We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
According to Mary Kane at the Washington Independent, over the past few weeks a deeply disturbing letter has been distributed to residents of Clarendon and Lyon Park who display “Obama for President” signs on their lawns.
This piece of correspondence attempts to make the case that “ostentatious support” of Barack Obama is an act of subconscious racism on behalf of the “Dearest neighbors” to which it is addressed. It goes on to compare Obama supporters to “those who pretend not to stare at an inter-racial couple,” to alert the recipient that “voting for Obama does not absolve you from from racism, it may even confirm it,” and then makes an exhortation to “cleanse your soul of the last vestiges of racism,” presumably by not supporting Obama.
Against my gut instinct, I have decided to refrain from dignifying this letter with any sort of impassioned declamation. Not to mention that the logic, aside from being reprehensible, is damn near incomprehensible. (The punctuation and hyphenation are equally so.)
Just read the letter. Whatever side of the aisle you sit on, I imagine you will find it terribly deflating.
Kane says that the neighborhood listserv was overwhelmed with inquiries as to who was responsible for the letter — to the point where the moderator closed the thread. I am interested to know if this mailing has made it anywhere other than the neighborhoods Kane mentions. If you’ve heard of any “Dearest neighbors” receiving such a thing outside of Clarendon or Lyon Park, please let us know in the comments.