Monday, May 27, 2019

"United Shades" visits Washington DC, as if it were Parts Unknown



W. Kamau Bell filmed an episode of “United Shades of America” in Washington DC, for Memorial Day weekend.

Bell summarized his own episode on CNN here

He calls his episode of “Tale of Two Cities”, not exactly London and Paris in Charles Dickens’s novel (and a family book when I was growing up).

It was more about the fibbies (Congress, SCOTUS and the White House, and government departments), vs. the people who live here.


Indeed, many retrocession proposals (to Maryland) would keep a very small federal enclave.
Kamau interviewed someone who remembered the 1968 riots, and he interviewed a female Trump supporter who lived here.

He talked about the lack of adequate home rule (the “no taxation without representation” license plate) on areas like legalization of pot, and gun control.

It is also now one of the nations gayest cities, despite the fact that bars like Town get closed to make way for more gentrified apartments and condos.

Northeast is slowly improving with gentrification, and SE will eventually follow.  RFK Stadium area could be developed.

But Washington suffered with racism in the years I grew up in Arlington VA.  The Washington Senators baseball team, both versions, were bad because ownership didn’t care, in a racially sensitive city where white people led outside the city limits.

You could put Arlington and Alexandria back together (re-retorcession) with the District and have a real representation to the city (about 1.2 million then).  You could increase height limits for buildings as a way to make housing more affordable.

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