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“I’m not a hater; I just fight a lot!”

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The Loose Lips definition of a “mayor hater” (6/4) seems to be anyone who has offered more than lukewarm opposition to any of Mayor Williams’ proposals. This characterization of some who choose to speak out conveys an unfair, unqualified and—most importantly—inaccurate portrayal of many who vehemently disagree with the mayor only on specific issues. A true “mayor hater” (as LL and the Washington Times were to Marion Barry) would seek to find fault in all that the mayor does and does not do. The real “haters” withhold credit where it is due, attribute blame for anything that goes wrong, and live only for the day when the offending mayor will be ousted from any semblance of public life.

It was the height of irresponsibility, therefore, for LL to label University of the District of Columbia (UDC) President Julius Nimmons a “hater” of the mayor because of Nimmons’ fierce opposition to the mayor’s proposal to relocate the university east of the river. It was equally irresponsible for UDC student Niketa Wilson to be branded a “hater” simply because the lyrics of the song she sang in the mayor’s presence were unfamiliar to LL’s team of gospel music experts.

As an active member of the UDC community and a 1999 graduate, I worked closely with Dr. Nimmons and Ms. Wilson. The pro-UDC stance that we adopted was never sidetracked into the muddy waters of “mayor hating.” In fact, there were outsiders—bona fide “haters”—who attempted to hijack the UDC issue and use it for more politically divisive purposes. But these opportunists were shunned, because the legitimate backers of UDC had no time for petulant “mayor hating.” Our issues were far too important to dilute with partisan politics. So, while “mayor hating” may be real in this city, it certainly does not preoccupy the minds of UDC’s strongest defenders. Our objective remains the protection and promotion of the university, not the destruction and humiliation of our mayor.

Brookland

via the Internet