The reincarnation of Loose Lips marks an inauspicious appearance. In “The Politics of Stagnation” (1/11), Loose Lips, under the authorship of Elissa Silverman, succumbed to the irresponsible journalistic practices of the gentrified agenda by her treatment of the upcoming Ward 6 Council race, in particular as concerns Keith Andrew Perry.

Silverman is using the tried-and-true tactics of race baiting in an effort to cast the young Ward 6 D.C. Council aspirant as a dyed-in-the-wool racist and unworthy of the support of anyone who decries such a hideous philosophy. Silverman does so by opining quite extensively and through the use of one old (eight years past) and out-of-context quote from Perry, which was related to his opponent’s stance on issues, not race.

As a resident of Ward 6 who has the pleasure to know and to work with Perry on and through several community issues and committees, I can say that this is the worst form of blatantly biased journalism that I have witnessed in many years. One can only question the rationale for such prose in a profession that strives for excellence and accuracy. My experience of Perry has been exceptionally positive. I find his credentials to be impeccable and forthright. As a graduate of Morehouse College (Dr. Martin Luther King’s alma mater) and a sensitive, bright, energetic young lawyer (who has already provided zealous advocacy on an assortment of issues for a wide array of citizens, crossing racial lines in our very diverse ward with facility, grace, and ease), Perry is quite capable of performing even greater service to our community on the D.C. Council. I, for one, have encouraged him to seek election so that the cry of our District of Columbia license plates for representation will be heard, trumping the inequalities we experience on a national level and providing for equal representation for all (regardless of ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, and, most important, address of residence) within our city.

As to political strategies, Perry is a resident of the Capitol Hill Stanton Park neighborhood; therefore, I ask, Why would he ignore his neighbors? During his exploratory efforts for elected office, Perry spoke extensively about the need for healing and reconciliation in our ward, and the co-chair of his exploratory committee happens to be Caucasian (as am I). The cautious reader of Silverman’s poisonous prose will immediately see a cunning and divisive stratagem beneath her ancien-political diatribe.

Once again, the same old story, laden with unwarranted fears and suspicions against a well-educated young African-American professional, raises its ugly Medusan head to distort reality and to marginalize a young and talented gentleman who seeks to serve the entire community in an elected vocation to the D.C. Council for Ward 6. Slay the monster and let us be rid of the divisive politics of race. Let us open ourselves to the merits of the candidate and permit his community service to speak more loudly than unwarranted political strategies that conceal themselves in the guise of impartiality and truth but are founded in a modus operandi of fear and prejudice. As we prepare to celebrate Martin Luther King Day, columns that trade in divisive race-based politics can no longer be tolerated in our already polarized city. It is not the politics of Ward 6 that are stagnant; it is the negativity and bias of Loose Lips. Perhaps it is time for another hasty and much-needed hiatus.

Capitol Hill

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