Well this is just bloody wonderful. Washington now has a baseball team. The Expos are being moved here from Montreal, and supposedly in three years we\’ll have a new baseball stadium in Southeast. Numerous businesses and homes will be knocked down as the city claims eminent right of domain. Now they\’re proposing a new soccer stadium to be put on the other side of the river in Southeast. These stadiums are supposed to revitalize the communities. In otherwords, they\’re going to kick out everything and everyone there and rebuild it the way they see fit, just as they did with building the MCI Center in Chinatown, which is where the basketball team now plays. Chinatown DC now looks like strip mall America, except with a Chinese arch and Chinese characters next to some of the businesses. Now they\’re going to clear out the historical Anacostia waterfront, an area that has been historically black since the Emancipation Proclamation.
DC\’s Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X Avenues run through the neighborhoods to the south of the river, and to the north are some of the oldest schools and housing projects. The area that was home to the gay bath houses up through the early \’90s and more recently has been a haven of the few gay strip clubs in the metropolitan area is going to be turned into a sports center. What is wrong with this picture?
Everyone is up in arms that Marion Barry was elected as the Democratic candidate in Ward 8 two weeks ago. Ward 8, whose demographic is more than 98% black and native to the DC area, uses the Anacostia river as one of its boundaries. Part of Barry\’s \”campaign\” for his council seat was to be the anti-stadium candidate, as his opponent, Sandy Allen, is pro-stadium, pro-Mayor Williams, and seemingly anti-her constituents. Yes, Barry was a corrupt individual who misused the city\’s money. Yes, he was caught in a motel room with a prostitute and crack. But much of DC loves him anyway. I\’m beginning to see why. I\’m personally starting to feel that Barry was a better mayor than Williams has been. Williams is DC\’s Guiliani. New York might be a safer place for some things now, but it\’s no longer New York; Manhattan is turning into one giant mall, and developers are starting in on Harlem and Brooklyn. There are fucking condos on goddamn Staten Island now, nevermind that the entire borough smells of the garbage dump that it was for years. There are still active shells buried just beneath the surface in many neighborhoods in DC that were used as army testing grounds during the first two World Wars, but developers don\’t care and are building on the ground, anyway.
As if the developers, the Mayor, city council, and the sports world weren\’t already threat enough to this city, now Congress has allowed the handgun ban to expire without renewing or extending it. Today on the Hill they officially declared the ban repealed. Now it is legal to stock up on the handguns that already pollute our streets and to retaliate on the more than sixteen youth handgun murders we have had in this city so far this year. Apparently the Senators feel that is should be legal for residents to protect themselves against the perpetual violence in the four quadrants of this city by legally arming themselves. If your neighborhood thugs have illegal handguns, the answer, apparently, is instead of cracking down on the guns and violence, is to arm the innocent, the homeowners, the potential victims. To make them feel safe, give them guns instead of neighborhood security. In fact, why don\’t you just send a blimp to monitor the city and make us feel better. I followed that damn blimp over North Capitol Street for over two hours today. If only the handgun ban had been repealed sooner, I could have shot it down.
This city, my poor, poor town, my one true love… they\’re murdering the only thing I really care about and they\’re turning the corpse into an upper-middle class paradise. I gotta get the fuck out here. I\’m so upset, watching this city be rolled over by the gentrifiers, developers, big money, big business, and big government over the past eight years. It\’s too late to stop it now. I don\’t want to go along with it. If it weren\’t for Australia I think I\’d have to move to Union City to feel better. Even Pittsburgh and Baltimore have become far too Cheesecake Factory for my tastes.