Earlier this year, conservative activist Scott Presler sent out a call to action asking people to join him in cleaning up trash in Baltimore. More than 170 volunteers worked from 8 am to 8 pm picking up over 12 tons of trash.
You would think that picking up trash would not lead to the local paper trashing their efforts. You would be wrong. The editorial board of the Baltimore Sun ran an op-ed that trashed Presler and his group. First, they made this snarky comment. “We assume it was pure motives that led a Trump supporter to lead a clean-up in Cummings’ district, right?” Scott Presler even said that this wasn’t a political action. He and others saw a need and decided to do something about it.
Let’s be honest. There were probably some mixed motives. But if your only motive was to embarrass a member of Congress, you could do that by calling the media together and pick up some trash on one street and then go home. More than a hundred people worked twelve hours picking up 12 tons of trash. These volunteers were motivated. But they probably won’t be motivated to do something like this next time.
Back when I was the president of our high school service organization, we spent a day picking up trash and cleaning up a town. The local paper ran a small story about it. If the writer criticized us like the Baltimore Sun, I doubt I would have been able to get anyone to volunteer for the next service project.
Oh, and the editors weren’t finished. They also complained that this clean up “reinforces the tired image of our failing urban cores. That poor people in this dilapidated city can’t take care of their own neighborhoods.” What a contrast to a few of the posted videos that showed people in this neighborhood who were appreciative of what was done.
Sadly, in this politicized society, no good work goes unpunished.