When I read your “Jack in the Pot” (10/9) article about Atlantic City, I couldn’t believe you would sink so low to as to wallow in the mud of a gambler’s addiction and throw it on Atlantic City, N.J. I think Senior Writer Amanda Ripley used a cheap opportunity for a free ride to Atlantic City to blindsightedly steal the show from a hard-core gambler’s perspective to trash one of the loveliest and charming Victorian cities in America, home of the Miss America Pageant, for crap sake.
Who were all the “ugly people” she saw as soon as she got off the bus? Maybe she should look introspectively before mudslinging words like that directed at the citizens of Atlantic City and New Jersey. What about the freeloaders these bus trips leave behind in Atlantic City, who have to be sheltered by one of the most renowned rescue missions in the country, at the foot of the New Atlantic City Convention Center, hosting millions of professional and international business people every year? Did Ms. Ripley bother to make a comparison as to whose convention center is more booming? Where would you rather go to a convention? Or maybe Ms. Ripley would like to suggest casinos for Anacostia. Even so, I’m sure it would get a finer treatment than what the beautiful and hard-working mothers, parents, laborers, and businesspeople of Atlantic City got from her.
Take a look at Mr. Eddie Dean’s piece on white people in Southeast/Anacostia (“A Brief History of White People in Southeast,” 10/16). The area was revered with charm and grace for what it once was; those who hailed from there were honored, and the point made about white flight was not couched in ugliness but spoken for what it was, with an honesty that leaves Anacostia with some dignity. Yet, from the way Ms. Ripley portrayed Atlantic City you would think she would rather be in Anacostia. Well, believe it or not, Ms. Ripley, Atlantic City has much more to offer than slot machines. It is an entertainment capital of the world with first-line casino entertainment, beautiful and lavish shows, and a spellbinding boardwalk restored to the grandeur of its quaint carnival atmosphere by Mr.Donald Trump. I haven’t seen him building hotels in D.C.
Outside of the boardwalk, there is a new high school with state-of-the-art equipment for music, theater, and the arts, with vocational majors as well as academic, with curricula and programs matching the top 10 high schools in the country. There are also many churches, a chamber of commerce, and working people who live there and love living there. There are also many people who still come there for summer vacation to the (still free) beaches and ride the boardwalk jitney and chair rides. The casinos don’t just rake in money from the poor gamblers searching for nirvana; they provide revenues for the senior citizens and education for the great state of New Jersey; they support the homeless shelters and make big deliveries at Christmas to the poor families that most people never know about. Yes, they keep their millions, too, but so do D.C. Powerball and all the lotteries all of us contribute to every week.
What was your point, Ms. Ripley? Did you ever try going to Atlantic City by Amtrak or by car just to see the city, other than the one-armed bandits? May I suggest, after you pay your apology to the citizens of Atlantic City and New Jersey, you take your blinders off, find your journalistic talents, and put an editorial in the Atlantic City Press to be proud of, that gives the city its fair praise and criticism. In the meantime, I hope the City Paper will find a less embittered writer to encourage D.C. metropolitan citizens to patronize Atlantic City, the showplace of the world, and I would be happy to contribute any time.
Atlantic County Council
of Education Associations