THE TRAP: The Horseshoe Casino & the Continuation of Black Genocide By: Reginald K. Mathes, MPA

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The white supremacy attack upon the Black male causes a collapse of Black family life and a distortion in the role of the Black female.  This, in turn, causes a distortion and collapse of the support system for Black infants, children and youth, thereby beginning the process of inferiorization” ~ Welsing   

Last week, I decided to travel to Baltimore City’s newest 24 hour entertainment extravaganza.  The Horseshoe Casino.  I decided to experience the Horseshoe Casino during a beautiful sunset in the early morning around 3:00 AM.  As I navigated to one of the tallest parking decks that provides the most extravagant view of Baltimore City, I was confronted with the city of the misunderstood.  Or should I refer to the individuals that reside in this city as the “City of Survivors”?  Or if I labeled my people, as the City of the Lost, would I be stoned and castrated? Just my random thoughts.

The African-Americans who are suffering from institutional racism, residential segregation, oppression and essentially white supremacy.  Which I will soon start referring to as the PHANTOM.  See, I’m suffering from the same pain; therefore, I feel like I can express myself in any shape, form or fashion.  Do you get it? Furthermore, as my car accelerated up the tallest free parking deck in the city, I had a decision to make.  “Do I get out of my car”?  Do I go home and sit my ass down, as my mother has always suggested? Or do I go inside and let the bright lights, women, chandeliers and money trick me into thinking I made it?  Of course, I decided to enter a casino that was established and built in walking distance of a population that is in severe need.  Basically, an underserved community of African-Americans.

I ask myself, how do they establish a casino in a city that is in need of mentoring programs, and never-ending MLK speeches?  Never ending Farrakhan and Malcom X speeches.   A city that is in severe need of hope.  A city of mothers who are in significant need of Dr. Umar Johnson’s speeches.  Why would they put a casino that serves 24 hour alcohol in the middle of an undeserved community?  I guess it correlates with Dr. Francis Cress Welsing’s (1991) theories regarding the white collective.  Basically, annihilation of the Black race.  I refer to it as the extermination of the Black collective.  I predict that the establishment of this entertainment arena will assist with the perpetuation Black genocide, increased HIV rates, Black on Black crime and ultimately Black misery.  There is a chapter titled “Why White Americans are Healthier” in Knowles & Prewitt’s book titled Institutional Racism in America (1969).

Knowles & Prewitt (1969) contend that in order to answer this question we must distinguish between improving health, on the one hand, and decreasing disparity between Black and White health on the other.  I argue that establishing a casino in walking distance of the murder of Freddie Gray and underserved communities will continue to prolong health disparities in Baltimore City’s African-American underserved communities.  However, I have to admit that I anticipated gambling about twenty dollars on the slot machines, however; after entering the HorseShoe Casino, I started thinking with my higher learning.  I started remembering how terrified I was when my car accelerating up one of the tallest parking decks in the City of Baltimore as the sun was rising.

Ironically, I’ve been complaining about paying for parking for 4 years.  Guess what? Parking at this casino is free.  I can hear the white collective saying “make the parking free and serve the alcohol 24 hours”.  See, that’s THE TRAP” and we all are falling for it including myself.  I didn’t understand how deadly of a TRAP the Horseshoe Casino was until the next day.  As I traveled to a fine dining restaurant that specializes in Maryland’s signature crabs, a friend of mine said “it’s a terrible thing what they did there with that casino”.  Then it hit me.  Then it actually terrified me.  At that moment, I instantly understood why I was terrified to get out of my vehicle and engage myself into the bright lights that Kanye West sings about in one of his award winning songs.

It was at that moment, when I understood why Welsing (1991) states “as Black people, we also can adopt the definition that under the conditions of White supremacy, Black manhood does not mean macho or money, but instead it means warrior or soldier against White supremacy, embracing everything that the words warrior or solider imply” (p.192).  It was at that moment that I remembered walking through the most beautiful casino on earth, and noticing the anger, frustration and misery that resided on young Black men’s faces.  The images on these faces depicted pain, anger and violence which essentially led to my prediction of another blood bath in Baltimore City.  This was an experience that has led to a new goal, and vision of establishing a nonprofit to assist Baltimore City with saving young African-American men and boys lives.


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