Wednesday, October 21, 2009

War of the Words

Most of the time the Hillcrest and Ward 7 listservs are people posting things going on in the community. However, every now and then it gets exciting.... Today happened to be one of those days. I blogged several times about the conflict between Old Washingtonians and New Washingtonians. Today's conflict was no different...

It all started on a dark and stormy night... Okay seriously, someone from R.E.E.L. sent an email inviting people to their membership drive event on Thursday. The first email this morning was from a Old Washingtonian asking why a Chicago-based organization was recruiting in DC (side note... River East is a neighborhood in Chicago). A member of R.E.E.L. wrote back give a little information about the organization and the why and hows it was started... it was all downhill from there.

Excerpt from email from Old Washingtonian: "Pardon me if my tone is a spoonful or two short of saccharine, but it is simply incredulous how 15 residents/strangers who did not know each other suddenly felt empowered, after engaging one another in a few meetings, to enlighten the East of the River community at-large on its long-standing ills and pathologies." The email when on for several more sentences and ended with a clever "Class is recessed."

The member of R.E.E.L. (bless her lil' heart) writes back inviting the Old Washingtonian to the meeting to engage with the members of the organization. Then there was another few exchanges between those two.

Another relatively New Washingtonian tried to jump in to help: "We certainly don't want anyone new to get involved or to bring in any new ideas. We who have been here for years doing (or not) the same thing over and over again are doing quite well, thank you. And you will never hear us complain about anything East of the River. The people attracted to REEL are not being engaged at the grip, rewind, grip, rewind... but don't ask me to do anything sessions with ears turned off, the "pick up your NO answer at the door then tell us what you are proposing" and the you have to be born here 40+ years ago to speak attitudes that are the essence of many of the existing groups/meetings here. We need to listen to ourselves sometimes."

Another great quotable email from an Old Washingtonians was this one: "If you were perchance addressing me, my cup runneth over. Perception like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. If you saw it as negative, perhaps it was not my tone but the tint in your eyes. I was not and intended not to be negative whatsoever. First off, I offered a disclaimer so that my message would be not blurred. Let me clarify this one thing for you personally, I can care less how long any one has been a resident in our community for sir, it is their DONATION not their DURATION that adds value or liability. Take care, have a wonderful day."

All of this occurred before 9:30 AM... Whew. Everything eventually worked itself out, but it leaves me to believe this conflict isn't going anywhere any time soon. Perhaps Wards 7 and 8 need an old school leader who can bring everyone together. Despite how we feel about "East of the River" or "River East" at the end of the day we are all residents of Wards 7 and 8. From the emails we are all passionate about the place we call home.

1 comment:

  1. That so puts me off and I would like to tell those hater a$$ Washingtonians to shove it! This kills me about black folks sometimes (I am assuming these were black folks)acting like crabs in a pot! Why can't they just be HAPPY that folks are taking an interest in doing something POSITIVE!!! Something that is sorely lacking in River East. My goodness!!!

    With this obstructionist (and that is what they are) you can't win. In their judgeful eyes a new resident is either 1) a NIMBY who just wants to gentrify the neighborhood and have nothing to do with current residence or 2) meddlers who just want to take over.

    This is why these old way of THINKING folks need to go or shut the hell up!!!! I am so sick of them flapping their gums but not doing a damn thing.

    R.E.E.L. may not be perfect but it is two steps in the right direction and I know for a fact they were so very mindful of being respectful and not offending the "old heads" who love to sit and complain and point fingers. My words to real are to not even be concerned about them anymore. These folks who complain and thinking they have been appointed high and mighty can shut the hell up - they are haters and dividers and there really should be no place for THEM in River East!!