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An occasional feature in which esteemed D.C. rapper Head-Roc shares what’s on his mind.
Here we go, Chocolate City. To Walmart, or not to Walmart? Well, here is the answer: No!
D.C. residents do not want a Walmart. Just like D.C. residents didn’t want a baseball stadium, a new convention center, a “trolly going down H Street,” and the leveling of the Bruce-Monroe School. And they don’t want private developers’ “mixed-use” (they love to use that term) easy-profit scams, or the host of other gentrification deals that have sucked this city dry. These projects are supposed to create jobs, and stimulate and revitalize neighborhoods. Instead, they destroy or choke out local small businesses. They contribute to the displacement of longtime D.C. residents in communities where resources have been historically hard to come by.
Meanwhile, the city’s budget deficit for the upcoming year 2011 is projected to be around $600 million. That’s a lot of money. It makes me wonder about whether the $46 million subsidy for a Marriot-affiliated hotel in Adams Morgan is a part of those calculations. If so, that number should be deducted because Adams Morgan does not need a Marriot hotel that costs tax payers $46 million. It doesn’t.
And D.C. doesn’t need a Walmart either—and certainly not four of them. And get this: Here in Chocolate City, they’re being advertised as urban Walmarts! What is that supposed to be? Is that another way of saying they want to start the country’s first “black” Walmart here in Chocolate City?
After the jump: Head-Roc’s “Keep DC Walmart Free” anthem
The Walmart propaganda machine is out in full force too! Sister Michelle Obama helped launch a healthy foods campaign spearheaded by Walmart. I guess they are gonna have healthy foods at the “black” Walmarts proposed to open in long-neglected wards where the other big chain food stores pulled out of years ago. Hey, I ain’t saying Walmart is stupid.
And with those neighborhoods in desperate need of healthy food choices, since the city has shown no concern until the likes of a Walmart inquired, its gonna be quite a chess match to argue that Walmart is actually exactly what Washington DC does not want. My friends in the D.C. chapter of the International Peoples Democratic Uhuru Movement have a slogan they use that says “Forget Walmart, we need our mart!” I’m definitely on that page.
As DC resident who would like to see this city do tons more pursuing local investment solutions to our current budget and economic woes, I am opposed to the presence of a company like Walmart in DC. The strongest reasons for me being so are best articulated in the second verse of the “Keep DC Walmart Free” anthem I penned, which is streaming from the www.walmartfreedc.org website.
The music was created by DJ Munch, and I was honored to once again have my activist partner Dr. Jared Ball, aka The Funkienst Journalist, provide scholarly commentary on the 1-2-3s of how Walmart gets down. Personally, I think it needs some monster cuts to give it that boom bap polishing. I’m working on that and will update the current version once I’m done. For now, you can listen to the song here–and enjoy!
There’s a screening tomorrow (Friday, Feb. 18) of the film Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price at 6:30 p.m. at Plymouth Congregational Church. 5301 North Capitol St. NE. For more information call 202-787-5229 or 202-829-0306 or visit www.walmartfreedc.org