Tag Archives: DC

It’s Not About Heritage

Heritage or Hate? I think the hate part comes through pretty clearly.

Here’s What It’s Like Inside A Pro-Confederate Flag Rally

More than 1,300 people were expected to attend a “Southern Heritage” rally in support of the Confederate flag on Saturday in front of the U.S. Capitol. Fewer than 50 showed up.

In the wake of this summer’s horrific murders of nine black churchgoers — committed by a manwho admired the Confederate flag — universities and state governments have faced heated calls to remove the flag from their public spaces. In response, many have taken down the symbols, prompting fierce backlash including pro-flag rallies in Alabama, Georgia, and now Washington, D.C.

In interviews with ThinkProgress, members of the small crowd said they wanted the U.S. government to hear their messages: preserve Confederate symbols, and squash the Black Lives Matter movement.

“This Black Lives Matter bull is racism that the government don’t see. It’s white genocide propaganda. They’re pushing folks to shoot cops and white people,” said Ron Feathers from Elliston, Virginia. Behind him, the crowd waved flags, let out “rebel yells,” and showed off their Confederate tattoos and belt buckles.

Looking across the park at a cluster of anti-Confederate protesters — who far outnumbered his own group — Feathers added: “If Robert E. Lee was alive today, this shit wouldn’t be going on. That’s when we had a true American in office.”  { Interesting, because Robert E. Lee never served political office to my knowledge}

Feathers, a self-identified Democrat who believes President Obama is planning to declare martial law and “rule the whole world,” said he’s been organizing “flag rollings” across Virginia — where people drive together with Confederate symbols on their cars — to push back against those he feels are “taking [his] history away.”

Unprompted, Feathers offered his thoughts about why “colored people in general” have a “ghetto lifestyle.”

“It’s because their daddies ain’t in the picture. All these kids are latchkey kids. They’re not being taught the right way. And they only do things in groups. They’ve got so much hatred.”

When DC artist and activist Sima Lee — who is black and indigenous — approached Feathers and yelled at him to get the Confederate flag out of her city, he repeatedly called her “babe” and told her, “Go back to that side where you belong.”

Though Feathers and other pro-Confederate demonstrators repeatedly prefaced their remarks by telling ThinkProgress they are not racist, several expressed anger at the Black Lives Matter protesters across the park.

“I am restraining myself because I am a southern belle,” said Ginny Meerman, a beauty pageant consultant and former “Mrs. Maryland” winner who sported a Confederate flag tattoo across her upper back. “But bless their little hearts if I got them in a quiet alley somewhere.”

When a group of several dozen local D.C. activists across the park began chanting “black lives matter,” she assured the group: “We are above them. We are so far above them they will never, ever be on the same plane that we are.”

“We are the Confederacy,” Meerman called out. “Look at the person standing to your left and right. That is the Confederacy. We are it.”

On the other side of the Capitol Hill park, dozens of local activists banged drums, held aloft homemade signs denouncing the Confederate flag, and spilled out into the street, blocking traffic.

Casey Udley, who grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina and now lives in Northern Virginia, told ThinkProgress she came out to demonstrate because she wanted to show that “there is another way to be white and southern.”

“I brought my sweet tea and my signs and I’m here to say that hate may be our heritage, but it doesn’t have to be our legacy,” she said. “It’s important for white people to stand up to other white people and teach what it means to be anti-racist.”

The anti-Confederate demonstrators told ThinkProgress that those waving the Confederate flag were perpetuating racism whether that was their intention or not.

“I feel scared when I see it — genuinely afraid. I wonder what the person holding it thinks of me,” said Winter Brooks, an African-American student at American University. “It’s a symbol of hate, of pro-slavery, anti-blackness, anti-minorities. It’s frightening.”

Though a line of Capitol Police and several hundred feet separated the two protests, at least one protester on the pro-Confederate side expressed fear that something dangerous might happen if the two crowds collided. Jason Berry, a Civil War reenactor from Detroit, said he had wanted to bring his mixed-race 12-year-old child to the event, but decided against it.

“They’re the most racist group there is,” he said, referring to Black Lives Matter.


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Posted by on September 7, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter, Domestic terrorism, The New Jim Crow


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Diner in Blanc

Heard about this. Unfortunately was too busy to deal with the drill. A couple of my staff who are foodies did. Sounds like it was a blast!


D.C.’s Snobbery-Free ‘Diner en Blanc’ Showed Washington at Its Partying Best

White people are crazy.

Let me rephrase: People who dress entirely in white—from head to toe—and schlep white tablecloths, white chairs, and white plates and napkins to the middle of a city to eat cold food with thousands of strangers, also dressed entirely in white, and who pay for this form of social masochism, are crazy.

I reached this conclusion weeks before I donned a pair of white linen drawstring pants, a white Guayabera shirt, and a pair of white espadrilles (which look good on no man) to join 2,000 strangers for Diner en Blanc, the foodie flash-mob franchise that rolled into Washington on Saturday night.

I was a guest, but my fellow diners (“dinerers”?) had paid upwards of $100 per couple to join this culinary club.

The Washington event sold out weeks earlier. Weeks!

The attendees were told to meet in groups at pre-assigned locations around the city.

Many of them had taken the Metro from the hinterlands of the D.C. suburbs. They flocked like little white lemmings, hiking their hemlines up from the dirty street corners, and waited patiently until 6 p.m.

Only then were they informed of the soirée’s secret locale, and they set out en masse.

I’d been tipped off to the venue early.

I stood outside the Carnegie Library in downtown Washington, just across from the city’s convention center, and watched streams of crisply dressed revelers, looking very hungry, hauling folded tables and chairs, linens, and baskets towards the library’s handsome lawn.

Some carried their gear in Rubbermaid bins strapped to luggage carts. Plenty towed roll-aboard suitcases filled with cutlery and cold salads. One woman pushed her supplies in a wheelchair.

Again, I reminded myself, people had paid for this privilege. Why? Washington is lousy with public parks and open green spaces. Did these revelers require instruction to enjoy themselves? When did they become allergic to spontaneity?

The city has been transformed over the past two decades into an urban consumer playground that can accommodate both the very wealthy who can afford to live there and the multitudes that come to shop, to eat, and—apparently, as “Diner” proved—to commune with total strangers.

The evening’s attendees had religiously adhered to the Diner en Blanc International-enforced dress code, helpfully emailed to patrons a few days prior. “Wear White. Please no ivory, cream, off white, a dress with a black belt, light khaki pants, or any other color.”

I realized my espadrilles were ecru and became anxious at the thought of a “Diner” enforcer confronting me with an ultimatum: Either the espadrilles went or I did. I wasn’t sure which outcome I’d prefer.

“Dress Elegantly or Very Elegantly,” the email said. Dangerous advice. More than a few women wore wedding dresses. Mens’ white jackets flirted with Zoot suitterritory. I did spot one man in a cream dinner jacket. I guessed he’d made it past the color guards.

“Very Elegant” also meant guests could wear a “mask, gloves, wig, or fascinator.”

For inspiration, guests were encouraged to consider Marie Antoinette, and to feel free to imitate her, provided that their wigs were “original” and of “high-quality” and, perhaps it went without saying, but it was said, “white.”

Washington is rather late to this white social craze. Diner en Blanc began nearly 30 years ago in Paris when, the story goes, a group of friends met up for a picnic in the Bois de Boulogne, a large public park on the western edge of Paris, and wore white so they could find each other.

I put aside for the moment why friends would fail to identify each other without dressing like Mr. Roarke from Fantasy Island. Perhaps they weren’t very good friends.

In any event, the founders clearly tapped into some thwarted social longing.

Thousands of people had been waiting to join this white army. The concept became contagion, and ‘Diner’ has now spread to Paris, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Abidjan, Cape Town, Canberra, Auckland, Vilnius, Moscow, Shanghai, Singapore, Mexico City, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Philadelphia, and now Washington. ...Read the rest here…

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Posted by on September 2, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life


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Washington DC Goes Clean Power

Washington DC has closed a deal to supply 35% of the city’s Power from Wind Farms in Pennsylvania.

Now, if they could only put wind vanes in Congress to harness the hot air, and a methane plant to harvest the bullshit…The other 65% would be free.

DC Mayor Touts New Obama-Backed Wind Power Deal

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser


Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the commencement of a deal with a power provider that would allow the city government to produce 35 percent of its energy from wind turbines located in Pennsylvania.

At a press conference Wednesday, Bowser thanked the Obama administration for “all of their hard work” pushing clean energy regulations and said the deal would help the city keep in line with Obama’s Clean Power Plan.

“The District of Columbia is not a city that denies science or the facts,” Bowser said. “We know that climate change is real.”

Since 2012, the city government had been buying Renewable Energy Certificates, or RECs, to power its buildings and facilities. The RECs allowed the DC government to buy green energy it wasn’t actually using, but now the city will get wind power directly from a wind farm in Pennsylvania…


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Posted by on August 14, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life


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Battle With the Bloviate – Hannity Ripped By Norton-Holmes

Hannity gets miffed Eleanor Holmes-Norton, the Congressional Representative from Washington, DC won’t all into debating his racist baiting…

Hannity tries to use a tried conservatwerp racist technique, which is to try and force the other person to argue on behalf of their racist imagination. Ergo – to become the perfect foil for their poor argument. Holmes sticks to her guns…And Hannity looks like a fool.

Way to go, Congresswoman!

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Posted by on December 5, 2014 in Faux News


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Former DC Mayor Marion Barry Dead

Controversial DC Mayor Marion Barry has passed away…

To a lot of the residents of the DC area, Barry represented both some of the best of the area, and some of the worst.

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Posted by on November 23, 2014 in Giant Negros


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Getting the Criminals Off the Streets in DC…Means Arresting the Police

Big City…Big Crime. Corruption on the part of Civil employees is a threat in any government. When it is the Police though, it has an impact on community trust and impacts the ability of the good cops to do their job.

The District of Columbia has more policemen per capita than any city in the world. Between the dozen or so local and Federal Police Departments (FBI, Secret Service, Customs, ATF,  etc), quasi police organizations such as the Federal Protective Service, the Transit Police guarding the city’s bus and subway system, and a host of private police guarding various buildings and facilities – there are actually enough police in DC to station one on every street corner in the city…several times over. During the riots of 1968 after MLK was assassinated, they actually did that with some small help from the National Guard.

A pic of some of DC’s finest. Insofar as this poster knows, none of the Policemen shown in this picture has done anything untoward or illegal.

110 D.C. Police Officers’ Arrests Since 2009 Leads To Questions, Scrutiny

Police officials in the nation’s capital have been facing recent questions about headline-making arrests — not of hardened street criminals but of their own officers.

In a single month, one District of Columbia police officer was accused of taking semi-nude pictures of a 15-year-old runaway and another was charged with running a prostitution operation involving teenage girls. A third was indicted on an attempted murder charge, accused of striking his wife in the head with a light fixture.

Police say the arrests aren’t representative of the entire department, which includes about 4,500 officers and civilian employees. Still, more than 100 officers in the last five years have been arrested on charges ranging from traffic offenses to murder to money laundering, and the latest instances have increased concerns about training, supervision and accountability. The D.C. Council has set a hearing to discuss the problem and Police Chief Cathy Lanier has met with residents to assuage fears of a misbehaving department.

“We don’t think we have a department out of control, and I think that oftentimes is the image that is portrayed,” she said in an interview, noting that the majority of arrests are not for on-duty corruption but instead involve off-duty misconduct that is harder to police.

The hearing Friday will focus on how applicants are screened and what services are available to prevent alcohol abuse and domestic violence, two prevalent problems, said Councilmember Tommy Wells, who chairs the public safety committee.

“I think it’s extremely important that the public have confidence in our police force and we’ve had three high-profile cases of serious police misconduct, albeit generally off-duty,” Wells said.

Police department figures show the arrests of about 110 police officers, for both on- and off-duty conduct, since 2009. Many of the arrests involved traffic violations or involved cases that were dropped or ended in acquittal.

Among the most serious cases was Richmond Phillips, who received life without parole last year for the slayings of his mistress and baby daughter. Wendel Palmer was convicted last year of sexually abusing a girl who participated in his church choir, while Kenneth Furr received a 14-month sentence for an armed altercation that began after prosecutors say he solicited sex from a transgender prostitute.

Lanier has said many of the arrested officers were brought onto the force during a time of lax hiring standards and wouldn’t be qualified to serve today. She said that in some cases the arbitration process has required the department to rehire officers it fired. She said the department has dramatically tightened its recruitment practices to mandate polygraph exams and that only one of about 25 applicants is now hired.

The department also tracks warning signs like missed commitments and abuse of sick leave. And it requires officers to report off-duty arrests, which Lanier contends can make the numbers look worse than in cities that lack that requirement.

“I feel comfortable that our recruiting process, the background screening we do, is as tight as we can get,” Lanier said at the meeting. “But I also realize that there are people that are on the police department that came through at a time when there was not that strict background (check), and those are the people that we want to make sure that if they are involved in misconduct, that we weed those people out.”

But resident Khadijah Tribble, 42, told the chief she was unconvinced the misconduct was isolated.

“Aren’t these trends troubling and isn’t it worth our due diligence to do a thorough, independent investigation of this trend?” Tribble said in an interview.

Robert Kane, the director of the Drexel University criminal justice program who has studied police misconduct, said the number of arrests wasn’t necessarily shocking for a big-city police department.

At least 43 New York City police officers are known to have been arrested between 2011 and 2013 on charges including gun-running, drunken driving, perjury, a ticket-fixing scam and a cannibalism plot. A Los Angeles police officer was charged with stomping a handcuffed woman who later lost consciousness and died. Dozens of Memphis, Tenn., officers have been arrested in recent years.

Kane said that on-duty police misconduct can be reliably defined, off-duty misbehavior by officers is studied less often.

“We know what factors explain police misconduct, when police officers stop people and extort money from them,” he said. “What do we know about officers who walk into a liquor store when off-duty and rob it at gunpoint for some beer?”

In D.C., the first of the recent arrests was on December 2 when officer Marc Washington was charged with taking semi-nude pictures while on-duty of a teenage runaway who had just returned home. Authorities say after responding to the girl’s apartment, he directed her into her bedroom and told her to undress so he could photograph injuries. He was arrested after the girl alerted her mother, who contacted police. Soon after being released from jail, Washington was dead from an apparent suicide.

The following week brought the off-duty arrest of Linwood Barnhill Jr., a 24-year-veteran who was charged after police came to his apartment and found a 16-year-old girl who had been reported missing. The girl told police Barnhill had photographed her and offered to pay her to have sex with other men, allegations also made by a second teenager. His lawyer says Barnhill never threatened anyone.

Lanier acknowledged the arrests, especially for on-duty conduct, have shaken the department. But she said she hopes the sight of handcuffed officers sends a message to other officers who would break the law.

“We would like the officers to know that if there’s somebody in our midst that is committing criminal conduct and we become aware of it, we will lock them up,” Lanier said. “We don’t need somebody else to lock them up. We will lock you up.”


Posted by on January 25, 2014 in The Post-Racial Life


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If You Build It…Maglev Train

Evidence that the Tea Bagger types haven’t quite reduced America to Third World status…Yet.

Organizers line up big names to push new high-speed rail line linking D.C. to N.Y.

The privately owned Washington company that last year began lobbying to build a high-speed rail line between Washington and New York has lined up some prominent names to press its ambitious plan to improve congestion in the Northeast corridor.

The Northeast Maglev, the 25-employee company founded in 2010, is looking to develop a high-speed magnetic levitation system that would bring passengers from Washington to Baltimore in 15 minutes and to New York in 60 minutes, at speeds of 311 miles an hour.

The company, which according to its chairman has raised $50 million in private funding, plans to announce today it has enlisted several of the region’s business and political leaders to join its advisory board: Under Armour founder and chief executive Kevin Plank; former chief executive of Northwest Airlines Doug Steenland; former transportation secretaries Mary Peters and Rodney Slater (now a lobbyist at Patton Boggs); and George Pataki, Christine Todd Whitman and Ed Rendell, former governors of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, respectively.

The board is being led by former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle, who is now an adviser at DLA Piper, the international law firm that the Northeast Maglev has hired to lobby on its behalf before Congress.

The rail line would include stops at Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport in Baltimore, Philadelphia International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport. The project is unrelated to Amtrak’s $151 billion plan to develop a high-speed rail system — that would go from Washington to New York in 94 minutes — in the Northeast corridor by 2040.

The Northeast Maglev chairman Wayne Rogers said his firm does not have a cost estimate for the entire project but that the Washington-Baltimore leg would cost at least $10 billion. He said he expects it to take at least three years to navigate the regulatory, environmental and planning process and another 10 years for construction. The company is working closely with engineers from Central Japan Railway, which operates the bullet train in Japan.

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Posted by on November 3, 2013 in The Post-Racial Life


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