|Not the sign of the apocalypse.|
For all of us who live east of the river and who have been forced to spend our money outside of our own communities for so long this could be the first of a few significant attempts at economic development, amenities and JOB CREATION in our own ward.
And for those who prefer to see a Busboys and Poets on MLK Avenue as a harbinger of the dreaded "g-word" I can only say:
Talk to me when Ward 8 FINALLY has the most basic of amenities (like more than one grocery story for 70,000+ residents) and an unemployment rate that isn't hovering around 20%!!!!!
For some reason when west of the river gets another luxury condo, organic grocery store, or movie theater it is just accepted for it is - prosperity. But let the 150,000+ residents east of the river DC get one 15-seat cafe and the sky is falling, gentrification has arrived! Never mind that Ward 7 and Ward 8 have been forced to spend our money outside of our own communities for years because our own options are so limited.
For east of the river, a community that has for decades had to suffer the consequences of government neglect and economic segregation let us accept this tiny victory for what it is -- long overdue PROGRESS. An opportunity to spend a tiny fraction of our money in our own community. Can we just see this for what it is right now? A slow ascend to what is still a very far of goal: enjoying the same quantity and quality of retail, amenities, and JOBS that west of the river DC takes for granted.
So for those that work in the media (and who in general reside west of the river with options we could only dream of) I ask you to try and not succumb to the same old narrative, the same old tired excuse on why anything "good" for our communities can only result in "bad" things happening to us. There is something slightly condescending and classicist (and frankly racist) about the notion that residents of Ward 7 and Ward 8 (who are predominately Black) should be protected from our own success. That we are impossible or desiring and/or deserving "nice things" and the most basic (and I mean basic) attempts at moving the scales in a more balanced position will unequivocally lead to our destruction.
This ain't the plantation and we should not be confined to the slave quarters.