This email comes from a resident who has witnessed an increase in negative and racial comments since posters appeared across the neighborhood advertising an effort to "Keep DC A Chocolate City":
Keep DC a Chocolate City - Stop the War On the Black Community! Gentrification and home foreclosures are just a few of the tools used to remove black people from their homes and move whites into the community.These signs and efforts come across as a desperate way to preserve some artificial sense of uniformity. Is this just a mirror of the integration fears many predominantly white communities held in 20th century?
This was the message on the intense yellow posters that were attached to every telephone pole along MLK Avenue as I walked from the Anacostia Metro to my home after work a few weeks ago. The posters brought on a feeling of confusion. Had I misinterpreted the views of my neighbors towards me these past two years? I tried to shake off the feeling of judgment that crept into me as I walked past the Thurgood Marshall Academy. The after school groups of kids were hanging out as per usual, except that day someone mumbled “better get on home whitey” and another of “get off our street”.
I chose to live in Anacostia for the same reasons that my non–white neighbors have in the past couple of years: affordability, short commute to work, the views of the city, and the friendliness of the people that live here. People say hello to each other here, we greet each other, we still take time to really talk with our neighbors. Maybe I have taken these posters too personally, but in a city that just elected Vincent Gray as Mayor with a mission statement of “One City”, I am dismayed and angered by these blatant words of racism plastered in my neighborhood. I like to think that all of the many varieties of chocolate can be equal, including white.