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Not all the residents of Euclid Street are calling for the Bennetts’ removal (“The Stoop at 1701 Euclid,” 12/5). I, for one, have enjoyed their presence on our block, and I’m still waiting to see real evidence of their connection with other, less desirable elements in the area.
That’s not to say that I’m unaware of the troubles brewing; from what I can tell, however, cries against the Bennetts have nothing to do with proof of wrongdoing, as empty-handed police raids suggest. But, having made up their minds, residents damn the Bennetts for having weekenders throw the same trash on their walk that they throw on everyone’s walk, damn their children for being children, and, ultimately, damn them all for not being like the rest of the street.
This problem is not localized to Euclid, nor to Adams Morgan. Whether it stems from residents’ wish to remove reminders of the effects of gentrification and assuage their own guilt, a genuine misconception, or just flat-out racism, the effect is the same, and the residents of all Northwest need to take a hard look at what’s happening to D.C. The Bennetts are but one example of a larger problem—Dupont Circle is straight and indistinguishable from Georgetown; Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights, and Logan Circle are hot on its heels; and the residents who worked to make them appealing to begin with are being forced out.
It pains me that my time in Adams Morgan is limited. I fell in love with the neighborhood when I moved here, but rising costs, homogenization, and a clearer view of the seedy, oh-so-white underbelly have made me realize that, even if I somehow manage to continue to afford living in the neighborhood, I may not want to. Cleaning up crime and whitewashing the city are not dependent on one another, but the residents of Northwest think they are. We do ourselves a disservice.