slavery in 1789. But the society had disbanded by 1800, and Baltimore abolitionists’ attempts to revive it in 1807 failed when some of the town’s most prominent Quakers declined to take part. But in 1816, the abolitionists regrouped and formed a Protection Society. Its purpose was not to free the slaves, but to prevent free black people from falling into the hands of slavers. Its members might continue in private to hold to abolitionist principles, but in public at least they adjusted their aims to accommodate the sensibilities of slaveholders.
The complexities of life in a border town only begin to explain why white Baltimoreans tend to tiptoe around the race issue. In his study of race relations in post-Civil War Louisville, for example, historian George C. Wright found little reluctance to talk about race. The city’s ex-Confederate patricians did not hesitate to instruct their ex-slaves about the black place in local society and the kind of conduct needed for black Louis-villians to “succeed.” When a black resident tried to cross the boundaries set by whites, things could get nasty or even violent. But Louisville generally avoided the harshness of race relations further south. It practiced “polite racism.” Baltimore’s racism is not so much polite as passive-aggressive. If whites keep quiet about race, they provide fewer occasions for blacks to talk about it, at least in public. But some of the impediments that deter Baltimore’s African Americans from making a public issue of race probably have little to do with white people.
Nineteenth Century Black Capital
From 1810 to the Civil War, Baltimore was home to the largest concentration of free black people in the United States. In 1860, before Lincoln had freed a single slave, more than ninety percent of the city’s black population was free. Free black people achieved a critical mass in Baltimore at such an early date that they enjoyed a long head start over black communities elsewhere in which to construct their own collective life. Blacks had their own churches, private schools, social clubs, charitable institutions, and fraternal organizations, and eventually they would have their own labor unions, banks, business firms, and newspapers.
The scale and depth of black civic community was a distinct asset in some respects. Black organizations, for example, were the principal source of help for the destitute ex-slaves and the sick and wounded black veterans who poured into the city after the Civil War. But the black community’s organizational density could also be a liability. Organization meant division. The city’s African Americans belonged to different churches, different fraternal organizations, and different political coalitions.
In such a well-organized black community, whose members were divided by religious denomination, policy preferences, and political interest, it was not clear whether anyone could claim to speak for the race as a whole. Black Baltimore’s organizational complexity gave it many constituencies and lots of leaders. Unless they achieved unity, it would be difficult to raise the issue of race in a coherent way. Whites, of course, could have solved that problem. A concerted white campaign of public racism might have unified blacks. In Baltimore, however, whites consistently tried to sidestep frank and public discussion of racial divisions. Instead of responding to white Baltimore, black Baltimore has often responded to racial provocations beyond the city limits—the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968, a lynching on the Eastern Shore in 1935, the state legislature’s attempts to suppress the black vote in the early twentieth century, or the recent statewide election campaigns for governor and U.S. Senate.
If Baltimore’s African Americans had arrived in a giant wave of migrants, as they did in many northern cities in the twentieth century, uprooted from home communities and disconnected from one another, they would have had only their race in common. Appeals to race would have been the most promising means to mobilize them as voters. But the well-established and many-stranded connections that tied black Baltimoreans together through churches, fraternal groups, labor organizations, and social clubs allowed their leaders to call them to the polls on the basis of direct or indirect acquaintance, not color. This made it possible for black politicians to form alliances with white politicians, deliver black votes to white candidates, and get government patronage in return. The most notable beneficiary of such arrangements was Jack Pollack, the white political boss who continued to elect white candidates from his district long after it had an African-American majority.
Political alliances with whites made it even more difficult for black politicians to present a united front. In 1971, for example, black candidates would make their first bid for the mayor’s office, following the election of the city’s first black judge, Joseph C. Howard, in 1968. Black Baltimore’s turn seemed within reach, especially after the incumbent mayor, Thomas D’Alesandro III, announced that he would not seek reelection. But the city’s African-American activists were unable to unify behind a single candidate. They divided between George Russell, the city solicitor, and Clarence Mitchell III, a state senator and son of the NAACP’s Washington lobbyist, Clarence Mitchell Jr., nephew of Congressman Parren Mitchell, son and grandson of revered leaders of the city’s NAACP branch. Russell had significant white support. Mitchell had his own political organization and dynastic resources. The two candidates divided the black vote, giving the Democratic nomination and the mayoralty to William Donald Schaefer, who would continue in office until 1987.
If Baltimore had been better able to make a political issue of race and segregation, different people would have been winning its elections, and different people would have been running the city for the last thirty-five years. Would they have made it a different kind of place? Maybe not. Today the cities where people screamed at one another about race seem no better off than we are when it comes to segregation, discrimination, and poverty—and no worse off. But I sometimes wonder whether personal relationships between black people and white people are more guarded in Baltimore than in those other cities. And now that high-rise public housing is gone and mixed-income developments are appearing and succeeding, now that couples and singles are moving into the city from the suburbs and out of town, now that new experimental and charter schools are raising test scores (however slowly), now that both major parties are competing for the black vote, is it possible that we may get a second shot at racial integration? A long shot, perhaps, but one that will not materialize at all unless Baltimore is willing to recognize that patterns of segregation and inequality are collective problems and will not give way to private, “quiet” solutions. We may even be better prepared than other cities to take advantage of our new opportunities. We haven’t really screamed at one another yet. Maybe we can discuss this without shouting.
Politic Ditto !!! How Things Got Done In Baltimore
I have a friend, a reporter, who recently went to work for a newspaper in Philadelphia. He wrote frequently about Baltimore politics during the last six years, and is now absorbed with the infinitely more complicated machinations of Philly's elite. Asked to compare local pols to his new targets, my friend says he is now struck by the relative benevolence and civic-mindedness of Baltimore's bigwigs. Even the sleaziest ward heeler in Baltimore, with his white shoes and pinkie ring, has a heart, my friend says, but in Philly local leaders are often indistinguishable from foot soldiers for the Mob. In Baltimore, he observes, even the most ruthless political boss is mindful, in a genteel, almost Southern way, of his responsibility to the electorate, be it only the small slice of it in his district. In Philly, he says, even the most high-minded altruist is unmistakably in business for himself.
Despite its well-earned reputation for political corruption, Maryland harbors a domesticated variety of pol who deals, at his worst, in a very petty, white-collar sort of crime. In some larger cities to the north, pitched political battles are still occasionally fought to the death--punctuated by the proverbial long, dark drop to river's bottom. Even at the height of local bossism, the graft and patronage and outrageous public lies were perpetuated in a spirit of friendship and party (Democratic) solidarity. The relatively high rate of local great men jailed in recent years bears witness, perhaps, more to the amateurishness of local sleaze than its pervasiveness.
The entire modern history of local politics has been the protracted death throes of two citywide Democratic political organizations. At the turn of this century, city government was in the hands of two Irish-Catholic bosses whose control of patronage and votes, whose willful manipulation of public power for private gain, was so ingrained that even so-called reform candidates relied upon their support to win elections. When these two men died in 1928, their machines began to falter, splinter, and ultimately sputter to a stop. During those 50 years, most of the back-room figures named in the press as bosses were, in fact, mere bosslets--former lieutenants in the old organization. Only bosslets whose districts retained a degree of ethnic homogeneity exercised any real power, but their influence rarely extended far beyond their own ethnic boundaries. Jewish bosslets dominated these last remnants of the old organizations, in part because anti-Semitism enforced exactly the ethnic purity necessary. Today, even the last of the bosslets is gone. Confusion and disorganization reign, with candidates spending more and more money to prime the publicity pumps for their own cult of personality. It is only this lack of political structure that has kept Baltimore's black politicians from utilizing the electoral majority they possess. City politics await the emergence of a charismatic black leader. How and when that happens will be the story of the next 50 years.
There is a priceless 1928 photograph of two enormously fat old men seated stiffly in armchairs in the lobby of the old Rennart Hotel (now demolished) at Saratoga and Liberty streets. On the left sits John S. "Frank" Kelly, a big-boned loutish fellow with a grotesque growth protruding at the tip of his already substantial nose. Growling impatiently at the camera, to Kelly's left in a softer chair, is a rotund, squat little roughneck of a man named John J. "Sonny" Mahon (pronounced Mayin). Only months after the picture was taken both men died, so it is the rarest of the rare photos showing these recalcitrant old bosses together. When they were alive, all of city government was merely a reflection of their rivalry. Both men are legendary for their Irish pluck, charm, and industry, and both are notorious for having grown exceedingly rich at privately managing the public's business.
The system worked simply enough. It proceeded from a very practical observation of democracy in action; that is, most citizens know little and care even less about government. Kelly and Mahon knew the key to political power lay in motivating people who normally wouldn't vote to vote. They motivated people by rewarding them, frequently in advance. You could say that the bosses were in the business of doing favors, but the ultimate beneficiary of those favors were the bosses.
If they sent you a Christmas basket loaded with goodies during the holiday season, as Kelly was in the habit of doing, implied in your accepting it was a pledge of your vote next fall. If your brother landed, by the grace of Sonny Mahon, a lucrative job at the courthouse, implied in that might be the pledge of all the votes in your family (which, in Baltimore at the turn of the century, could have numbered 90 relatives in a few short rowhouse blocks). Since few voters gave public affairs much thought, and a steady job was a marvelous thing for a family to have, those implied pledges were honored willingly, openly, and often ardently. Over the years it got so that few city voters didn't feel some alliance with either Kelly or Mahon.
Once their men were in office, the bosses had more favors to hand out. Everywhere government touched a person's life, Kelly and Mahon were there with their hand out--either for more pledged votes or cash. If you wanted a license to open a tavern or a barbershop, you paid; if you wanted the ease, respectability, and prestige of a federal judgeship, you paid a lot. And power has its own momentum. In time, Kelly and Mahon were known to be in charge. They were the men to see if you wanted to get things done. The public perception of their power overflowed its actual limits, which had the effect of stretching those limits. By the time they posed, picturesque and fat like two old lions for that portrait in 1928, Kelly and Mahon's power seemed unlimited.
Kelly ran his organization from the unadorned basement of his Saratoga Street rowhouse. From that smoke-filled cellar, governors rose and fell, mayors were made and unmade, judges anointed and patronage subtly dispensed at the command of this corpulent thug, who started his career collecting garbage and grew rich collecting graft. He would stroll haughtily through Lexington Market every day handing out money to the poor, and issue commands on election day for his boys to use force if necessary to keep black voters in his district from the polls. In 1915, Kelly publicly entered into an agreement with Mahon, vowing formally at a gala coalition party to support the gubernatorial candidacy of Blair Lee. On election day, Kelly's machine coolly broke the promise and delivered a slim C. Harrington. Kelly was uncouth and illiterate, but he knew how things worked and was unscrupulous enough to exploit the knowledge. Crowds flooded the neighborhood to pay homage to Kelly the day he was buried.
Mahon was less admired publicly, but he was slightly better educated and shrewder than Kelly. He presided over the rival machine from the Rennart Hotel lobby, where he seemed perpetually ensconced in a game of pinochle. Mahon's motto (reminiscent of George Washington Plunkitt of Tammany Hall's "I seen my opportunities and I took 'em.") was, "Politics is my business and I make it pay. I would be a fool not to." He reportedly gained his first real foothold in the organization that he inherited by severely beating a ward leader and simply, by the power of his fists, taking over.
One old-time Baltimore pol remembers, as a young man, playing pinochle with Mahon at the Rennart. "He usually won, because he cheated," the pol recalls. "I caught him once, pulling an ace out of his vest pocket. I didn't say anything because I didn't think it was wise. But I never bet much money in a card game with Mahon after that."
It didn't pay to wager much in any game with Kelly or Mahon, because they were on record as men who would do anything necessary to win. The local press paid them reverential, fawning homage, portraying them as essential and colorful evils with hearts of gold. Pictures of Kelly with his famous Christmas baskets regularly popped up in local newspapers during holiday season. To the public, they must have seemed kindly old men who used their illicit power responsibly. In fact, they used it to enormous personal profit. Mahon left his family squabbling over a half-million dollars when he died, an amount substantially greater than anyone can cheat away at pinochle.
Their deaths left organizational politics in the city divided and in disarray. Kelly's number two man was a prim, professorial lawyer named Willie Curran. Curran struggled for the rest of his life to retain control over the machine he inherited, and for more than 20 years was the reigning back-room bosslet in Baltimore. But Curran never could put it all together.
The era of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal renewed public idealism and boosted its expectations of government. There was less and less tolerance for Kelly-Mahon types. The new political leaders played down patronage and payoffs, and often offered themselves as candidates for public office. While Curran became one of the most highly regarded criminal lawyers of his day, his forensic skill and surface refinement simply masked the political mold from which he came. With his monoclelike glasses perched frameless on the bridge of his nose, and his fastidious manner, Curran was always too, too precious for the tough-talking working-class voters of East Baltimore. When Curran moved out of East Baltimore to Roland Park in 1924, it just confirmed public suspicions of his snobbery. But Curran could never shake the onus of "Boss" in silk-stocking districts. He served for two years as attorney general after being appointed to fill out someone else's term, and won election to the state Senate. But both times he tried running citywide, for mayor, he lost. Each defeat dealt another serious blow to his standing as Kelly's heir apparent.
Both times Curran ran, he lost to Howard W. Jackson, a former Mahon lieutenant who served a total of 16 years as mayor, and who pieced together much of the old Mahon machine under his control. Jackson was a smooth-talking, hard-drinking thief when he first moved into City Hall, under Mahon's patronage, in 1923. He reportedly spent several hours every morning at his desk as mayor selling insurance, leaning on individuals and firms who needed his influential support. One year after taking office, Jackson awarded one-third of the city's $12 million fire insurance contract to his own firm. His undisguised drunkenness and extortion were partly protected from the public eye, because Jackson had carefully placed most of the city's lucrative bonding business with a firm (the Fidelity and Deposit Co.) partly owned by Van Lear Black, who published the Sunpapers. Enough reports of Jackson's improprieties filtered out to secure his defeat after one term, but he swore off the booze the day of his defeat (though not the boodle), and returned triumphant four years later to begin an unprecedented three complete terms.
During Jackson's reign, city politics became a shifting mosaic of alliances. Frank Kent, the Sun's political writer, noted at the time that the picture had become as muddied as the work of "a cubist artist." There were former Mahon soldiers Joseph M. Wyatt and George W. Della in South Baltimore, Ambrose Kennedy in the northeast, Patrick F. O'Malley in the north, Jack Pollack in the northwest, Tommy D'Alesandro Jr. in the southeast, William I. Norris in the east, and others with smaller followings.
While Jackson was more successful than Curran at getting himself elected, Curran actually became the more powerful political leader. Working behind the scenes had its advantages, and Curran had learned from the masters how to capitalize on them. He served as a focus for anti-Jackson political clubs, and as mayoral prerogatives alienated one special interest or another, Curran would pick up the pieces. When Jackson ran for governor in 1938, it was Curran who assembled the coalition that gave Herbert R. O'Conor a narrow victory. That must have been a particularly delicious moment for Curran.
His power had been gone for more than a decade when he died in 1951, but The Sun printed the kind of lengthy, reverential obituary it traditionally reserves for the rich and powerful. "Mr. Curran commanded the only all-weather, constantly-functioning Democratic organization attempting to operate on a cross-city scale," wrote Thomas O'Neill, a reporter with a romantic fascination for old-style bossism. O'Neill even tried to make a case for Curran being more powerful than the old bosses, noting that the phenomenal 58 percent turnout of Democratic city voters for FDR under Curran's stewardship exceeded the percentages of every other city boss in Baltimore history. But the percentage, of course, had more to do with FDR's remarkable popularity than Curran's power. In his heyday, Curran controlled enough votes in the General Assembly and in the City Council to make him the patronage king, and no doubt to rake in sizable graft.
The deathblow to Curran's power, and the event that set off the next era in city politics, came during the 1940 U.S. Senate campaign of Howard Bruce, a wealthy Baltimore County industrialist. Bruce had recruited Curran's support with a promise to spread around some of his personal cash reserves, so Curran in turn pledged substantial payoffs for political clubs who joined with him. But both Bruce and Curran had badly miscalculated post-Depression Baltimore's affection for wealthy industrialists. Shortly before the primary, Bruce paid for a poll which showed him losing badly. So he gave up. Deciding not to pour good money after bad, Bruce calmly reneged on his agreement with Curran, and left Willie to deal with the clamoring bosslets who had gathered at the Emerson Hotel to collect their dole. The most excitable and ambitious of those angry provincial leaders was James H. "Jack" Pollack, a tall, beefy ex-boxer who had shored up an efficient remnant of the old Kelly machine in his heavily Jewish Northwest Baltimore 4th District. Pollack stormed angrily from the hotel when he got the news. He withdrew his support from Bruce, and began building his own empire. Bruce lost every district in the city, and Curran, that dour Irish attorney, never regained the credibility he lost that day.
One emerging bosslet who stayed with Curran even after the Bruce debacle was Tommy D'Alesandro Jr., the dapper, gregarious leader of Little Italy. D'Alesandro had defeated his local political rival with Curran's help three years before to win a seat in Congress, so he owed a measure of loyalty to the declining Democratic leader that Pollack and others did not. During most of the 1940s, Curran could still pull enough support to remain an important factional leader, but by 1947, when Tommy wanted to run for mayor, Jack Pollack had become the most influential district Poo-Bah in the city. Curran gave D'Alesandro the cue he needed by refusing to OK the popular congressman's mayoral ambitions. Tommy split with Curran's increasingly impotent machine to join forces across the city with Pollack, and swept easily into the first of his three City Hall terms. From that day on, the new back-room bosslet of Baltimore was Jack Pollack.
Shortly after taking office, D'Alesandro prevailed on Gov. William Preston Lane to hand over authority for all state government patronage appointments in Baltimore to him and Pollack. They sealed the agreement at the Pimlico racetrack one afternoon. As Tommy left the track, he remembers seeing his old friend Curran, who had heard the news.
"I guess that means you're their boss now, Tommy," Curran said manfully.
"Yes," Tommy says he answered. "But they're still your friends, Willie."
With that, the torch, or the patronage and graft, was handed to a new generation.
Pollack was a hulking man with a wide, square face and rimless glasses. He had joined the Kelly machine as a young man, and had earned a small fortune in the Depression-Prohibition era as a bootlegger and petty criminal. A capable light-heavyweight boxer, Pollack was arrested 13 times in his youth, on charges ranging from assault to murder. He was never convicted of a serious crime, but his political connections even then raised questions about the ardor of prosecutorial efforts against him.
His brushes with violent crime lent considerable weight to the impression that Pollack was the sort of man who would stop at nothing to get what he wanted. He amassed a despotic, nepotic empire of influence that was a significant force in city politics until he died in 1977. His Trenton Democratic Club on Park Heights Avenue hatched public officials like chickens, and collected the golden eggs of their dutiful service for decades. Pollack was crude, but sharp-tongued, dapper, and smart. His pedantic oratory, which was calculated to cloak his grade school education, occasionally mangled literary quotation, and presaged the extravagant excesses of Spiro T. Agnew--Pollack once labeled city Comptroller Hyman A. Pressman a "publicity-pandering, pettifogging, pompous popinjay." Throughout the later years of his life, Pollack was clearly a man trying to distance himself from the past. It wounded him to be portrayed in the local press as a two-bit thug. Criminal records from his youth mysteriously disappeared from city courthouse files soon after Pollack controlled patronage there. He wanted his children and grandchildren to be more and tried (with varying degrees of success) to make them judges and legislators until the day he died.
Pollack was the manipulator, and D'Alesandro was the vote-getter. One man thrived on patronage and power, the other on popularity and prestige. During D'Alesandro's three terms, he grew fat (he gained more than 100 pounds) on the ceremonies and perquisites of office, while Pollack grew even fatter, in a monetary sense, through a tightly organized, unchallenged network of bribery, payoffs, and patronage. A prominent city lawyer who was active politically during the Pollack-D'Alesandro years recalls:
"During D'Alesandro's administration every aspect of city government was under Pollack's influence. If you had to do business with the city of any kind, whether to open a bar or sign a contract, you first had to do business with Pollack. The odd thing was, I don't think Old Tommy had any direct hand in the graft. He seemed content to be mayor, and left the profit to Pollack."
Baltimore during the Pollack-D'Alesandro years was undergoing, with the rest of the nation, profound and irreversible change. Masses of poor blacks began migrating to Baltimore during World War II in search of wartime industrial jobs, displacing neighborhoods that had been white ethnic strongholds for generations. Racism, fueled by government incentives and the middle-class American dream of a home with a yard in a more relaxed, rural setting, started driving young white families out of the city. Their departure broke the traditional residential patterns in the city, and undermined the political structures erected to take advantage of them.
Only the city's Jewish community, which by 1940 had mostly resettled itself from East Baltimore to the outlying areas of northwest, retained the important ethnic homogeneity to support old-style political clubs. Restrictive real estate covenants barred many Jews from moving into neighborhoods elsewhere, and buttressed the already strong cultural solidarity of the community. By their own anti-Semitism, Baltimoreans paved the way for Jewish political leaders to enjoy the last gasp of bossism in Baltimore.
Two other factors combined to supplant the old political machines--civil service and television. Of all New Deal reforms, civil service had the most profound political effect. It meant that jobs that had once been a boss' to give and take were awarded strictly on the basis of merit, according to scores on an exam. A boss with no patronage is no boss. Pollack and the other remaining leaders clung doggedly to the few remaining positions that fell outside the purview of civil service--appointments to regulatory boards, judgeships, some courthouse clerkships, and some supervisory positions. But largess to support the likes of a Kelly or Mahon was no longer available. The second punch of this machine-destroying combination was television. Before the advent of the tube, only political clubs could give a candidate access to large numbers of voters, by holding rallies or distributing campaign information and cashing chits. TV could take an appealing candidate with no organizational ties and project his image and platform into every living room in the city simultaneously. All it took was money.
These social and political changes began to outpace the talents of men like Pollack and D'Alesandro. City politics had always pitted one power group against another in heated competition for the spoils of patronage and graft. This system rarely attracted men who could handle more than the routine administration of city government. Preoccupied as they were, city pols paid little heed to growing racial unrest, the city's fast-declining property tax base, persistent poverty, and, with all of this, the evident decay of downtown. Crime accelerated suburban flight, and with the migration of the city's upper middle class suburbs-ward went the small shops, department stores, and business so vital to the city's economic survival.
By the early 1950s, the waterfront and business districts were dangerous and deserted at night. Baltimore's putrid Inner Harbor was ringed by flophouses, brothels, and seedy taverns--each with its own connections to political bosslets. Faced with their own hypocritical inadequacies, Baltimore's pols promptly pointed an accusing finger at the leaders of local business and banking institutions, blaming them for the inevitable. At a chamber of commerce convention in Pittsburgh, Mayor D'Alesandro, fired by what the city's super-rich Mellon family had done to rebuild downtown, poked fun at the assembled Baltimore businessmen.
"Pittsburgh had its Mellons," Tommy said. "And Baltimore has its watermelons."
Old Tommy believes it was that rather awkward insult that triggered formation of the Greater Baltimore Committee, a group of key financial and business leaders united to begin addressing, in the absence of any coherent public policy, the deteriorating situation downtown. But the GBC, or something like it, was bound to happen anyway. The city couldn't continue to decline without cutting sharply into the profits of local businessmen. So, with Pollack and other bosslets standing hungrily by awaiting big contracts, D'Alesandro adopted the GBC's plan to simply tear down downtown and rebuild it. Exercising their considerable political muscle, Pollack and the mayor cleared a legislative path for the necessary condemnation and urban-renewal powers through the state and city legislatures, and Tommy condemned almost 30 acres of downtown real estate.
Charles Center and Hopkins Plaza, the Civic Center (now 1st Mariner Arena), and the Inner Harbor project were public-spirited efforts motivated by savvy private businessmen. For more than 20 years the GBC was the most forceful, influential, and positive factor in the city, though its impact on the electoral politics and patronage that still preoccupied the city pols remained insignificant. It has only been in the last four years, during the second mayoral administration of William Donald Schaefer, that City Hall has reclaimed its proper public responsibilities--planning and shaping the city's future.
By the end of D'Alesandro's third term, public perception of the crucial differences between traditional bossism and pressing civic responsibilities had grown. Weakened by an ill-fated run for U.S. Senate in 1958, Old Tommy began a halfhearted campaign for his fourth term, backed solidly, of course, by Pollack money and organization. But organizational politics had splintered so badly by this time that D'Alesandro's Democratic opponent, a young former FBI agent named J. Harold Grady, was backed by rival leaders within Pollack's own district. Behind Grady were Phillip H. Goodman, a Pollack protégé who commanded a substantial and well-organized 4th District machine, and Irvin Kovens, a wealthy gambler and businessman who would soon usurp Pollack as the city's most powerful back-room bosslet.
It was a race between the dinosaurs and the dynamos. Grady's campaign was the first in city history to heavily employ TV advertising--fueled by Kovens' fundraising talents and created by Kovens' adman friend Lou Rosenbush. "Sixteen years is too much," the ads said, over and over again, infuriating D'Alesandro by adding four years to his 12-year reign. Ironically, Tommy and Pollack's fate was sealed as much by their tested ability to command city patronage as the ads. Shortly before election day, Gov. J. Millard Tawes, who had won election the year before by hocking his soul to Baltimore's bosslets (through his appointments adviser George Hocker), handed down his "green bag" of political appointments. The list was loaded with Pollack-D'Alesandro choices, including Pollack's son-in-law, who was nominated to head the city's traffic court (Pollack was famous for fixing tickets), and Tommy's namesake son, who was nominated for chairman of the city elections board. The deck was too stacked for city voters, who gave D'Alesandro and Pollack the boot days later.
Harold Grady's political career was one of the fastest and most spectacular in city history, especially remarkable because the man possessed no apparent qualities to account for it. A Loyola College graduate who attended law school locally, Grady had worked for the FBI during World War II. Bureau credentials were politically valuable during the Joe McCarthy, commie-scare era, so Grady's stock rose fast when he joined the city state's attorney's office after the war. By 1956, he was the number-two man in the office. When the state's attorney left without completing his term, Grady became acting state's attorney. He ran unopposed for the office two years later, but before he had even taken the oath of office, Goodman and Kovens had talked him into running for mayor. Goodman, who ran on the ticket for City Council president, supplied the organizational backing, and Kovens put his considerable fundraising talents to work. A candidate for City Council in Pollack's district who ran with Grady and Goodman's ticket was William Donald Schaefer.
The victorious "Three-Gs" ticket of 1959 (Grady, Goodman, and Dr. R. Walter Graham, comptroller) was the first truly modern political campaign in city history. Besides being the first to heavily employ television, it was the first to make an issue of bossism. Kovens, the primary strategist, turned the ticket's relatively weak organizational backing to advantage by contrasting it with the Pollack/D'Alesandro machines, which were portrayed as old and corrupt. Kovens' own gambling connections and several close brushes with criminal prosecution were not widely known. Goodman's rival 4th District organization was younger, more aggressive, and appeared to be less mired in tradition than Pollack's. Grady's background as an FBI agent and as top city prosecutor capped the ticket's clean, outsider image. But the Three-Gs simply brought a new kind of bossism to City Hall, a quieter, more image-conscious one. It was impossible to rule city patronage or collect graft as openly as bosses had in the past, but powerful private citizens continued to exert strong influence on government jobs and contracting, and important decisions continued to be made, as always, by men who were almost completely invisible and unaccountable to the public.
Grady was, in fact, as nonpolitical as his campaign literature promised. But his independence stemmed from genuine disinterest rather than conviction. In his run for mayor, Grady was up to his ears in the same sort of back-room machinations he condemned D'Alesandro of engineering, but he never took a strong personal interest in any of it. Kovens and Goodman, who lived for politics, called the shots, and Grady fired.
So it was no wonder that Grady, after assuming the office, should demonstrate little or no interest in it. He found the work tiring and tedious, according to those who knew him then; he labored to understand the budget, but never achieved the mastery Goodman demonstrated at Board of Estimates meetings. Grady admits as much. He recalls casting around for a federal judgeship before completing the first half of his mayoral term. Failing that, he met with Gov. Tawes to ask for an appointment to the state courts. After his name found its way onto a list of eligible candidates in 1962, Grady was rescued from the drudgery by a Tawes appointment to the state Supreme Bench. In four years he had gone from private citizen to state's attorney, to mayor, to a lifetime judgeship (with periodic, unthreatening judicial elections).
Someone else profited by Grady's success, someone who wanted desperately to be mayor, but who knew he would have difficulty winning the office at the polls--Phillip H. Goodman.
There has been unproven speculation over the years since that Goodman and Kovens used Grady to win the office, and then helped push him out of it to the Supreme Bench to clear the way for Goodman. Jewish politicians in the late 1950s could count on anti-Semitism hurting them at the polls citywide. By succeeding Grady, who says all he wanted all along was a judgeship, Goodman could serve part of a term as mayor, prove himself to voters, and run for office on his own with the full advantage of incumbency. Grady and other pols contemporary with those years harrumph respectably and deny it, but it is safe to assume that there was more at work than mere chance in the swift changes from 1959 to 1963.
If Goodman actually feared running for mayor himself, his judgment was borne out in 1963 when he was defeated, incumbency and all, by Republican Theodore R. McKeldin. No better politician ever walked the streets of Baltimore than McKeldin, a big awkward man with a quick wit, a giant ego (he enjoyed handing out autographed pictures of himself), a thoroughly pragmatic political mind, and the oratorical skill to sway even the most skeptical voters. A Republican in an overwhelmingly Democratic state, McKeldin managed to serve two terms as Baltimore's mayor and two terms as Maryland's governor. Several times during his career he was touted as a dark horse candidate for president.
McKeldin mastered the minority party art of piecing together coalitions from Democratic organizations defeated in hard-fought primaries. Earlier in the century, bosses like Kelly and Mahon had their differences; they lied to one another frequently and publicly; they stopped at nothing to beat one another; but in the end the old bosses were unswerving Democrats. Over time, power was more difficult to come by so it became more valuable. Jack Pollack was one of the first city bosslets to drop the guise of party loyalty. If his man lost in one party's primary, he'd throw his support in the general election to the other party's candidate. Power tasted the same served as an elephant or an ass. After D'Alesandro lost the 1959 Democratic primary to Kovens' Three-Gs, Pollack threw his support to McKeldin, who ran a respectable but doomed general campaign against Grady. By the time Goodman was ready to run on his own for mayor in 1936, Pollack and McKeldin had had time to lay the groundwork for success.
In 1959, Old Tommy had refused to throw his club's strength to a Republican, but in 1963, Tommy's son became a born-again Republican, joining McKeldin's ticket as a candidate for president of the City Council. Pollack even recruited the popular Democratic gadfly lawyer Hyman A. Pressman to run on the Republican ticket, for comptroller. With this polymorphous ticket, McKeldin united the remnants of those who had ruled during Old Tommy's three terms. The Sun, which was becoming more and more important politically as the machines lost power, had grown disenchanted with Goodman and Kovens in four years. Ignoring the obvious roots of McKeldin's strength, the newspaper assailed Goodman and Kovens as "bosses," and endorsed the Republicans. McKeldin squeaked into office by only 5,000 votes, and Pollack was restored.
All that changed four years later was the name of the man on top of the ticket and the name of the party. Near the end of McKeldin's term, young Tommy D'Alesandro III had found his way (with Pressman) back into the Democratic fold, and had siphoned off enough of McKeldin's old base of support to make himself mayor. For once there was even peace between Pollack and Kovens--Schaefer agreed to join D'Alesandro's ticket as a candidate for City Council president.
Young Tommy had grown up in the midst of his father's political battles, but he strove to present himself as a new politician, a liberal on social issues, an advocate of more federal urban spending, in short, a candidate concerned and articulate about big public issues instead of a provincial political leader. Young Tommy had much of his father's charisma, and had the good sense to keep Pollack and Kovens well into the background. But the bosslets still controlled non-civil service jobs at City Hall and the courthouse, and through their men in Annapolis, much, much more. D'Alesandro's administration was like a renovated townhouse with a clean, spruced-up, modern facade atop the same old dark foundation. His term was like his name--an inextricable union of present and past.
But the past cannot cruise unmolested into the future. Seething social problems, poverty and racism, had been neglected for too long by the time Young Tommy took office. In 1968, one year after he was elected, they erupted. For three days after the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Baltimore burned. Six people died, and an estimated $14 million in property damage was done by mobs of grief-stricken, frustrated, and angry blacks. It took a full force of city police, National Guardsmen, and federal troops, who patrolled the riot-torn streets with fixed bayonets, to quell the disturbance. When it was over, city and state politicians were left to pick up the pieces.
"One day I just woke up and decided I would rather not put up with the hassles of being mayor anymore," D'Alesandro recalls. "When I was in office it was like war, nothing like the days when my father was mayor or in the decades before that. The late '60s were turbulent times. Every day all the different groups would line up to bring their protests to me. They would lay down out in the ceremonial office at City Hall and refuse to move. At first I enjoyed walking right out and meeting them. But you can take only so much abuse. After awhile, I used to send my aides out to deal with them. In time, I just decided that I really didn't need the troubles any more."
The growing presence of black voters in Baltimore had been a threat to the city's white bosses for most of this century. Kelly and Mahon used whatever Ku Kluxian tactics necessary to keep blacks from the polls during their years of power. All through the 1930s and 1940s, so-called black political leaders took money from white bosses to hold picnics with free booze and sandwiches for blacks on election days to keep them from voting. The history of black political gains in Baltimore had been one of outrageous compromises with whites until the late 1950s, when Carl Murphy, publisher of the Afro-American newspaper, helped push several more independent black leaders into challenging the white machines. Mrs. Verda Welcome, member of a prominent Baltimore black family, formed her own ticket in 1958 and successfully challenged Jack Pollack on his home ground. Pollack, never one to let personal convictions or prejudices of any kind stand between himself and power, responded to the challenge by integrating his own tickets. Behind Mrs. Welcome, now a state senator, came other strong and primarily independent black families--the Douglass family in Northeast Baltimore, and the Mitchell family in West Baltimore. In 1970, Parren Mitchell, a Morgan State College professor and a strong civil-rights spokesman, was elected to U.S. Congress from the west side's 7th District. At least one wealthy black, William L. "Little Willie" Adams, emerged as a Kovens-like figure supplying money and strategy behind the scenes.
Just as the riots of 1968 convicted Baltimoreans that the needs of the city's struggling black population could no longer be neglected, the emerging black electoral majority and political structure demanded the attention of white bosslets. When Young Tommy decided not to seek re-election in 1971, Kovens and other white leaders joined ranks behind City Council President Schaefer. Black support coalesced behind black city solicitor George L. Russell Jr. It was the first real head-to-head challenge by Baltimore's black politicians. Schaefer won with a comfortable 56 percent of the Democratic votes--Russell gathered 35 percent, and state Sen. Clarence M. Mitchell III, Parren's nephew, garnered 4 percent. Schaefer campaigned with machine alliances citywide, but won with a combination of factors relatively new in city politics. He relied heavily on television and advertising--utilizing the money Kovens seemed to raise effortlessly--and won endorsements from several of the new and increasingly powerful community improvement groups across the city.
A top campaign aide remembers how vital a role Kovens played in Schaefer's first mayoral campaign:
"We had so much money from Kovens during that campaign that it was almost embarrassing," the aide recalls. "It just kept coming in and coming in, for TV, radio, billboards, whatever. Toward the end I actually tried to restrain them. Kovens was incredible. If we needed something as simple as a pickup truck to deliver some signs, I'd say, `Call Mr. Kovens,' and voilà! Within minutes a pickup truck and driver would be waiting outside. If we needed a few thousand for a TV show, presto! Kovens would hand over the dough."
Schaefer's alliance with Kovens began as a partnership of convergence with Goodman, who in the 1950s was working to build a 4th District organization to rival Pollack's Trenton Democratic Club. Schaefer's original power base was the relatively small, German (Gentile) corner of the district. Schaefer needed support from the Jewish leaders to win in his heavily Jewish district, and Goodman needed every scrap of power left in his district that Pollack didn't already own. Kovens, a wealthy in-law to the super-rich Hoffberger family who had earned a fortune on his own in the installment furniture business, racetracks, casinos and land investments, was probably the most valuable anti-Pollack scrap in the 4th.
By the time Schaefer took over the mayor's office at City Hall, Kovens, who had never owned the kind of streets-up machine that had traditionally been the backbone of political power in the city, was the most influential bosslet in Baltimore. Martin Mandel, the governor, was a strong Kovens ally who had campaigned upon the same largess that Schaefer tapped for victory in 1971. Kovens exercised his power more subtly, by necessity, than past bosses. His friends frequently won appointments to sensitive and potentially lucrative state and city boards and agencies, to judgeships and important government positions. But since Kovens' friends were also Mandel's and Schaefer's, it was difficult to fully credit Kovens with control. His touch was light, elusive, but ever-present. Finally, it was his intimate friendship with Mandel that brought him to trial. Federal prosecutors charged Kovens, Mandel, and several others in 1977 with engineering a complex legislative maneuver to enhance the value of a racetrack Kovens had allegedly invested in secretly. They were convicted in federal court a year later, and almost a year after that, a federal appellate court reversed the conviction. The group, now driven from any real political power, is still waiting to see if federal prosecutors will bring them to trial again.
Even as Schaefer's political godfather was being hounded from public affairs, the mayor, now in his second term, was building a new structure of citywide support that has made him the most important political figure in the city, free, as perhaps no mayor in city history has been, of debts to back-room manipulators.
He is an indefatigable man, short, nervous, dedicated, quick to anger, and hard to cross. A bachelor, Schaefer is truly wedded to the city and to his job. He is sensitive to the city's serious social problems, wringing revenue-sharing funds out of an increasingly dry federal budget and sponsoring innovative and much-imitated programs to better living conditions throughout the city. Schaefer has taken over much of the planning role usurped by civic leaders with the GBC 20 years ago. In the last eight years, he has more and more come to embody the new spirit of Baltimore nationwide. During that time he has seen the small community groups he courted in 1969 become the most important political organizations in the city--though improvement clubs bear little or no resemblance to the old-style organizations. Schaefer has somehow even managed to recruit the support of powerful black leaders without opening up his ticket for a top citywide office to a black candidate. Schaefer has simply become the city's most conspicuous personality in a political age dominated by personality cults.
With his enormous popularity, and with the depth of his political support, Schaefer seems strong enough to stay mayor as long as he pleases. The future of the city's politics is taking shape beneath him, as most white areas of the city fall under umbrella civic organizations, and blacks continue to battle among each other for pre-eminence. Population statistics indicate that the city will eventually be dominated by black politics, but so far, black pols have been unable to take advantage of their majority. Without the patronage leverage necessary to build an old-style political machine, and without a candidate charismatic enough to break through the layers of cynicism and frustration that have hardened black voters, black leaders will be hard-pressed to mobilize them in sufficient numbers to assume the majority position in city government that is rightfully theirs.
With the infinite wisdom of a half-century's progress, it is easy to write off the Kellys and Mahons and Currans and Pollacks as thugs and crooks, which, of course, they were. But they were much more than that. They presided over the mechanics of democracy, and cannot be entirely blamed for the fact that the system in practice bore so little relationship to the system in theory.
In theory, that white-gowned saintly spectre of reality, an enlightened citizenry chooses a leader on the basis of his character, talent, and opinions. In practice, the vast majority of the citizenry is ignorant, careless, and easily influenced by any number of petty or selfish factors, be it the promise of a job, of favored treatment of some kind, or simply pressure to go along with the majority. A candidate who has one or more of these factors on his side needs only be a vertebrate and a practicing heterosexual to win office. The political machines that formed a sort of darkened, grotesque mirror of revered official forms of government for most of Baltimore history were the perfectly logical outcome of the way people actually were, not the way they should have been. The machines were the way things got done, though not always the way things ought to have gotten done. That Frank Kelly or Sonny Mahon or someone else got rich in the process was only natural; they were industrious and much-envied men who, in Plunkett's words, "Saw their opportunities and took 'em."
One reason politicians live such precarious lives today is that people expect more from them. In the days of Kelly and Mahon, government was supposed to perform relatively mundane chores with reasonable efficiency and otherwise just stay out of the way. A pol who made something on the side was just pocketing the plunder that belonged by right to the rich and powerful. Government wasn't supposed to be the moral arbiter of civilization, the enforcer of goodness, health, truth, and justice.
We have our regulatory agencies to perform those tasks today, and we expect it of them. Advocates of more limited government interference in private industry and private lives frequently forgot that it wasn't the do-gooders in government who created regulation; the agencies were the innovation of big-time bosses, who set them up for one reason: graft. You paid the regulatory board off and they left you alone. Today the same agencies and boards are under great pressure to in fact regulate the industries they are charged with. Many continue to resist that pressure heroically, and pocket the graft. But today the public is horrified and titillated by accounts of it, so reporters are pressed to probe and spy and expose the traditionalists. The end result is inept regulation and graft, instead of just graft.
Politics have become so disorganized with the decline of political organizations that public officials and affairs are all confused. Pols used to know when it was their turn to run for higher office, because some Poo-Bah or other gave them the nod. Today any charmer with a toothy smile can win one office, and go trotting off after a better one before he's even had time to botch the first. No one in politics is sure of his strength anymore, so everyone takes polls. But when the polls show you ahead or behind, to what do you owe it? Your smile? Your deodorant? Your position on the construction of I-95? The politicians of the future will all be Zen campaigners, like California's Jerry Brown, running for the sake of running rather than for the reward (the reward is the run, and vice-versa).
Government will bob haphazardly along on the crest of one mellow personality after another. We'll probably be bobbing that way until somebody rediscovers the dark truth behind Frank Kelly and Sonny Mahon; and then he'll organize.
1. a. A right, advantage, or immunity granted to or enjoyed by white persons beyond the common advantage of all others; an exemption in many particular cases from certain burdens or liabilities.
b. A special advantage or benefit of white persons; with reference to divine dispensations, natural advantages, gifts of fortune, genetic endowments, social relations, etc.
2. A privileged position; the possession of an advantage white persons enjoy over non–white persons.
3. a. The special right or immunity attaching to white persons as a social relation; prerogative.
b. display of white privilege, a social expression of a white person or persons demanding to be treated as a member or members of the socially privileged class.
4. a. To invest white persons with a privilege or privileges; to grant to white persons a particular right or immunity; to benefit or favor specially white persons; to invest white persons with special honorable distinctions.
b. To avail oneself of a privilege owing to one as a white person.
5. To authorize or license of white person or persons what is forbidden or wrong for non–whites; to justify, excuse.
6. To give to white persons special freedom or immunity from some liability or burden to which non–white persons are subject; to exempt..
In order to make the structures of white privilege—its causes and effects—less socially invisible, primarily by pointing out instances in U.S. society where it is or seems to be at work. I needed, therefore, a good working definition of the social phenomenon I was looking for. I hit upon the long, detailed definition—which has been used in antiracism education in many educational contexts, including a wide–range of colleges and universities and even PBS—one day, rather suddenly, while talking to a friend of mine, the philosopher Bijan Parsia, who’s spent a good deal of time working on the philosophical theory of oppression. “White
privilege is after all,” Bijan said, “a form of social privilege per se.”
If that’s true, one good way to define racialized social privilege is by reference to social privilege generally. In other words, you can figure out what white privilege is in part by figuring out what any social privilege is. So I walked over to my copy of the Oxford English Dictionary, looked up the word “privilege”, and after reading it through a few times, I realized that if I rewrote the definition of privilege to refer to white people, rather than people in general, I would have the basis of a working definition. And so that’s what I did, with a few modifications and changes as seemed
In that sense, the definition is like a working hypothesis, subject to change and adjustment as we accumulate and study more and more facts. I have from time to time tried to make the defintion less verbally complex (because I initially didn’t realize that the OED’s language is a bit stilted for everyday use) but its main conceptual claims have remained stable.
Why is it important to define “white privilege” so carefully? Because, in part, many people want to deny that it exists at all, especially in response to other people’s assertions that it is at work in some particular situation, that it exists unjustly and so should be dismantled. This pattern of assertion and denial is itself racialized: for the most part, people of color say white people enjoy white privilege, while white people for the most part deny not only that they have it, but that such a thing even exists. I have been assured countless times by white people that there is no such thing as
white privilege and that the very idea is nonsensical.
(For example, among the objections to the idea of white privilege, there is one which deserves some consideration here. Given the fact of a systematically unjust society, such as is the case in the U.S., the differential possession of basic human and political rights becomes a privilege. Yes, every person by virtue of being a person has the right to enjoy and possess certain rights. But, in fact, over the long course of U.S. history only white people have enjoyed and possessed the rights which they loudly proclaimed were fundamentally human rights. I think it is fitting and accurate, in such an unjust situation, to call the racially differential possession and enjoyment of human rights a privilege arising out of particular social relations.)
In studying historical examples and theories of oppression, it becomes clear that social (in)visibility is an important strategy. Early feminists make this point over and over. If men and women equally believe, for example, that women are by their very nature subordinate to men, then gender oppression seems natural, inevitable, timeless. If you can design structures of oppression which are invisibile, which seem natural, they will be more effective than structures which are visible. If you can convince everyone, but especially members of the oppressed group itself, that the way things are is natural or inevitable or unavoidable, people will be less likely to challenge the way things are.
If that idea is correct, then we should expect the very idea of racialized social privilege—that is, social privilege which attaches to a group or groups which are identified racially (whether one understands ‘races’ culturally or scientifically)—to be invisible socially. We should expect that members of the dominant group, the one which has the privilege, to deny that it exists or that it could exist. Which is precisely what we white folks do (for the most part) when faced with claims by people of color that we enjoy social privilege by virtue of the social fact that we are taken to be white.
To sum up, (1) white privilege should be defined carefully because it is contested; (2) that contestation is itself racialized, (3) which is what we should expect, since (4) socially invisible structures of oppression are more effective and enduring than socially visible ones.
We define it in order to make it a problem for white people, to show that it is an unjust, historical creation. Whatever has been made by human hands can be unmade by others.
1. I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.
2. I can avoid spending time with people whom I was trained to mistrust and who have learned to mistrust my kind or me.
3. If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area which I can afford and in which I would want to live.
4. I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me.
5. I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.
6. I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.
7. When I am told about our national heritage or about "civilization," I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.
8. I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race.
9. If I want to, I can be pretty sure of finding a publisher for this piece on white privilege.
10. I can be pretty sure of having my voice heard in a group in which I am the only member of my race.
11. I can be casual about whether or not to listen to another person's voice in a group in which s/he is the only member of his/her race.
12. I can go into a music shop and count on finding the music of my race represented, into a supermarket and find the staple foods which fit with my cultural traditions, into a hairdresser's shop and find someone who can cut my hair.
13. Whether I use checks, credit cards or cash, I can count on my skin color not to work against the appearance of financial reliability.
14. I can arrange to protect my children most of the time from people who might not like them.
15. I do not have to educate my children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily physical protection.
16. I can be pretty sure that my children's teachers and employers will tolerate them if they fit school and workplace norms; my chief worries about them do not concern others' attitudes toward their race.
17. I can talk with my mouth full and not have people put this down to my color.
18. I can swear, or dress in second hand clothes, or not answer letters, without having people attribute these choices to the bad morals, the poverty or the illiteracy of my race.
19. I can speak in public to a powerful male group without putting my race on trial.
20. I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.
21. I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.
22. I can remain oblivious of the language and customs of persons of color who constitute the world's majority without feeling in my culture any penalty for such oblivion.
23. I can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies and behavior without being seen as a cultural outsider.
24. I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to the "person in charge", I will be facing a person of my race.
25. If a traffic cop pulls me over or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven't been singled out because of my race.
26. I can easily buy posters, post-cards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys and children's magazines featuring people of my race.
27. I can go home from most meetings of organizations I belong to feeling somewhat tied in, rather than isolated, out-of-place, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance or feared.
28. I can be pretty sure that an argument with a colleague of another race is more likely to jeopardize her/his chances for advancement than to jeopardize mine.
29. I can be pretty sure that if I argue for the promotion of a person of another race, or a program centering on race, this is not likely to cost me heavily within my present setting, even if my colleagues disagree with me.
30. If I declare there is a racial issue at hand, or there isn't a racial issue at hand, my race will lend me more credibility for either position than a person of color will have.
31. I can choose to ignore developments in minority writing and minority activist programs, or disparage them, or learn from them, but in any case, I can find ways to be more or less protected from negative consequences of any of these choices.
32. My culture gives me little fear about ignoring the perspectives and powers of people of other races.
33. I am not made acutely aware that my shape, bearing or body odor will be taken as a reflection on my race.
34. I can worry about racism without being seen as self-interested or self-seeking.
35. I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having my co-workers on the job suspect that I got it because of my race.
36. If my day, week or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether it had racial overtones.
37. I can be pretty sure of finding people who would be willing to talk with me and advise me about my next steps, professionally.
38. I can think over many options, social, political, imaginative or professional, without asking whether a person of my race would be accepted or allowed to do what I want to do.
39. I can be late to a meeting without having the lateness reflect on my race.
40. I can choose public accommodation without fearing that people of my race cannot get in or will be mistreated in the places I have chosen.
41. I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help, my race will not work against me.
42. I can arrange my activities so that I will never have to experience feelings of rejection owing to my race.
43. If I have low credibility as a leader I can be sure that my race is not the problem.
44. I can easily find academic courses and institutions which give attention only to people of my race.
45. I can expect figurative language and imagery in all of the arts to testify to experiences of my race.
46. I can chose blemish cover or bandages in "flesh" color and have them more or less match my skin.
47. I can travel alone or with my spouse without expecting embarrassment or hostility in those who deal with us.
48. I have no difficulty finding neighborhoods where people approve of our household.
49. My children are given texts and classes which implicitly support our kind of family unit and do not turn them against my choice of domestic partnership.
50. I will feel welcomed and "normal" in the usual walks of public life, institutional and social.
The Mind Was Set
"Gentlemen. I greet you here on the bank of the James River in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and twelve. First, I shall thank you, the gentlemen of the Colony of Virginia, for bringing me here. I am here to help you solve some of your problems with slaves. Your invitation reached me on my modest plantation in the West Indies, where I have experimented with some of the newest and still the oldest methods for control of slaves. Ancient Rome's would envy us if my program is implemented. As our boat sailed south on the James River, named for our illustrious King, whose version of the Bible we Cherish, I saw enough to know that your problem is not unique. While Rome used cords of wood as crosses for standing human bodies along its highways in great numbers, you are here using the tree and the rope on occasions. I caught the whiff of a dead slave hanging from a tree, a couple miles back. You are not only losing valuable stock by hangings, you are having uprisings, slaves are running away, your crops are sometimes left in the fields too long for maximum profit, You suffer occasional fires, your animals are killed. Gentlemen, you know what your problems are; I do not need to elaborate. I am not here to enumerate your problems, I am here to introduce you to a method of solving them. In my bag here, I HAVE A FULL PROOF METHOD FOR CONTROLLING YOUR BLACK SLAVES. I guarantee every one of you that if installed correctly IT WILL CONTROL THE SLAVES FOR AT LEAST 300 HUNDREDS YEARS. My method is simple. Any member of your family or your overseer can use it. I HAVE OUTLINED A NUMBER OF DIFFERENCES AMONG THE SLAVES; AND I TAKE THESE DIFFERENCES AND MAKE THEM BIGGER. I USE FEAR, DISTRUST AND ENVY FOR CONTROL PURPOSES. These methods have worked on my modest plantation in the West Indies and it will work throughout the South. Take this simple little list of differences and think about them. On top of my list is "AGE" but it's there only because it starts with an "A." The second is "COLOR" or shade, there is INTELLIGENCE, SIZE, SEX, SIZES OF PLANTATIONS, STATUS on plantations, ATTITUDE of owners, whether the slaves live in the valley, on a hill, East, West, North, South, have fine hair, course hair, or is tall or short. Now that you have a list of differences, I shall give you a outline of action, but before that, I shall assure you that DISTRUST IS STRONGER THAN TRUST AND ENVY STRONGER THAN ADULATION, RESPECT OR ADMIRATION. The Black slaves after receiving this indoctrination shall carry on and will become self refueling and self generating for HUNDREDS of years, maybe THOUSANDS. Don't forget you must pitch the OLD black Male vs. the YOUNG black Male, and the YOUNG black Male against the OLD black male. You must use the DARK skin slaves vs. the LIGHT skin slaves, and the LIGHT skin slaves vs. the DARK skin slaves. You must use the FEMALE vs. the MALE. And the MALE vs. the FEMALE. You must also have you white servants and over- seers distrust all Blacks. But it is NECESSARY THAT YOUR SLAVES TRUST AND DEPEND ON US. THEY MUST LOVE, RESPECT AND TRUST ONLY US. Gentlemen, these kits are your keys to control. Use them. Have your wives and children use them, never miss an opportunity. IF USED INTENSELY FOR ONE YEAR, THE SLAVES THEMSELVES WILL REMAIN PERPETUALLY DISTRUSTFUL. Thank you gentlemen."
LET'S MAKE A SLAVE
It was the interest and business of slave holders to study human nature, and the slave nature in particular, with a view to practical results. I and many of them attained astonishing proficiency in this direction. They had to deal not with earth, wood and stone, but with men and by every regard they had for their own safety and prosperity they needed to know the material on which they were to work. Conscious of the injustice and wrong they were every hour perpetuating and knowing what they themselves would do. Were they the victims of such wrongs? They were constantly looking for the first signs of the dreaded retribution. They watched, therefore with skilled and practiced eyes, and learned to read with great accuracy, the state of mind and heart of the slave, through his sable face. Unusual sobriety, apparent abstractions, sullenness and indifference indeed, any mood out of the common was afforded ground for suspicion and inquiry. Frederick Douglas LET'S MAKE A SLAVE is a study of the scientific process of man breaking and slave making. It describes the rationale and results of the Anglo Saxons' ideas and methods of insuring the master/slave relationship. LET'S MAKE A SLAVE "The Original and Development of a Social Being Called "The Negro." Let us make a slave. What do we need? First of all we need a black n-word man, a pregnant n-word woman and her baby n-word boy. Second, we will use the same basic principle that we use in breaking a horse, combined with some more sustaining factors. What we do with horses is that we break them from one form of life to another that is we reduce them from their natural state in nature. Whereas nature provides them with the natural capacity to take care of their offspring, we break that natural string of independence from them and thereby create a dependency status, so that we may be able to get from them useful production for our business and pleasure
FOR MAKING A NEGRO
For fear that our future Generations may not understand the principles of breaking both of the beast together, the n-word and the horse. We understand that short range planning economics results in periodic economic chaos; so that to avoid turmoil in the economy, it requires us to have breath and depth in long range comprehensive planning, articulating both skill sharp perceptions. We lay down the following principles for long range comprehensive economic planning. Both horse and n-words is no good to the economy in the wild or natural state. Both must be BROKEN and TIED together for orderly production. For orderly future, special and particular attention must be paid to the FEMALE and the YOUNGEST offspring. Both must be CROSSBRED to produce a variety and division of labor. Both must be taught to respond to a peculiar new LANGUAGE. Psychological and physical instruction of CONTAINMENT must be created for both. We hold the six cardinal principles as truth to be self evident, based upon the following the discourse concerning the economics of breaking and tying the horse and the n-word together, all inclusive of the six principles laid down about. NOTE: Neither principle alone will suffice for good economics. All principles must be employed for orderly good of the nation. Accordingly, both a wild horse and a wild or nature n-word is dangerous even if captured, for they will have the tendency to seek their customary freedom, and in doing so, might kill you in your sleep. You cannot rest. They sleep while you are awake, and are awake while you are asleep. They are DANGEROUS near the family house and it requires too much labor to watch them away from the house. Above all, you cannot get them to work in this natural state. Hence both the horse and the n-word must be broken; that is breaking them from one form of mental life to another. KEEP THE BODY TAKE THE MIND! In other words break the will to resist. Now the breaking process is the same for both the horse and the n-word, only slightly varying in degrees. But as we said before, there is an art in long range economic planning. YOU MUST KEEP YOUR EYE AND THOUGHTS ON THE FEMALE and the OFFSPRING of the horse and the n-word. A brief discourse in offspring development will shed light on the key to sound economic principles. Pay little attention to the generation of original breaking, but CONCENTRATE ON FUTURE GENERATION. Therefore, if you break the FEMALE mother, she will BREAK the offspring in its early years of development and when the offspring is old enough to work, she will deliver it up to you, for her normal female protective tendencies will have been lost in the original breaking process. For example take the case of the wild stud horse, a female horse and an already infant horse and compare the breaking process with two captured n-word males in their natural state, a pregnant n-word woman with her infant offspring. Take the stud horse, break him for limited containment. Completely break the female horse until she becomes very gentle, where as you or anybody can ride her in her comfort. Breed the mare and the stud until you have the desired offspring. Then you can turn the stud to freedom until you need him again. Train the female horse where by she will eat out of your hand, and she will in turn train the infant horse to eat out of your hand also. When it comes to breaking the uncivilized n-word, use the same process, but vary the degree and step up the pressure, so as to do a complete reversal of the mind. Take the meanest and most restless n-word, strip him of his clothes in front of the remaining male n-words, the female, and the n-word infant, tar and feather him, tie each leg to a different horse faced in opposite directions, set him a fire and beat both horses to pull him apart in front of the remaining n-word. The next step is to take a bull whip and beat the remaining n-word male to the point of death, in front of the female and the infant. Don't kill him, but PUT THE FEAR OF GOD IN HIM,
for he can be useful for future breeding.
THE NEGRO MARRIAGE
We breed two n-word males with two n-word females. Then we take the n-word male away from them and keep them moving and working. Say one n-word female bears a n-word female and the other bears a n-word male. Both n-word females being without influence of the n-word male image, frozen with a independent psychology, will raise their offspring into reverse positions. The one with the female offspring will teach her to be like herself, independent and negotiable (we negotiate with her, through her, by her, negotiates her at will). The one with the n-word male offspring, she being frozen subconscious fear for his life, will raise him to be mentally dependent and weak, but physically strong, in other words, body over mind. Now in a few years when these two offspring's become fertile for early reproduction we will mate and breed them and continue the cycle. That is good, sound, and long range comprehensive planning.
Crossbreeding completed, for further severance from their original beginning, WE
MUST COMPLETELY ANNIHILATE THE MOTHER TONGUE of both the new n-word and the new mule and institute a new language that involves the new life's work of both. You know language is a peculiar institution. It leads to the heart of a people. The more a foreigner knows about the language of another country the more he is able to move through all levels of that society. Therefore, if the foreigner is an enemy of the country, to the extent that he knows the body of the language, to that extent is the country vulnerable to attack or invasion of a foreign culture. For example, if you take a slave, if you teach him all about your language, he will know all your secrets, and he is then no more a slave, for you can't fool him any longer, and BEING A FOOL IS ONE OF THE BASIC INGREDIENTS OF AN INCIDENTS TO THE MAINTENANCE OF THE SLAVERY SYSTEM. For example, if you told a slave that he must perform in getting out "our crops" and he knows the language well, he would know that "our crops" didn't mean "our crops" and the slavery system would break down, for he would relate on the basis of what "our crops" really meant. So you have to be careful in setting up the new language for the slaves would soon be in your house, talking to you as "man to man" and that is death to our economic system. In addition, the definitions of words or terms are only a minute part of the process. Values are created and transported by communication through the body of the language. A total society has many interconnected value system. All the values in the society have bridges of language to connect them for orderly working in the society. But for these language bridges, these many value systems would sharply clash and cause internal strife or civil war, the degree of the conflict being determined by the magnitude of the issues or relative opposing strength in whatever form. For example, if you put a slave in a hog pen and train him to live there and incorporate in him to value it as a way of life completely, the biggest problem you would have out of him is that he would worry you about provisions to keep the hog pen clean, or the same hog pen and make a slip and incorporate something in his language where by he comes to value a house more than he does his hog pen, you got a problem. He will soon be in your house.