BALTIMORE: The founder of Imre joined the leaders of Johns Hopkins, Under Armour and other organizations in defending their home city of Baltimore after President Donald Trump described the city as "disgusting."
Originally planned for launch after Labor Day, the website WeAreBaltimore.com debuted after Trump called the city and the district of Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) a "disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess."
"Trump has demonstrated time and time again that he’s racist," said Greg Tucker, a Baltimore resident, media consultant and cofounder of the website, which will aggregate positive stories about the city. "[His tweets] plays to the most base and grotesque stereotypes."
Trump’s comments prompted #WeAreBaltimore to trend on Twitter over the weekend. Tucker noted that the city has endured negative press due to its crime and poverty rates and said he doesn’t want to deflect from "harsh realities" but took issue with the president’s message.
"Every verbal flatulence from that man is more dispiriting than the last," he said, pointing to Baltimore’s cultural and artistic history, academic achievements and status as home to Johns Hopkins.
"It’s a great American city with an unrivalled history," Tucker said. "It has played and will continue to play an important part in our nation."
Imre CEO Dave Imre also voiced his displeasure with the president’s tweets.
"My reaction is Baltimore is a great place to be born [in], start a business and live, and I think anyone willing to help improve our area, I welcome their input and excitement," he said.
"We know there are issues, but we’re trying to be part of the solution," Imre said.
His message echoed a Baltimore Sun op-ed written by John Hopkins president Ronald Daniels and Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, which acknowledged "the weight of generations of racial and economic inequities, deindustrialization and disinvestment" on the city, but took a hopeful tone.
"Baltimore is not and will not be defined by our challenges," they wrote. "What defines us is that we continually meet those challenges with resilience and persistence, that we invest in innovation for Baltimore and for the nation, and that we harness the talent of so many exceptional individuals to create opportunity not for the few, but for the many."
An Under Armour representative declined further comment.
Over the weekend, Plank shared on his personal Instagram account a year-old Under Armour advertisement that celebrates the city and encourages the audience to go to We Will, a global philanthropic entity created by the sporting apparel company.