Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dear Washington Examiner, Ballou High School is NOT in Anacostia. It's in Congress Heights, that neighborhood TWO neighborhoods away.

The Advoc8te occasionally freelances for The Washington Examiner as the Congress Heights Examiner so this really gets my goat, especially after writing a post for the Washington Examiner on the same subject, There is no such thing as the United States of Anacostia.

In Today's Washington Examiner article by staffwriter Leah Fabel, D.C. elementary students' reading, math scores fall  the writer quotes School Chancellor Michelle Rhee:

"You have to look at the overall three-year picture," Rhee said Tuesday, speaking alongside Mayor Adrian Fenty at Anacostia's Ballou Senior High. "You're going to have some times of setbacks, and you have to redouble your efforts at those points.

"We still know we have so far to go," she said.
The Advoc8te would go so far as saying those reporting news East of the River "have a long way to go" in learning a DC geography and reporting it accurately. 

As a concerned CHotR reader requested in their open letter, Southeast has as many neighborhoods as Northwest:

"So my gentle suggestion to DC journalists is to print out a Google map of Southeast DC, which helpfully names the neighborhoods, and take advantage of the lovely weather we're having to take a drive around, familiarize yourself with which area is called what, until it is as familiar to you as the distinction between Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights, Woodley Park and Cleveland Park, and then start using those names in your reporting."

Anacostia has never been and will never be the name of  all DC lands in Ward 8 or East of the River. It may not seem like a serious issue to some but where most DC/Maryland/VA residents have assigned such a negative perception to all things "Anacostia" and "Southeast" (without really knowing where they are located)it's a huge problem.  A problem that River East residents have to deal with everyday, especially when trying to catch a cab, sell a home, or even have friends come to visit  in their (most likely NOT Anacostia) neighborhoods.

If everything "bad"  happens in "Anacostia" and "Southeast" where does that leave the rest of the East of the River neighborhoods? It doesn't. We just kind of fall in under one (mostly negative) geographic blackhole.    Whenever a crime occurs East of the River, regardless if it occurred in Ward 7 or Ward 8, in Police District 6 or 7, in NE or SW (our side of the river) it generally is reported as occurring in  "Southeast" or "Anacostia".  It's inaccurate reporting that needs to stop and reporters should take care when reporting the news.

Therefore I present (again) another Google Map to show where the Anacostia neighborhood is in relation to Congress Heights.  In this case how far (about 3 miles) Ballou Senior High School in Congress Heights is from Anacostia.

We have got to do better people.

View Ballou Senior Highscool in Congress Heights in a larger map

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Ms. V said...

If we had a dollar for every time someone said Anacostia for our neighborhoods, we'd have enough money to retire

IMGoph said...

keep driving the point home! eventually, they'll get it. but it's going to be a long, hard slog to the finish line!

Anonymous said...

After they finish GENTRIFYING the whole area what difference does the name mean anyway. Might as well call it Whiteyville!!!