City Paper is not for tourists
Saying “itseems I’ve aggravated a lot of people with my reference to apartheid,” Katie Connolly has struck that word from her recent blog post at Newsweek on race, class, and D.C.’s low marriage rate.
The passage in question now says:
Anyone who’s lived in D.C. is aware of the city’s dirty secret: it essentially operates under an unwritten form of apartheid that the wealthy northwest rarely engages with the swathe of low income people who share their city.*
And the asterisk-clarification:
It seems I’ve aggravated a lot of people with my reference to apartheid. I agree it was a poor choice of words, which unfairly exaggerated the social and class issues we have in DC. I’ve reworded that sentence to more accurately reflect my intention, which was to highlight the fact that there are two distinct class worlds in DC: an affluent group that clusters in the north west and a much poorer community whose work helps enable the higher living standards of the richer residents. It’s also a reality that, like in many urban areas, a majority of those who live in DC’s poorer areas aren’t white. Those areas have worse schools and less access to services. In my mind, the contrast is stark and unjust, and in order to remedy this unfairness, DC residents should be conscious and open about the class politics surrounding them. But I admit that’s a very different situation than in South Africa, and the analogy was a bad one.
Ideas? Comments? I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org, and on Twitter.