Gray, Lanier and Thomas Tour North Capitol After Murders

Flickr: CarfreeDC

Intersection of North Capitol and Florida.

A little more information on the video I included in my morning roundup, for those of you who can’t access such things, via TBD:

D.C. Mayor Vince Gray, Councilman Harry ‘Tommy’ Thomas and police Chief Cathy Lanier toured the troubled North Capitol Street neighborhood that has seen two shootings in the past two weeks…The intersection of two busy thoroughfares has historically been a spot for day and night drinking, drugs, and crime.

The mayor and other city officials pledged more police and better lighting.

One of those two shooting victims, William Mitchell, was trying to help a woman he saw being attacked when he was shot. Mitchell had planted trees in and helped clean the park where he was killed.

Police have not identified a suspect in Mitchell’s murder and fliers seeking the killer’s identity are posted around the area. The city’s response to the murder of a white man has sparked controversy in what some describe as a gentrifying neighborhood.

According to Northeast resident Pari Parker, “They just doing that because he was white. If it was a black person they wouldn’t have done none of that. How many black people die around here every day?”

  • JP

    I grew up in a rural, southern county that was mostly black. Most of the white and black folks got along just fine. However, there were minorities of both that were supremely and willfully ignorant, jobless, lazy, entitled, and viciously and unapologetically violent. Let’s not forget racist too. The whites like this we referred to as “white trash.” They would occasionally raise a child who, by a fluke of luck, was smart and motivated enough to get the hell away from the horrific culture that their family was a part of.
    The “black trash” is no different. Take both groups of people, change their skin color to green, and they are identical in their counterproductive habits and culture.
    It just so happens that particular neighborhoods of DC have huge swaths of “black trash” living there. Culturally, it might as well be a giant, meth filled trailer park in Ohio or Kentucky.
    Decent, hard working, productive people are happy when wealthier people move into their neighborhoods, but racist trash of both colors just look at the newcomers with scorn and contempt.
    Its not white people killing people in DC. It’s trash that happens to be black. I’m tired of hearing these trashy, racist jerks complain about DC becoming less black. When white people complain about their neighborhoods becoming less white, we call them what they are: racists. This is no different.

  • Molly W.

    Without knowing the neighborhood or the circumstances, I’m inclined to agree with Parker. In my own neighborhood (east of Capitol Hill), crime against white residents consistently seem to provoke an outcry that we just don’t hear when there are crimes against black residents.

    However, it often comes across poorly to imply people are overreacting to a crime against a white person — it seems like an attempt to dismiss the white victim. Ideally, instead of making less fuss about white victims, we’d make just as much fuss about black victims. Sadly, I don’t see that happening any time soon.

    I think a small part of it is access — I hear about many of these crimes on the neighborhood e-mail list, which seems to be whiter than the community at large (though that’s just my guess, I can’t say for sure).

    More than that, I think it’s a lot easier for white residents to imagine that black victims of crime are somehow complicit — attacked b/c they’re in the drug trade or dating criminals or whatever. When a white person (or even someone who isn’t white, as long as s/he isn’t black) is attacked, there seems to be a much stronger, visceral sense of “that could’ve been *me*” among white neighbors.

    (I’m white myself, don’t know if that makes a difference.)