I have lived in Adams Morgan for more than 15 years and was appalled by the article about the Bennett family (“The Stoop at 1701 Euclid,” 12/3). The article seems to say that the Bennetts are being hounded because they have drug dealers dealing on their corner, and that’s the best assumption. If that’s so, then the store owner across the street should be evicted as well, because drug deals occur on that corner, too. And there’s a longer list of places in Adams Morgan where drug dealers hang out on a regular basis. Will those homeowners and businesspeople be hounded out of the neighborhood, as well?
Another assumption is that the Bennetts are being hounded because of their skin color and because they are out socializing on the front stoop more often and more noisily than their neighbors would like. Given the quote from one neighbor about a “certain part of the African-American population” and “lower-class Latinos” who aren’t as clean, it’s hard to believe that racism isn’t playing some role in this, and that’s far more frightening and ugly than the first scenario.
I’m greatly disappointed by what your reporter describes of D.C. Councilmember Jim Graham’s role in this as well.
By all means, let’s do as much as we can to rid the neighborhood of drug dealers and the violence and tragedy they bring with them. By all means, let’s clean up the sidewalk gamblers and people who are publicly intoxicated (many of whom, on a Friday or Saturday, are young, white professionals and/or college students, I might add). But it’s a great leap to then getting rid of people who don’t fit some neighbor’s idea of who should own or reside in houses on our streets. What’s next? Neighborhood covenants with clauses to keep out people who, in the neighbors’ estimation, may lower property values—a euphemism way too often employed against people who aren’t white, wealthy professionals? Hmmm, that sounds vaguely familiar.