Idk. What do you think?

Participation requested. Your response is greatly appreciated.

I’m riding the yellow line back from DC this afternoon. In one of the seats ahead of me, there was a couple – man and woman – and an older gentleman. Not too old, maybe father old or uncle old. Not grandfather old. To make it easier, lets call the boyfriend Paul, the girlfriend Amy, and the older guy Dan. Remember that. Paul and Amy are sitting down. Dan is standing up. Dan is standing in front of the Metro map on the train. It’s obvious that Paul and Amy live here and Dan is visiting. Dan is asking all kinds of questions about the different train lines and the associated stops.  He asks about Foggy Bottom, Paul and Amy tell him George Washington is near there. He asks about L’Enfant Plaza. They named federal buildings and restaurants. Dan asked about the Navy Yard stop, Paul replies with info about National Park.

Here’s the reason for me writing.

Paul tells Dan as a white man, he should never go any farther than the Navy Yard station. He continued on and said it isn’t safe for him as a white man (his words, not mine) be in any of the associated neighborhoods with the green line after the park. Paul then tells a story of how he got drunk one night after a game and decided to walk home from ‘that area’ and a cop told him that it wasn’t safe for him and to get in a cab and go home immediately.

I feel some kinda way about it… I just don’t know how or why.

For those that don’t know, after the Navy Yard Ballpark stop, you enter the urban area of DC. Urban = kinda hood. Anacostia, Congress Heights, Southern Ave, Naylor Rd, Suitland, Branch Ave. I’ve driven through those areas. It’s definitely urban.

What do you think? Something? Nothing? Do you feel any kind of way about it? If so, how do you feel?

Please be intelligent. I’m really good with my delete button.

17 Comments Add yours

  1. Tami says:

    He’s right. …. As a black woman Im not/will not go past the ball park either ….. :-/

    1. Thanks for your input. I really appreciate it!

  2. Sophia says:

    I see both sides of this. Part of it is true… and the boldness with which he gave that warning is annoying but… On the other hand that overgeneralizes an entire large area of DC where there may be some folks who don’t participate in the negativity and violence. I can’t think that entire section has people who don’t care about their community.

    1. That’s where I was. Is it really necessary – even if it is dangerous? And just because a few folks act a fool doesn’t mean they ALL do. Thanks for the response!

  3. I’m not from nor have I been to DC in years. But being the child of New Yorkers, I have some perspective on living in and venturing into big city/urban areas. I feel offended by Paul’s comment. He should have simply said it was a dangerous area for anyone, regardless of their race. Having recently moved from a poverty stricken and rough city in my state, I would warn ANYONE of either sex and any race of wandering into certain parts because a dangerous place is a dangerous place. Paul was showing his racism through his comments.

    1. Exactly – you can just say be careful down there man. I’m black – it might be dangerous for me too! I appreciate the response.

  4. johnmill79 says:

    I am very much in agreement with number 3. No need to make it so overtly racial. You can just say “You might wanna be aware of your surroundings in this area,” which in truth is applicable nearly anywhere anyway.

    1. Yep! We’re on the same page. Thanks for taking the time to read/respond!

  5. dtafakari says:

    I’m not from the DC area, so I can’t speak to the veracity of Dan’s comments. However (short anecdote), visiting New Orleans this past June, I was riding in a car with a resident who swiftly made a U-turn and said, “We’re about to hit the 9th Ward; let me turn around.”

    I respect that. It’s street smart to know where you can/cannot go, and why.

    Truth is, people know when you’re not “from around here.” I think that a white guy in an “urban neighborhood” would stick out more than a black person would. I don’t think he would be more susceptible to crime because he is white (i.e. any crime wouldn’t be racially motivated). But I do think that his race makes it easier to identify him as an outsider, and that glaring outsider status is where the danger lies.

    1. I can definitely dig it. As a visitor, you should know what’s cool and what isn’t. Thanks for responding.

  6. Taja says:

    Oh, so it’s okay for the uncivilized Blacks to be there, but as a white man, oh, you shouldn’t be there! They’ll tear you apart. Take a cab. Flee while you can! Yeah, like we’re all hardened sub-humans that will ravage him when we smell his silky white flesh.

    Even if it is a rough area, what makes it bad for him but okay for someone like me who is Black but doesn’t want to be hassled?

    I live in an area that has some crime, but I guess I belong there because it’s in my nature. I just don’t understand anyone who condones this thinking. The truth of the matter is, white people are safer in any high-crime urban area, because Black people know that if one of them gets so much as a scratch, there WILL be a lynch mob (aka the police) and people will be brutalized. The punishment for harming a white person are much more severe against Black people than it would be if one Black person harmed another Black person. We are not valued the same. Simple as that.

    1. That was my immediate reaction. Like wait, I’m black and I don’t live down there. So you aren’t scared of me? But if I was down there, you would be scared??? Huh? I appreciate your honesty and response! Thanks!

  7. I’m extremely grateful for the comments. I needed others to take a look at it and provide their insight to see if I was completely off the wall with my reactions. I understand it’s not the greatest of neighborhoods – maybe I shouldn’t be down there after dark by myself. But was it necessary to single out the reason someone shouldn’t be there specifically based on race? Then again, as a visitor, you should know the tourist friendly and not so friendly areas.

  8. Altair says:

    Everyone should be warned about the rough hoods if they are visitors. I’m not sure why Paul had to specify the old mans race but I can tell you as an American European Woman, that taking the Blue line to the Natural History Museum with my very pale Mother wasn’t a walk in the park. We were gawked at harassed and hit on by several people throughout our journey. When I say people, I mean people. Not just white or black people but brown as well. Violence and crime is not racist, white people break laws just as often as black people and so on. When will we finally realize that we are all made of the same DNA and live together in harmony.

    Why is race still such a sensitive topic?

    1. Agreed. If it isn’t safe and you are new, you should be aware. And it wasn’t necessary for the race to be introduced to make a point. But it was.
      Being harassed/gawked at/hit on (if its unwanted) isn’t cool at all.
      When will we all just get along? Idk. I wish I knew!
      Thanks for your input. I really appreciate it!

  9. Altair says:

    I realize I went a little off topic so you can delete it.

    1. Nope. Not deleting it! 🙂

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