|State of the Uniontown|
From yesterday's Washington Post article:
Natasha Dasher, 36, whose Uniontown Bar and Grill has become a popular destination in Southeast Washington, was confronted late last month by federal drug agents who had followed a tractor-trailer carrying the cocaine, about 140 pounds of it, to Fort Washington, according to an affidavit by a Drug Enforcement Administration agent.
Dasher, who arrived at the office complex shortly after the truck pulled in, confirmed to the agents that the truck driver, Manuel Jesus Robles, had entered her office, according to the affidavit. Dasher provided the agents with a key to the suite, and when they went inside, they found Robles and three large duffel bags containing about $1.5 million, the affidavit says. Robles told agents that 65 kilograms of cocaine could be found in the fuel tank of the truck, according to the affidavit.Understandably, since the story has broken everyone wants to talk about the allegations. People have been calling, emailing, and texting me inquiring about my thoughts on what this means for Uniontown and Anacostia. I am telling them the same thing that I am going to tell you, my dear readers. :)
Whenever possibly I try not to trade in rumor or speculation. We have had enough of that in Ward 8 to last a lifetime and we see where that has gotten us, nowhere good. You take the 20% of truth about Ward 8 and combine that with the speculation, rumor, and ignorance and the final story almost always goes from the specific, to the general, to the outlandish.
I have never understood why when it comes to crimes perpetrated by a black person some people (typically anonymous blog commenters) immediately like to paint everyone with racial (or geographic) commonalities with the same brush. It should go without saying, "The actions of the individual do not reflect the values and morals of an entire group." I have yet to see white people carrying the burden (or blame) of the actions of Bernie Madoff, Lindsey Lohan, or Bryan Talbot; the latter a DC business owner who lives in an affluent neighborhood of Northwest and who was just arrested this week by the FBI for defrauding local homeowners (including many in "Southeast") to the tune of over 1 million dollars. So far only one local news agency, WJLA, has taken the time to report that story (make of that what you will).
Don't get me wrong. I understand this is a big story - not just for Anacostia or Ward 8 but the District as a whole. A highly visible DC restauranteur was charged with a federal crime of drug trafficking. The story should be told, it is relevant and very concerning. Personally I was shocked to the point of nauseousness. However, just because the details are particularly provocative doesn't mean we should suspend our hopes (and expecations) for East of the River. This is not an opportunity for some to sit in judgement (often under the cover of a screenname) and say, "What would you expect from Ward 8?!"
Back to the facts. Right now we know (and this may change):
Natasha Dasher owns Uniontown.
Uniontown has been an important part of the renewed revitalization of the Anacostia neighborhood.
Natasha Dasher has been charged with a federal crime.
Yesterday's article made no mention of drug trafficking in or around Uniontown.
As for the future, it remains to be seen what will happen with Natasha (she is still innocent until proven guilty) and it remains to be seen what will happen to Uniontown. My instinct (and connections) tells me that good business is hard to ignore and Uniontown has good business.
One thing is for sure, yesterday's allegations take nothing from the fun times we had at Uniontown, or what its success will mean for Anacostia. I was just at Uniontown on Friday with family and friends for an event and I was dancing, drinking, and contributing to the economic development of Anacostia - to the tune of $70!. We all had a great time and I am looking forward to more such great times. Anacostia really is becoming a place to Eat Shop Live Anacostia - sorry, couldn't help myself. :)
The future still looks bright.
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