It is predictable, comical and yet tragic the way the left has rushed to defend conditions in Baltimore in the wake of President Trump's branding of the city as crime-ridden, drug-ridden and rodent-infested. The citizens of Baltimore deserve better.

Trump's criticism was of Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland), who has represented Baltimore in Congress for years. Cummings attacked conditions at border detention centers as somewhat less than humane, which immediately drew Trump's ire. Trump quickly pointed out that conditions on the border are considerably better than those in predominantly black Baltimore.

Trump's comments about Baltimore have not been challenged by anyone. In fact, very recent interviews, comments and news coverage of the city seem to strongly support what Trump has said. But Trump is being pounded by the left and in the media for the cardinal sin of daring to criticize a black congressman. That makes him a racist in their eyes, but it doesn't hide the fact that Cummings has done a poor job in representing his constituency and the people there are mired in squalor.

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What is tragic about all of this is that the squalid conditions that exist in Baltimore and other urban centers, and the folks who live there, are taking a back seat as the debate shifts to whether Trump is a racist. In other words, the focus has shifted away from the point that Cummings and other elected Democrats have done nothing to improve conditions for their constituents and, in fact, conditions have worsened on their watch.

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What is positive in all of this is that the nation's attention now is squarely on Baltimore and it wasn't Elijah Cummings advocating for his people that made that happen. It was President Trump, who had the guts to call out a bad congressman for failing to see to the needs of so many people who put their faith in him.

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Shame on you, Congressman Cummings.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.