Tag Archives: dc

The Racialicious Links Roundup 8.1.13: Profiling, Civic Tech, And A SMH Moment Care Of Zimmerman

By Joseph Lamour

  • George Zimmerman Speeding, Pulled Over With Gun In Car (HuffPo Black Voices)

    Zimmerman, who informed police that the weapon was in the car shortly after being pulled over, was asked where he was going, to which he responded, “nowhere in particular,” according to the site.

    CBS News reports that, during the traffic stop, which occurred at 12:54 p.m., Zimmerman also asked the officer if he recognized him from television.

  • Motorbike riders file lawsuit against DC police (WJLA News DC)

    “They’re not really letting us acknowledge them as police officers,” he told ABC 7. “They’re just doing it. We the police, we can do it. No you can’t. You have laws to live by too. It’s not right.”

    Attorney David Shurtz does not condone illegal riding, but said that targeting riders with deadly force for a minor offense is outrageous and indicative of racial profiling:

    “No one else is being knocked off bikes except young black males in bad sections of town.”

  • Why Civic Tech Needs More Minorities and Women (HuffPo Black Voices)

    The population of U.S. women and minorities combined are a literal majority. Yet these two groups remain under-represented in boardrooms, governments, and the tech industry in general. For Code for America’s (CfA) purposes of improving the community, this has to change. Simply put, it’s completely unrealistic to assume that our governments can be inherited by the same homogenous group that came before us. We need to be at the planning tables.

  • PODCAST: The Culture Gabfest “The Duchess Has a Vagina” Edition (Slate)

    On this week’s episode, our critics discuss the new Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black, which chronicles the 15 months one woman spent in federal prison and is based on Piper Kerman’s memoir of the same name. What does the show say about our obsession with fish-out-of-water middle-class characters caught in a world of crime? And does it continue Netflix’s promising track record of original programming? The gabbers then dissect the unsettling, gorgeous, and absolutely original new documentary The Act of Killing. The film follows several perpetrators of a mass killing of alleged communists in mid-1960s Indonesia as they stage re-enactments of their harrowing techniques and confront their own deeds in the process. Lastly, Simon Doonan joins to add a British perspective as the gabbers chat about the newborn royal baby and ask the key question: Who cares?

On The Rapid Gentrification of DC

Ben's Next DoorThe New York Times recently published another take on gentrification in DC, focusing on the U and H street corridors:

[R]ace and class issues often overlap, and as the city’s demographics shift — the white population jumped by 31 percent in the past decade, while the black population declined by 11 percent — many less affluent blacks say they are feeling left out of the city’s improving fortunes. In April, the Census Bureau reported that Ward 8, in the city’s mostly poor and black southeast, had the highest jobless rate in the country.

“Change is good, but it kind of kicks some of us to the back of the bus,” said Shirley Parnell, a Department of Motor Vehicles worker who recently inherited her mother’s house near H Street, which came with $11,000 in back taxes. [...]

The Rev. Cheryl J. Sanders, the pastor at the Third Street Church of God, in the Mount Vernon neighborhood, argues that race is important, particularly in gentrifying neighborhoods like hers. Her plan to raze buildings on church property to make room for more parking was blocked by her local neighborhood council in a vote that was divided evenly along racial lines. Blacks voted in favor of the church, long the social heart of the black community, and whites, concerned with preservation, opposed it. City preservation authorities later struck a compromise.

At stake, Ms. Sanders said, is the face of the nation’s capital and who gets to shape it. That privilege has special meaning here in Washington, whose black-majority government has given jobs to African-Americans and a way into a middle class that they had long been shut out of.

“It’s a question of who has the power to determine what this community is going to look like,” she said. “I want to have a voice in that. I don’t want to be told to ‘sit down and shut up while we cast the vision for the city.’ ”

Sanders hit the nail on the head. The vision of the city is essentially being dictated to longtime residents from outside interests – or, worse, from the folks who have settled here while Obama is in office, and don’t see DC as home. The newer visions for the city are heavily cosmetic and heavily skewed to a younger, moneyed class – which is causing tensions. As we’ve spoken about gentrification many times before (see the links at the bottom of the article) and that tough bridge dividing long time residents and the new development.

It’s easier to like things like new establishments, nicer streets, rising property values and many lifers understand why it’s important to woo a larger tax base. But it’s hard to like changes that just feel straight up exclusionary. Continue reading

The Gentrification Shuffle, Redux: Rebranding Anacostia

by Latoya Peterson

Anacostia Shops

“Gentrification is coming,” says Morgan, “and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.”

What’s the difference between East of the River and River East?  According to a March 3rd article in the Washington City Paper, it depends on who you are.

Anacostia is located in South East, DC, made notorious for high levels of crime in violence in the 1990s. The area, currently 92% black and one of the most impoverished areas in DC, is often referred to by its residents as “East of the River.” This stands in contrast to the area of North West referred to as “West of the Park,” which holds a high concentration of wealth. Longtime residents often use those two descriptors to explain the flow of class and politics around DC. Those East of the River tend to get the short end of the stick, with horrible support from the city government. Those West of the Park receive all the benefits privilege can afford.

So, when new residents began to flock to the promise of cheap housing and convenient access to downtown Washington, they decided that the old image of Anacostia was ultimately detrimental to the neighborhood:

[T]here’s a constituency of folks who don’t like what “east of the river” connotes, and they’ve created an organization in part to address the matter. Members of “River East Emerging Leaders”—note the lower-case, hipoisie-appeasing acronym “r.e.e.l.”—have a new name for the place they call home. For these people, it’s “River East.” The rationale for the appellation comes straight from r.e.e.l.’s Web site: “Many committee members recalled conversations with friends or news stories characterizing ‘East of the River’ as dirty, dangerous, crime-ridden and poor. ‘River East’ was a new way to rebrand the area and inspire a sense of pride.”

Older residents fear that being “rebranded” is a way to remove them from the neighborhood. And their fears are well founded – often, projects to improve older neighborhoods tend to displace the lifelong residents there, in favor of wealthier entrants. Continue reading

Racist Tweets Can Get You Fired

by Latoya Peterson

– davidle630: “In americas ghetto anacostia… If i get scared i will just yell chinese carry out! They will not shoot me.”

From the “none too swift” files, David Le was fired after his twitter messages about his slacking off at work and hating Anacostia surfaced.

The D.C. Department of Employment Services fired a contractor who was working with youths in the city’s summer jobs program after officials became aware of messages on his Twitter site that Anacostia is “ghetto” and that he was loafing at work.[...]

Reached through Facebook, Le declined to comment. In a Twitter message, he said he is Asian. The profile photo shows him shirtless and in sunglasses. Hobson said he began working on June 10 and was paid $13 per hour to oversee participants in the Summer Youth Employment Program.

In addition to the racist comments, he was happy to talk about how much he wasn’t working:

– davidle630: “thank goodness my boss is making things easy, he told me to pretend to do work so he can mark me down for hours…

– davidle630: “They decided to just pay us for 40 hours a week bc we are too lazy to sign in and out…”