In true political form, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake chose not to answer Jada Pinkett Smith’s letter — which asked the mayor to prevent the jabbing of circus elephants with bullhooks at Ringling Bros.’ upcoming Baltimore performance — head on. Instead, she changed the subject and went on the offensive, chiding Pinkett Smith for not helping the mayor solve homelessness or repair our public schools after being “reached out” to.

Now, when you’re the mayor, it’s unbecoming at best to whine about a private citizen not doing enough for Baltimore; fixing the problems of the city is literally your job. But asking us to blame homelessness and underperforming schools on Jada Pinkett Smith — JADA PINKETT SMITH?! — is patently absurd. That’s the kind of thing you blame on the previous mayor or an uncooperative city council.

But the actress doesn’t need me defending her; she’s got an aunt who’s spitting fire. Karen Evans, who runs Pinkett Smith’s Baltimore-based charity, wrote a letter to the mayor touting her niece’s extensive local charity work and closing with the perfect burn: “I hope that at the end of your administration you will be able to say that you have made as positive an impact as she has.”

If only the elephants themselves could write letters — we’d have an angry-missive battle royale.