KNS Video: Jack Evans on Food Truck Regulations

Below the jump, you’ll find a video from WAMU’s The Kojo Nnamdi Show, featuring a brief discussion on food trucks. It stars Council member Jack Evans, the Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis and KNS regular/NBC 4 reporter, Tom Sherwood.

As someone who has spoken to food truck owners for this blog, I’m dismayed that “official” D.C. is so inhospitable to them. They increase the diversity of food offerings in this town, trek out to feed under-served neighborhoods and create a much lower barrier to starting a business– which is helpful if you’re young, a person of color, etc. Thankfully, Kojo points out in the video below that if we want “to be considered a major city”, food trucks are a part of that. The Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis also thinks that trucks are an asset to D.C.
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“And I’m not prejudiced, but…”

After the jump, you’ll find the latest racism-related video to go viral. So far, two of you have sent it to me, even though it didn’t take place in D.C. I’ll warn you that it’s disturbing and filled with ugly language, including the “N-word”. Here’s what it’s about:

Things got ugly when a black mail carrier refused to take back a letter he’d delivered to a lady in Hingham, Mass. She went on a racist rant and slapped him. He secretly taped it all on his cell phone.

So many people assume that the South has a monopoly on racist behavior. I remember when I told my friends that I was starting this exciting new job at WAMU, and one of them, who was from Massachusetts, said, “It’s a shame that D.C. has so many racial issues.” Inwardly, I felt confused because I had heard the exact same thing about their home state. I didn’t say anything because I don’t know Massachusetts that well. I don’t know it any better after watching what’s below, but I do think it’s unhelpful to stereotype certain regions as “backwards” or prone to racism. The quote I excerpted above is from Gawker, where commenters are already chiming in about their lack of surprise that such a thing would happen in Hingham, MA.

I grew up in sunny Northern California, where I got called the N-word plenty of times. I have friends who grew up in Mississippi who never heard that word, once. Massachusetts doesn’t have a problem with racism; America does. Ignorance is everywhere– so is kindness and fairness. What’s interesting to me is how we live in a time when people can use the power of their mobile phones to record what they are seeing, upload it and allow it to go viral. Ten years ago, no one would’ve seen or heard what you are about to watch.
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Gray: “a cabinet that looks like” D.C.

Democratic Primary winner Vincent Gray was on WAMU 88.5′s Kojo Nnamdi Show today, taking questions and talking about the future. My favorite moment? When Kojo quoted a recent Colbert King column which contained this comedic gold; apparently Ward 8 political activist Philip Pannell once told WJLA that “that the makeup of Fenty’s cabinet, and his nominations to boards and commissions, “makes Tony Williams look like Shaka Zulu.”" After the laughter in the studio subsided, Kojo asked Gray “How will race factor in to the decisions you make in forming your cabinet, what is your sensitivity to the issue?”

Gray: “I want a cabinet that looks like the city. And that would be the template that I will try to use.”

See a video of the whole exchange (via The Kojo Nnamdi Show’s YouTube channel), below the fold.

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Voters: Fenty “ain’t mad atcha”!

Though it’s a few days old, my Twitter is abuzz (again) with references to this video produced by Ron Moten for his pal, the Mayor: “Don’t leave us, Fenty”. If you can’t (or don’t want to) watch it, I’ll summarize it by saying that Moten borrowed BLACKstreet’s hit from 1996, “Don’t Leave Me” to create his jam. I can’t be the only one who thought of Tupac’s “I Ain’t Mad Atcha” when I heard the familiar melody, not when both BLACKstreet and ‘Pac sample the same song (“A Dream“) from DeBarge.

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