City Paper is not for tourists.
Regarding the letter from Andrew Nowicki (“Washington, Dixie,” 5/12), D.C. is hardly a “typical” Southern city. It may seem that way to him, but I’m willing to guess he’s never spent time farther south than metro D.C. Yes, Washington is clearly one of the most economically (read: racially) segregated cities in America, but if he really thinks it is full of what he calls Southern culture, how did a statue of General Sherman end up on Pennsylvania Avenue? And what about our red-state president, who spends as little time in the District as he can get away with? Could it be because 90 percent of the city’s voters were against him in the last election? The South’s history is synonymous with racial suppression and bigotry, but what Nowicki seems unaware of in his most generally stated letter is that today racism is the country’s problem and not just the South’s. Modern-day locales of violence against minorities and homosexuals include Howard Beach in New York, Los Angeles (at the hands of its police department), and Laramie, Wyoming. Klan rallies are regularly held in cities such as Denver and Indianapolis. The South has kept up plenty of controversial notoriety for subjects like public display of the Ten Commandments, the battle over flying the Confederate flag above South Carolina’s capitol, and the just recent inclusion of African-Americans in an Augusta golf club (although the public schools I attended in North Carolina became integrated several years prior to Boston’s). If Nowicki wanted to be adventurous and illustrate his point, he could go a little farther south and take a closer look at what he wants to snipe at so badly. The District may arguably be the thyroid of Dixie, but it’s certainly not the heart.