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“My D.C.” (9/19) was stunning in its reflection of the true feelings of the great majority of D.C. residents. In part, this essay’s impact comes from the shock of seeing such widely held sentiments in print in a local news media outlet. Our local news organs are unanimous in their relentless bashing of District residents, and Washington City Paper has always done its share. What suddenly prompted you to publish such a contrarian view?
Conventional wisdom says that ignorant and irresponsible D.C. residents have placed corrupt local officials in power who have trashed the city to the degree that it must be rescued by a benign federal government led by responsible elected officials from respectable suburban jurisdictions. What trash! The truth is that D.C. residents are forced to subsidize a national government in which we have no representation. We give that government nearly a billion dollars a year. In return, it has tyrannized us for as long as I have lived here. Our suburbs have been sucking the city dry for the last two decades, and now suburban members of Congress are pretending to “bail the city out.” These flagrantly un-American conditions enrage D.C. residents, but what can we do about it? We have no sympathizers in the local media. We have no representation on the Hill! No one looks afteror even cares aboutour interests.
As a tax-paying American citizen, I am entitled to two senators and one representativejust like every other American citizen. Instead, I have nothing. Zero. Zip. Can anyone who has not been without representation possibly understand what that means? Apparently not! Apparently, it’s easier for many suburbanites to blame and criticize the victims than to even attempt to justify the unjustifiable. The political and spiritual injury done to District residents is so profound as to be virtually unfathomable. If there were more articles like “My D.C.,” perhaps some non-District residents could begin to appreciate the unethical nature of our unjust circumstances.