I stumbled on to Tommy Wells’ (Council member for Ward 6) Twitter account because he is live-tweeting the “Unity Breakfast” which is going on right now, featuring local politicians, including Vince Gray and Adrian Fenty. Wells is sharing sentiments like this one, from Gray to Fenty, “I know you will help make me the best Mayor possible” while he simultaneously uploads pictures he is taking of everyone from soon-to-be Council Chair Kwame Brown to current Mayor Adrian Fenty.
That’s swell enough on its own, but I was more intrigued by the tweet I captured, which you see to the right.
In my morning roundup post, I included a link to Washington Post columnist Courtland Milloy’s latest work– a scorching repudiation of the Fenty administration which attacked Michelle Rhee, social media and “friendly fascism” among other things, while it railed on behalf of those left behind. It was stark and shocking, a cri de coeur penned about the messy issues of race and class:
And lordy don’t complain about Rhee.
She’s creating a “world-class school system,” they text. As for you blacks: Don’t you, like, even know what’s good for you? So what if Fenty reneged on his promise to strengthen the city from the inside by helping the working poor move into the middle class. Nobody cares that he has opted to import a middle class, mostly young whites who can afford to pay high rent for condos that replaced affordable apartments.
Don’t ask Fenty or Rhee whom this world-class school system will serve if low-income black residents are being evicted from his world-class city in droves.
That’s what surprised me about Wells’ message– he acknowledged that there’s something to such rawness– and that merely rejecting Milloy’s incendiary words without contemplating how they resonate with certain residents of this city is a lost opportunity for understanding a world-view (city view?) that a non-trivial number of us “myopic twits” aren’t willing to explore.