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Busboys and Poets’ discussion Sunday about whether bars and restaurants like it are co-opting U Street NW’s black culture—-the “swagger-jacking” coined in a Root DC article earlier this month—-won’t include the swagger-jacking inquisitor himself, Stephen A. Crockett.
“I have no interest in sitting in an establishment that sits underneath $500,000 loft apartments,” says Crockett, who wrote the original article. If the discussion was held in Anacostia, he says he might be interested, but not while it’s at the 14th Street NW Busboys and Poets.
Crockett, who left the Post in the latest round of buyouts but still freelances for the paper and its Root DC vertical, says he didn’t expect his swagger-jacking article to set off a storm on other blogs and in the Post‘s comment section. That’s a little hard to believe, given how many lightning rods he touched in his article—-wondering whether a high D.C. murder rate was worse than hipster bars, complaining white people think they discovered Ben’s Chili Bowl.
Crockett was especially surprised by the reaction he got from people he sees as “winning,” which he classifies as the people with those $500,000 loft apartments, and Busboys owner Andy Shallal. “I don’t own anything, so I really don’t want to sit and talk to a bunch of people that do,” he says.
Update, 3:55 p.m.: Crockett disputes my characterization of a line in his original Root piece: “You didn’t make Ben’s; we did.” Crockett says that the remark was not aimed at white residents, but at gentrifying newcomers.
Photo by Daquella manera