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Late today, At-Large D.C. Councilmember Sekou Biddle fired Marshall Brown from his campaign staff, a day after Brown made comments about white residents in a Washington Post article on the city’s changing demographics. Here’s what the long-time politico—and father of Kwame Brown—said:
The longtime white population, the people who got involved in statehood, civil rights and environmental causes, thought of this as a black city. But the new white voters aren’t involved like that. They want doggie parks and bike lanes. The result is a lot of tension.
The new people believe more in their dogs than they do in people. They go into their little cafes, go out and throw their snowballs. This is not the District I knew. There’s no relationship with the black community; they don’t connect at church, they don’t go to the same cafes, they don’t volunteer in the neighborhood school, and a lot of longtime black residents feel threatened.
We have wondered if snowball fights are the new kickball. Still, Brown’s channeling of Courtland Milloy feels about as fresh as well, organized kickball.
Why single out lazy white folks who couldn’t name their councilmember, let alone locate the nearest soup kitchen? I can think of a lot of white people—-and well, people—-who tried to connect with Shiloh Baptist Church about its derelict properties. Does that count? I can think of at least two very engaged white people running in the at-large race that deserve way more attention than Brown’s candidate and now former employer.
I’d argue that the majority of D.C. residents don’t give a shit about civic activities. How many ANC races go uncontested every year? How many people actually watched the last CFSA hearing? How many black, white, whatever residents are actually going to vote in this special election?
And what has Brown done but enrich himself and his offspring by taking advantage of a cynical and ambivalent citizenry?
Photo by Darrow Montgomery