Best White Whine

City Paper

In early February, a perfect time for avoiding the harsh temperatures of winter by staying inside and staring at one’s navel, local business owner Tracey Halvorsen took to social media, to borrow the laziest media locution of the social-media age, and wrote “Baltimore City, You’re Breaking My Heart” about the reasons people are leaving the city. As evidence she used things like a crime map of Fells Point and Butcher’s Hill, noise pollution from police helicopters circling overhead, and the heavy burden of repeatedly having friends at cocktail parties ask, “Is Baltimore really like ‘The Wire’?” Featuring the fancy splashes and digital bells and whistles provides, Halvorsen’s post read like a plea to make the city safe again for honkeys while altogether ignoring the societal issues facing her neighbors in poorer areas. Though Halvorsen didn’t say this explicitly, it was clear who she was afraid of: young black men. This being the aforementioned social-media age, the screed went viral, with people responding to Halvorsen, others responding to the responders, and eventually Halvorsen appending responses to her responders and the responders of the responders. The only thing anybody really learned is that well-to-do white folks are still afraid of African-American teens and sure has some fancy doo-hickeys.

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