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Yesterday’s Washington Post featured a story on District of Columbia parents who escape the horror of the public school system by sending their kids to suburban schools, at a price. Fine story, top to bottom.
But what got me going was the quote from a parent in the story. Mila Salazar hit the jackpot when she got her daughter into Bethesda-Chevy Chase high school, a place of learning that’s about a million times better than the best in D.C. Salazar brought her daughter up in the Palisades neighborhood of the District, according to the story.
As it turns out, Salazar didn’t want to enroll her daughter in an expensive private school, for all the obvious and right reasons. And she didn’t want to leave the District. Why?
“We’re not suburban types,” Salazar told the Post.
You live in Palisades, yet you’re not a suburban type?
Hmmm, let’s have a look. Palisades is a heavily-lawned, extremely wealthy neighborhood with few multi-unit structures. Most people there drive to do their errands. There’s no Metro. Its zip code is nearly 90 percent white. It’s Karl Rove‘s local home. It has one of the whitest July 4th parades in the country.
Point here is that Salazar is talking in outmoded stereotypes. The ‘burbs, by and large, have become the loci of diversity in this region and many others around the country. Perhaps Salazar, in saying she wasn’t a suburban type, meant that she didn’t like diversity and ethnic eateries and the rest of the suburban mix. But somehow I doubt it.
Photograph by Darrow Montgomery