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When D.C. Chamber of Commerce member Bernard Demczuk was designing invitations for a fundraiser he hosted last week for Kwame Brown, the Democratic nominee for at-large councilmember, he decided to indulge his “artistic nature.” “Brown comes in various shades—which do you prefer?” he wrote on the invitations, which invited donors to choose amongst “cafe au lait” ($100), “latte” ($250), “coffee straight” ($500), and “espresso” ($1,000). Demczuk, who says he has always loved the color brown, sent the invites to his friends in the business community. Nominee Brown is enough of a favorite son that local political activists decided to take the coffee theme at face value. But civil-rights activist and Georgetown University history professor Maurice Jackson admits that the invitation would have been looked at differently if a white candidate had sent it out. “I wouldn’t have done it…but it was probably more a play on his name than on race,” he says. —Bidisha Banerjee