Giving a voice to the voiceless in Baltimore

February 16, 2017

Ron Daniels, president of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, is correct when he says that there is a “surfeit of history here, in terms of Hopkins’ relationship with the city” (“The university as pillar of the community”, Features, 9 February). While briefly alluding to some aspects of that troubled history, the article’s central claim that the university’s activities “help locals build richer, healthier, more inclusive cities” is being challenged by many who live and work in the city. Johns Hopkins University’s continuing justification of its role in the dispossession and displacement of hundreds of low-income African American families close to its East Baltimore medical campus – documented by Marisela Gomez in her 2012 book Race, Class, Power, and Organizing in East Baltimore – is perhaps the most egregious recent example. The “appropriate consternation and scepticism” of which Daniels speaks was in fact a reaction to what was an institutionally racist land grab, as commented on recently by The Washington Post (“Johns Hopkins Hospital inspires mistrust and fear in parts of East Baltimore”, 2 February 2017).

Times Higher Education gave publicity to only one side of this contentious story: the side of power, influence and white privilege, rather than the repressed voices of the dispossessed. By ignoring the opinions and resistance of a community when writing about that community, THE is actively contributing to the perpetuation of structural racism and inequality.

Graham Mooney
Associate professor
Department of the history of medicine
Johns Hopkins University


Send to

Letters should be sent to: THE.Letters@tesglobal.com
Letters for publication in Times Higher Education should arrive by 9am Monday.
View terms and conditions.

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford will host a homeopathy conference next month

Charity says Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford is ‘naive’ to hire out its premises for event

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Woman pulling blind down over an eye
Liz Morrish reflects on why she chose to tackle the failings of the neoliberal academy from the outside
White cliffs of Dover

From Australia to Singapore, David Matthews and John Elmes weigh the pros and cons of likely destinations

Steve Keen, Kingston University

Steve Keen laments loss of ‘time and freedom’ for universities’ ‘original thinkers’