A Tale of Two DCentric Comments

Flickr: amberley johanna

A sign from the Rally to Restore Sanity which seemed apposite for this post, as well.

My post from December 28th, “More on Brown-on-Black Racism” may be the most “popular” piece I’ve ever written on DCentric, if we’re using comments and retweets as metrics. I am shocked (shocked!) and elated that it has nine whole comments, and I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their contributions before wading in to the discussion and making a request for mutual respect. You’ve done a great job of being courteous to each other and I’d love to see that continue. My ultimate goal for this website is for it to become a trusted space for civil discussion of issues which usually inspire incivility.

Let’s look at one comment from that thread, from reader TL:

Oh how truly good it is to be Black. Black as night and no one can join us.

Of course, I don’t know AJ and I’ll assume she is a well meaning Indian woman. But when she’s not blogging, she’s probably out in the world being part of the problem. Reality: Asians, Indians and Hispanics generally want to be white. “Don’t say that!” “That’s ridiculous!” Behind closed doors (sometimes in public) the majority is the group they want align with. No problem. It’s survival to want to ride with whoever has the power. It’s a little gutless, but hey tough choices to be made in this life.

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Thank you for an exciting 2010!

Flickr: life is good (pete)

Hey! Some of us don't celebrate Christmas until January 7!

DCentric is officially off for the holiday. We will be back to our regularly scheduled programming on Monday. Have a safe and happy new year!

What do you love about this city?

Flickr: suitablegirl

On my "I love D.C."-list? The National Cathedral. From the Bishop's Garden to the whimsical gargoyles, it's a wonderful place-- and it is free.

Quick reminder– I’m still eager to learn about your favorite DC-centric things!

What do you love about D.C.? Leave your answers in the comments, tweet them at me or (if you must!) email them. I’ll compile them and even though we are off after Wednesday, I will log in and post the best of your submissions here, in one glorious list. Ready? Go!

One of you messaged me about your favorite sandwich place in Adams Morgan. I saw a tweet about the National Arboretum. Other submissions? The Whitehurst freeway, half-smokes and “the old dudes who play chess in Dupont Circle”. Your submissions range from the silly to the sublime and that’s perfect. Seriously, don’t be shy– what are your favorite things?

More on Brown-on-Black Racism

Flickr: Chaymation

My “DMV Masala“-post– which was about my interaction with an African-American cab driver who was interested in my ethnicity because her own niece was half-Indian– inspired four of you to comment! That’s no small feat here at DCentric, where I’m more likely to hear crickets than reader reactions– I kid, I kid. I hear silence, not bugs. Anyway, one comment from American RogueDC deserved to be highlighted:

I remember very well having my heart broken by a co-worker (an Indian woman) whom I thought was a friend. We had worked together for more than ten years. One day, while viewing some photographs she was sharing of her female relatives taken during her baby-shower (I in fact had just given her my gift for the baby), I said, “You should introduce me to some of your nieces.” Her reply was simple, “You are too dark!” Until that moment, my being an African-American man who is only slightly darker in skin tone than her had never “seemed” to be a problem.

How painful, to be so crudely and immediately rejected by a long-time friend. The first thing I wondered was whether the woman was first- or second-generation.

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What’s so great about D.C.? Everything!

Flickr: jGregor

Photographer j Gregory Barton saw this young woman on the Metro, and asked if he could capture the love.

I love twitter. It’s the one element of social media I use most; from story ideas to learning about breaking news, I tweet, retweet and read tweets, constantly. For those whose grasp of it is hazy, Twitter is a site where you can post updates, thoughts, links or absolute drivel– all in 140 characters or less. When someone starts following your drivel tweets, you get an alert telling you about this happy development. While it isn’t always possible to do so, I love examining these emails and learning more about the people who were kind enough to start reading me, by checking out whom we have in common, perusing their brief bios and clicking on their links.

One such Twitter user, Jacob Patterson-Stein, gave me three Christmas presents on December 25; he started following DCentric’s twitter account (@DCntrc), he started following my personal account (@suitablegirl) and when I looked at his bio and found his blog, “Tumbling Through the City“, he made me smile with a recent post of his, “50 Great Things About D.C.“. Here are his picks for numbers 14 through 26:


Part of Jacob Patterson-Stein's list of 50 things he loves about D.C.

Jacob has inspired me to start curating my own list, but I’d love your help, too. What do you love about D.C.? Leave your answers in the comments, tweet them at me or (if you must!) email them. I’ll compile them and even though we are off after Wednesday, I will log in and post the best of your submissions here, in one glorious list. Ready? Go!

Have a Jolly Holly-day!

Smithsonian's National Zoo

Panda Claws, in front of the Whited House, promoting Zoolights.

DCentric is off for the holidays, to visit family, eat unhealthy foods and otherwise throw around good cheer. We will be back on Monday with a heaping serving of Tasty Morning Bytes. From all of the elves and pixies who keep DCentric humming along to you and yours– Happy Holidays! And if you were wondering about the picture I used….it’s Panda Claws! He was out and about the city promoting Zoo Lights:
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DCentric is hiring!


You already knew that Project Argo’s Matt Thompson is guest blogging here for a week, but I also received a bit of help with the morning roundup today, for which I am very grateful. A DCentric applicant contributed one of those six links and since I’m down with the flu, I am very happy for the help. That reminds me– WAMU is hiring another blogger for DCentric!

The new, open position is part-time (think: 25 hours a week), but I can vouch for how amazing an opportunity it is– in my email signature I refer to this as my “dream job” and that’s not hype. If you have experience with podcasts, never leave home without a video camera, understand why it’s redundant to “sign” blog comments and promise to never call a “post” a “blog”, holler at us.

If you have to ask how to reach us, this may not be the job for you (hint: my email is always on the site, even when we’re not looking for talent). Interest in race, class, history, gentrification, awkward situations and pancakes is a must. Your ability to follow directions, write clean copy and think outside the blog will be rewarded with an interview (or three) and quite possibly, the best job ever. Ready? GO!

Matt! Be our Guest (Blogger), Be our Guest!

A quick administrative note: please welcome Matt Thompson of Project Argo/npr to DCentric!

Matt Thompson is an Editorial Product Manager at National Public Radio, where he’s helping to coordinate the development of 12 topic-focused local news sites in conjunction with NPR member stations. Before moving to DC, Matt served as the interim Online Community Manager for the Knight Foundation. In May 2009, he completed a Donald W. Reynolds Fellowship at the Reynolds Journalism Institute; his explorations into creating context-centric news websites have been widely cited in discussions about online journalism’s future. He came to RJI from his position as deputy Web editor for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, where he led the creation of the Edgie-award-winning, socially networked arts-and-entertainment website vita.mn. While managing the development, community and production of vita.mn, he also managed technology and interactivity-related projects for StarTribune.com, from creating an internal taxonomy to transforming the online opinion section into a blog…

Matt graduated with honors in English from Harvard College in 2002, after writing his senior thesis on the television show “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Outside of work, he blogs at Snarkmarket.com, has completed one Twin Cities Marathon, and is itching to get ready for another.

I stole that bio from here, where you can also find a picture of the man who encouraged me to apply for my dream job at WAMU: writing for DCentric. Matt kindly offered to pitch in and contribute to the blog for a week. Consider it an early holiday gift, because even though you might not realize it yet, that’s what it is.

These are wise words. Heed them!


This is a PSA for a different "Street Smart" campaign in D.C. but both causes are worthy ones.

DCentric reader Judith Claire left this helpful comment on my iPhones-are-attractive-to-thieves post from earlier today, “I am glad I have an Android“:

City folks have to learn how to have street smarts. Take if from an old, white woman who learned all about street smarts from my students starting in 1963 Cardozo HS and also for many years at Shaw Jr. High. Walking or jogging anywhere with ones ears plugged is not smart! Even joggers lose their “ear plugs.’ Give the city a break! Give our police force a break. Be street smart here and all over the world! Just do it! Just sayin’…and lock your doors on house and car! Enough already!