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This letter is in response to an article written by Paul Belden titled “Bottled Fury” that appeared in the 3/14 Washington City Paper. After spending more than 10 minutes on the telephone with Belden last week, where I spoke about many issues regarding the proliferation of Class A and B liquor licenses in the District of Columbia in general, and my reasons why the license of Trants Liquors should not be renewed in particular, I was upset when I saw that the only thing Belden saw fit to say about me was that I “dutifully backed Harris and Currie in their crusade against the store.” As though I, a full-grown black woman who is well educated, can only be concerned about the issue if I’m “tomming” or backing someone else.
I never told Belden that I dutifully backed anyone! I am my own woman and I speak for myselfnot for anyone else, nor am I anyone’s lackey. Yes, I support the work of Stew Harris and Karen Currie, but I support the work of anyone who shows a genuine interest in improving the quality of life for the citizens of the District of Columbia, particularly for those of us who live in Wards 7, 8, and 6, where eyesore liquor establishments are in abundance. (You won’t find them in Ward 3. Write an article about that.)
I specifically told Belden that the Trants issue has been erroneously painted as a black vs. white issue in the past, and that it was a quality-of-life issuenot a racial one. But he, like so many others, insisted on showing black people as the only people who patronize Trants and want the store to remain in the neighborhood (as a service to the community?). This is to suggest that only black folk are content and perfectly happy to have eyesore establishments that sell cheap wine, single servings of alcohol, and outdated grocery items in their community, and that the only people who are against such establishments are the white yuppies who move into a neighborhood and gentrify it. Well, that is not the case!
The next time anyone from the City Paper wants my opinionprint what I say. I dare you!