Socially Speaking's Blog
The Other Side of the Tracks blog by Word Press

Suspecting the Usual Savior

A Socially Speaking Commentary from Perry Redd

A Socially Speaking Commentary from Perry Redd

Once again, the voices are sad and pitiful; and once again the voices of hope are inarticulate and unlearned. Yet another hardluck story for public consumption placed before us by the spawns of NPR. More relevant is the fact that the story of poverty is being told by the very perpetuators of the sad condition. So when Black people are down on their “luck,” you know who will come save the day.

I find it appalling that our local NPR affiliate, WAMU, is propagandizing the plight of Black DC residents in its expose on the homeless families currently housed at the former DC General hospital site. Though WAMU is a media outlet, they have played a most instrumental role in influencing the very state of gentrification that has lead to the homelessness those families find themselves in.

Years have gone by where WAMU has given “great weight” (a favored term of DC re-development) to the developers and political party that has championed the “economic growth” of Washington, DC and the demolition of “native Washingtonians” that find themselves at the mercy of the freight train called progress. The very people who are on the tracks are the ones who either failed to, or were systemically iced out of the process of neighborhood re-development.

Now, the “white, male savior” shows up in the wake of a child’s apparent murder and we are to believe that, not only that WAMU cares, but can foster the solution to the dire and imminent circumstance of these pitiful people. WAMU, NBC4 and other local outlets have egged along the one-party rule in DC that made the DC General homeless shelter the behemoth that it is.

Yes, I am angry. I am angry to see the very people who caused so many people to find themselves homeless, are the same ones unashamed to shelter children in the shadows of a jail. Just like the dreadful image children living in the Woodland Terrace housing project in southeast DC wake up to daily facing DC’s largest halfway house of previously convicted men. Children live just feet away—in both instances—adjacent to the very people that white, male saviors have told us are throw-away, undeserving and dangerous people; yet our locally elected Democrats have, year after year, promoted this condition. The “right and good” white gentrifiers of the city (because they covertly stifle the idea of statehood) don’t want to vote for, nor appropriate truly affordable housing or a tilt toward economic equality, especially if it lands in their backyards.

Sure, Washington, DC should be ashamed, but embracing Ayn Rand principles never allows shame to surface. It is reported that there are more than 600 families housed at the DC General homeless shelter. This should be unacceptable in a city that ended fiscal 2012 and 2013 with $417 and $321 million budget surpluses, respectively, a windfall that illustrates how the fiscal climate in the nation’s capital leaves no excuses for extrication of the natives. In other words, money’s no barrier to providing responsible services to the people you are gentrifying.

Each year, they say that, “higher-than-expected tax revenue” — some of it new income taxes from the 1,100 new residents moving to the District each month — account for a big chunks of the surplus. It’s now 2014 and it ain’t unexpected. The lame duck mayor proposed his “500 Families, 100 Days” effort to house those now in shelter beds. Last time I did the math, there’re over 600 families in that shelter, so someone will be left behind. How American of you…apparently, our government—and “right and good” gentrfiers could care less.

I have to ask you, how could you stand by and consume this storytelling travesty further perpetuated by WAMU? How could you, knowing that this circumstance is diametrically oppositional to the American principles of justice, equality and fairness elect the same people who caused this mess? How could you further perpetuate the injustices of poverty and degradation? Allowing the systemic homelessness of these people is criminal—and you are an accomplice.

I know, just like the colonizers of North America, you don’t want to take responsibility for your role in this travesty, but will offer your pity in this tragedy. Your pity only soothes your conscience; it is worthless in the grand scheme of things. Going over to interview the same people you’ve helped screw over is in no way consolation, nor reparation. It’s simply propaganda toward further harm, pain and destruction.

In case you were unaware or under-informed, propaganda is derogatory information, especially of a biased or misleading nature; it’s used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view. You are being hoodwinked. The Democrats you continue to elect (and now, the faux Democrats posing as independents) are taking in exorbitant salaries, ingratiating their friends, de-funding affordable housing and staving off income equality in this city. I said this repeatedly in my run for the DC Council in the spring of 2013. Something has changed though…the inequality has gotten worse.

Only when someone dies does deprivation and neglect get in the news. Just like Cedric Mills, who died just feet from a firehouse while DC firefighters neglected to help him, the propaganda vultures came out of the woodwork. Only then did our media illuminate the ongoing failures of the DC’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Those sheltered at DC General have complained for years about the deplorable conditions they have to accept as homeless people.

The “right and good” residents of DC don’t want homeless people sheltered in their neighborhood; the cowardly elected leaders of this city have not the political will to solve an obvious ill…that would be too much like right. More to the point, we all know its wrong. If you are expecting the usual savior to come to the rescue, you are sadly mistaken. This savior only saves himself.


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