A Note From the Owner of Everlasting Life Cafe Regarding Provocative Protest Signs on Georgia Ave

The following is in response to a post last week titled, Provocative Protest Signs Plastered Up and Down Georgia Avenue. I also noted [on Sat. afternoon] that most of the signs have been torn up. I’m not sure why Everlasting Life was listed on the poster in the first place but please take a few seconds to read the following:

I am writing as a representative of Everlasting Life Cafe concerning our restaurant hosting a meeting for an extremist group.

Please be advised that this meeting has been moved.

The messages and opinions expressed by this group are in no way, shape or form, associated with the views of Everlasting Life Cafe.

Rather, we would like for the service that we provide remain a reflection of our appreciation for every single customer that walks through our doors and in no instance would we allow anything within our control to offend anyone who contributes to our business, in turn, providing a source of enrichment for the community in which we currently reside.

We do not support any extremist groups and that the messages and opinions expressed by this group are in no way, shape or form, associated with the views of Everlasting Life Café. We are in business to provide healthy alternative food to everyone, that’s all. Because of this post we’ve lost countless customers over a misunderstanding.

We appreciate your patronage and hope to receive the continued support from you and all of your friends and family.

109 Comment

  • Thanks for posting this. I was afraid to go back there but certainly will!

    • You can hardly call the lovers of chocolate extremists. I mean, in that case hershey PA would have been invaded by the FBI a long time ago. I mean – is this post created by or for dentists? Or is this about how the military can’t recruit becasue of an obesity probelm. I guess I am confused since a portion of this sign has been ripped off and the post doesn’t reference what the big deal with chocolate is.

  • What’s the misunderstanding? Why did they agree in the first place to host it? Those are questions I would really like to have answered.
    Anyways, now it’s at Soul Vegetarian Cafe, so I guess we can all stop eating there now too.

    • Matt G wrote:
      Anyways, now it’s at Soul Vegetarian Cafe, so I guess we can all stop eating there now too.


      How do you know this?

      I’m concerned because someone mentioned in the other thread both establishments are under the same ownership. If that is true this move looks like a deception.

  • So it was previously at a vegetarian/vegan place, and has been moved to another vegetarian place?

    So help me with the math here, but African Socialist/Black Power group that rails about White/European Imperialism and wants to keep DC chocolate is Vegetarian???? I wonder if they prefer clothing made from hemp or pleather?

    • i don’t understand your issue.
      chocolate comes from a plant. not an animal.

    • I don’t agree with or understand everything they are about, but they are about being what they think is progressive for their community. Vegan diets and better food is one of those things. If you are curious as to why someone might see a vegan diet as a positive move read the book “Eating Animals” by the novelist Jonathan Safron Foer discussing his decision to become a vegetarian.

  • Matt – there is a really good chance they didn’t tell the owners what the meeting was about. They might have found out the same time they read the poster.

  • FWIW

    The contact page for Every Lasting Life

    The contact page for the Soul Vegetarian restaurant

  • The people who run Everlasting Life are DEFINITELY not in alignment with any extremist/racist movement. I have eaten there for years and have gotten to know them well. They are very accepting of all types of people. I will continue to shop & eat there with my family.

  • or everyone could just chill out about it.

  • Did anyone attend the meeting? How was it? Are they willing to keep Obama in the city even though he’s not pure?

  • What is so extreme about Black people holding a meeting talking about gentrification of the community they live in?

    What is your standard of reference upon which you make this claim?

    Is it “extreme” for white gays to have meetings about what particularly affects them (‘don’t ask don’t tell)?

    Is it “extreme” for immigrants, elderly, whoever than ain’t you, to get together and talk about how to make their community better for them?

    And whenever you don’t like ‘other’ people getting together to talk about their problems (which they might perceive to be the actions of whites) your response is to threaten economic warfare on establishments that harbor them?

    Please help me out here.

    • ummm, have u read the black uhuru website?

    • http://www.uhurunews.com/about

      We’re for economic development, but against anything that would develop it. We’re for unlimited welfare programs, but against a tax base. We are for self determination, but are agaist the black mayors that are elected by a majority black electorate. We want jobs, but we don’t want any businesses to move in. Also, it’s white people’s fault.

      Hopefully that helps clear things up, perplexed.

      Personally, I would just find this funny, except I’m struggling to pay my mortgage and bills while 40% of my DC taxes are going to subsidizing the lives of the people this group is claiming I oppress.

      Maybe 60% of my local taxes would count as non-oppression. I don’t know.

    • Nope, you’re right – I’m an ACLU true believer, and these people – just like their analog the KKK – have every right to meet and discuss misguided paranoid fantasies about conspiracies propagated by “the other” to destroy them.

      Of course I lament that such undercurrents exist in our society – these sentiments are antagonistic and foster chaos and disunity rather than community and commonwealth – and work at cross purposes to moving our society forward for everyone. Still, this is the USA, not China, and I think it’s certainly everyone’s right to freely express and pursue their own agenda, so long as it’s done by legal means. You can stoke the flames and race bait al you like, just so long as you don’t step over the line and advocate actual violence. Oh, and yes, public establishments should be required to serve the whole public.

      That clear it up any?

  • So the Everlasting Life crew lack the courage to stand by their convictions when it hits them in the pocketbooks?


    • The only source I’ve seen for the claim that the ELL ovwnership *hosted* this event….versus merely being open while the group independently decided to meet there, has been the comment section of this blog

      A message from someone posting a comment to a blog is not always 100% reliable.

  • So if the trekkies have a meeting at McDonalds are you going to boycot them as well? That’s just silly.

    • If this doesn’t make you laugh, nothing will

      William Shatner sings “Rocket Man”

    • How do you equate a group that advocates keeping white people out of DC with people that like Star Trek? This was not a casual meet up between people who share a hobby, but, as you can learn from their website, it was a long planned and well advertised meeting of people who are opposed to people of a different race moving into ‘their’ city. Your comparison is moronic.

  • ummmm, and what?

    Please say what you mean so it is clear.

    What is the point, and what is it addressing from my previous comment?

  • “where people encourage some of our already morally corrupt youth to make it extremely uncomfortable to live here for newbies.” (Are Lanier, Bowser, and Gray readers of this blog?)

    They do that pretty well already, no? But I suppose there is all sorts of room for expansion. Maybe a broken jaw every day would work out for all? Is *^%*ing with working class caucasians really that important?

  • I guess it can’t be a milk- chocolate city. How ’bout a chocolate- filled city?
    Is there such a thing as a White-Chocolate city?

  • Wake up people. Everlasting Life and Soul Vegetarian are owned by the same exclusive religious group (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_Hebrew_Israelites_of_Jerusalem) and notice the reference to ownership of vegan restaurants. They simply moved the rally to a different location owned by the same group. If you do go to Everlasting Life look around and then do your own research based on the posters they have up, or at least used to have up. If you’re still not convinced, check out kingdom-news-net and notice that there are 14 Soul Vegetarian restaurants around the world.

  • this is a joke! how is the group who posted these fliers extremist they haven’t did anything, that’s like telling a native american he’s extreme because they want his land back. in what way is this a provocative protest especially with all the protest in DC that I’ve seen throughout the years> I will continue to support Everlasting Life either way!

    • I hope they can assist you in your grammar studies while you are dining there.

      • “Because of this post we’ve lost countless customers over a misunderstanding.” um, because of this post? no, because you promoted a hate group by letting them to use your business as venue for bile-spewing. Misunderstanding? What was misunderstood?

      • +1 on the grammar

    • Indians being owed land is a pretty extreme belief actually.

      • not really, it’s a just one, but incredibly impractical. I think many reasonable people can agree that the US has treated native Americans unfairly and is still failing those communities. The problem is that no one can find a solution that is both fair and politically palatable. The same can be said for many of the problems felt by the American black community.

        And before it’s said that many white individuals didn’t oppress anyone and that they just happen to be white, realize that white Americans do indirectly benefit from those injustices and prejudices- every day, people of color are cast as the “other,” and have to work to prove and define themselves beyond that. An exception was at one time in the majority black neighborhoods of DC, where for once black was the default. I think while this group is extremely misguided, their anger is understandable. Not right, but to a empathetic person, understandable. We are not in a post-racial society yet, but white people expect to move into these neighborhoods with no pushback? I certainly fit the profile of gentrifier, but I also understand that I might not be made to feel comfortable all the time- I don’t like it, and it isn’t fair to me personally, but rather than getting on a high horse about reverse racism, I do what I can to show that I am a good neighbor, a friendly person, and unafraid.

  • so again the white population pulled there money away from this place. Which of course will force them to stop their original plan!! Another blatant for of white privilege sneaking it’s head out again. It is mind boggling that so many people think that racism is dead.

    • So we have to give are money to a place that sponsors a forum for anti- white hate speech. Hmm. I’m not sure that’s really racism. I like soul food and I can see how people can be vegetarian. What I don’t like is going to a place who’s owners believe I’m a blue eyed devil and have meetings about it. Would you go to a Klan owned place if they had the best pizza in town? No? You are a racist.

      • white dough, thin crust?

      • It’s not racist to resent your oppressor for oppressing you. You lack a basic understanding of the term.

        • Well that is the point isn’t it? Gentrification is a problem because of decisions the land lords and developers have made. It isn’t all white people, but a handful of individuals. So, why not a flier titled “Developers Hands Off!” instead of getting racial with the title?

        • I’m oppressing the Uhuru people? That’s news to me. I’m pretty sure I’m not oppressing anyone.

    • “KEEP WHITEY OUT!!! Oh crap… wait… come back. No guys we were just kidding. Aw man, ya’ll are racist. **out of business**”

      Be careful what you ask for.

  • The United Gentrification Front wins again! Wish the UGF warehouse would start handing out the bullet proof vests, we’re gonna need them!

  • So, here’s a question for the locals, DYRS, uhuru, and inpdum – was the owner of the Newton Market of African, Asian, or European descent? Were the shooters black or white, juvenile or adult? What role did DYRS play? Does it matter? What a mess!

  • i think this group has a horrible message, but comparing it to the kkk just makes people sound like babbling morons.

    if a black group was ever close to being on par with the kkk there would be a ruby ridge incident and you all know it.

    the kkk and like minded people are monstrous.

    • Agreed. Comparisons between the KKK and the people they have sought to exterminate are just ignorant. And if you’re making such comparisons, you’re probably in denial about your own racism. Or at least an irrational sense of entitlement by way of your race.

    • You have a point.

      They haven’t physically attacked people or their property.

      Yet, the message “Keep D.C. A Chocolate City” pretty much says “White people stay out”, which is very similar to something the KKK would say if they had a different color skin.

      • +1 – There is a difference in the history and all that, but at the end of the day their message is strikingly similar.

      • “keep D.C. A Chocolate City” could also mean blacks don’t move out… and there is nothing wrong in saying that.

        • I don’t think those moving would complain if the property values rise to such a level that they would want to leave because they seek to cash in on their new wealth.

        • hg

          Realistically, do you think that is how that statement will get taken given the racial tensions in D.C.?

  • Can’t we all just get along? Snap!

  • Thanks for posting this. I’ll be sure to check everlasting life out. It was important for them to respond.

    • I checked it out… The food and service was amazing. They provide a healthy alternative to the community. I think that we should all rally and support behind them since the other group wants to boycott them…

  • I must be a radical ’cause I read their site and it doesn’t sound crazy to me, much less racist. I mean, definitely very blunt and hard core, I see that that can be scary to white people, but on substance, are people here under the impression that imperialism or white privilege is a lie, or do they just not like the system that makes their lives possible explicitly called out?

    Maybe we should have a group trip to this conference:

    I’m disappointed this meeting was forced to move, actually. White power indeed.

    • Don’t be silly, there is no such thing as white privilege! And to refer to race in any debate is racist.

      I agree with you about it being that people are either so blinded by their daily reality that they can’t see the system of inequality inherent in it or they see the injustice but are so defensive or guilty about it that they can’t stand to hear it called by name, or a little of both. And that’s why this blog, which I believe has the best intentions in celebrating DC life and positive changes, attracts so many commenters who benefit from those changes, but are enraged when asked to consider the possibility that there are people losing out in the process, and that they are angry.

      I would love for PoP to add a new feature that somehow addresses and educates the readership about these issues. Because I get the feeling that many people here have never really had the opportunity to hear other educated perspectives on race and economics. He has a real estate expert guest blogger, maybe someone who is a professor or author could be brought in occasionally to revisit and provide commentary on the big debates about race and gentrification that periodically explode here. It will spark debate, sure, but maybe it will help some people to think in new ways that will help improve neighborhood relations as well. Because the debate on these two “Provocative” posts sure hasn’t.

      • Is anyone on this blog enraged when someone says that “people are losing out in gentrification”? No. That’s a willful mis-characterization. You’re challenging the sophistication of everyone here — relative to your own level of insight. Thanks, champ.

        We can talk about white privilege, but not in the same breath that one exhorts “Keep DC Black”. Can you see why everyone was angry about that? Why it’s unacceptable in civil discourse?

        It’s also woefully simple minded. What about all the black families that left DC to live in PG? They asserted their own power of self determination to seek advantage — better schools, neighborhoods, and safer communities. Upwardly mobile people know that adaptation — in the form of migration, sometimes — is the path to success. These Uhuru folks are discouraging that kind of behavior. Fools.

        • It seems the outrage is over the very specific use of the phrase “keep dc a chocolate city,” which I thought was kind of funny and quickly moved past. If you saw it as threatening in some way, and so threatening that it blinded you to the substance at hand, you need to examine your own attitudes.

          It sounds (?) like no one really takes issue with the specific stats noted as starting points for the discussion – all the stuff about the racial divide on housing, unemployment and health care – and I hope no one takes issue with the idea that those facts reflect a reality where certain groups are losing out, and it’s not right. It’s too bad that conversation got derailed.

          • The outrage comes from people telling me that I’m an oppressor, keeping the black man down and that everything I do is privileged, racist and wrong. . .
            I came to DC seven years ago. I didn’t burn the city down in ’68. I didn’t let the school system languish for generations so that a majority of the attendees are functionally illiterate and unemployable. I pay my taxes and my bills. I work my ass off to pay for my wife and two kids in a pretty standard row house in Petworth. I’m a good neighbor.
            I don’t buy or do drugs.
            I don’t kill people in the street.
            I RAISE MY CHILDREN.

            Somehow, Ive become a racist gentrifier by asking those around me to do the same.

          • Here’s what I don’t get about you guys. You seem happy to sit up there on a high horse, content in the fact that you’re the only ones who get it. Everyone with half a brain is very well aware of the various inequalities at play here. This isn’t Governor of Georgetown — if you’re reading this blog, it’s not unlikely that you live in a neighborhood where you’re in the minority as a non-black person. You might walk by drug dealers and little memorials to dead kids every day. I think you guys are too quick to pat yourselves on the back in a self serving way, for having pointed to the obvious.

            Thing is, we have all digested this information and are past the point of merely stating it for effect like school kids reciting last week’s lesson — we want solutions. So if we’re in a solution seeking mode, we’re looking for a couple things — a space for dialog that isn’t incendiary. If you blame “white imperialists” for everything, you’ve shut down dialog with others. You can blame “imperialism”, and have everyone just fill in the blank — everyone would assume that most of the so called imperialists would be white, but not all. That’s misguided. We have a hell of a lot of wealthy blacks in this area — legions of Buppies who are acting the imperialist part as much as any white person.

        • At the two anon posts above…

          “people are either so blinded by their daily reality that they can’t see the system of inequality inherent in it or they see the injustice but are so defensive or guilty about it that they can’t stand to hear it called by name”

          proving wait, what?’s point quite well.

  • According to the uhuru website, they held a protest in front of Everlasting Life and are encouraging their members to boycott Everlasting Life. I hope that the hipsters and yuppies in columbia heights will throw enough new business their way to counteract the money they will lose from the boycott by those racist a-holes at uhuru.

  • me

    I’ve always wondered why it’s okay for people to say things like “White people, get out!” and whatnot, but if anyone was to say something even remotely similar about any other group, they would seriously have to watch their back.

    • I would never say it’s OK for people to say things like “White people, get out!”, nor do I think anyone here is condoning such a statement. However, surely you realize that there is a HUGE difference in this group versus the KKK, for example? Or between statements issued by a historically oppressed group against their oppressors versus the other way around?

      200 years of hatred and opression, is the difference.

      And if you think we’re all equal now and there is no more oppression or that since YOU PERSONALLY are not directly oppressing anyone, then it’s all ok and it doesn’t exist, you need to learn a bit more about modern-day race relations in the US. Racism is still very much alive, and if you’re white, you’re benefiting from a privilege that you may not be aware of, but it’s there. And no, I’m not saying you should feel guilty, or are a bad person, or that you should change your life in any way. I’m sure you’re just living your life, trying to be a good person/citizen, and what not, and congratulations for that. Seriously and sincerely – I’m not being sarcastic.

      But try to be aware that history has shaped and continues to shape institutions, thought, relationships, modern-day life. And sometimes, anger can be understandable, if not constructive.

      • just to clear up – i’m not assuming you personally are white – the “you” in my previous comment was a general “you”, not perosnal.

      • There is not a huge difference between this group and the KKK. Both groups seek to portray themselves as victims of a social order that reduces their power within the wider sociey. One is black nationalist the other is white nationalist.

        The difference is that you buy the narrative of one, but not the other.

  • Dear Uhuru: Meet under a goddamned tree somewhere, you can be angry anywhere.

    Dear uptight people: There is no story here. Nothing to see. Please move along. Everlasting Life is a marvelous thing on the block. Great people, great food.

    Not really clear, though, how supportive this this African Hebrew Israelites (etc) group is of the modern government of Israel — If they are, seems a bit foolish, yes? They’d be in marching lockstep with the American government & therefore a wee bit the hypocrite. Eh, something else to read into during my epic heaps of spare time.

  • There are two ways that the cultural division in DC can be resolved.

    The first way is a friendly co-mingling of ideas, cultures, concepts, and values over the course of multiple generations whereby the divided cultures develop an empathetic understanding of WHY people do what they do groups passively adapt their norms to a point of mutual satisfaction. These norms are reinforced and certain types of negative behaviors are established as “fringe” and then eventually taboos. (Day-drinking in public, Recreational Drug-Use, unapologetic racism and exclusion, gang affiliation, irresponsible parenting, retaliatory violence, physical and verbal aggression.)
    Over time, the subtle racism of lowered expectations lifts and the community functions with less violence and social strife.

    The other way is that white people move in, bringing their norms and social standards with them… The community shows incremental signs of improvement, and commercial investment follows. Counterculture gets pushed to the fringe kicking and screaming…No mutual appreciation or recognition of values is established and the divides are seemingly reinforced. This process does not take long at all, but only furthers the cultural divide.

    • I agree that there is such a thing as the racism of lowered expectations.
      But there is also the racism of believing that there is something unique and better about the “norms and social standards of white people” – which you apparently believe.

      • Read my initial comment closely…I don’t purport the “bleach steam roller” as a better option here… And in my ideal, the “Better Values” are being stewarded by a united community of distinct cultures. This isn’t black v. white. Its a CULTURE issue…not a race issue…

        This culture is a “pay my taxes, tip my waiter, be friendly to the neighbors, be respectful to my community, be respectful to myself, have an open mind, strive for a healthy lifestyle, and earn an honest living.”

        The “black culture” that I am talking about exists in the exact same format for whites if you move to other urban areas… Bad behavior is not exclusive to the black community by ANY means. In this locality however, I go with what I know Marcus…with what I see every SINGLE day. My perceptions aren’t magically conjured from a super-racist upbringing. I am not crazy….This is not fiction –> There are maladaptive behaviors that are specifically manifest in PORTIONS of African American Community here in DC<–This is not fiction.

        What I am saying is that there is a cultural problem in DC and it needs to be acknowledged. Don't let them off the hook. Don't say, "This is what freedom is…people can do whatever they feel like doing."

        • Your exact words were “white people move in, bringing their norms and social standards with them. The community shows incremental signs of improvement . . .” You didn’t reference higher income people, more educated people, some subset of white people moving in; your exact words were “WHITE PEOPLE . . . ” [categorical] “THEIR NORMS AND SOCIAL STANDARDS.”
          I’m not calling you a racist. I don’t know anything about you. But declaring (as you did) that white “norms and social standards” are categorically better than black “norms and social standards” is a racist comment. And it’s also wrong. Every black person I know well believes in the “pay my taxes, tip my waiter, be friendly to the neighbors, be respectful to my community, be respectful to myself, have an open mind, strive for a healthy lifestyle, and earn an honest living” culture that you reference.

  • The miserable state of race relations is the #1 reason I’m leaving DC in 2011. Such a waste of energy.

  • let me just give my little take on this gentrification shindig.

    my grandfather and grandmother came to this country in 1956 with absolutely no money. they eventually saved up $5,000 to buy a tiny rowhouse in the Germantown section of Philadelphia where they went to German doctors and read German newspapers.

    Then in the 60s African Americans moved into the neighborhood. My grandparents house began to depreciate in value, so they left. Even though they really loved the house and all their neighbors and the community (hate the over use of this word) they had. Crime went up some, white flight began, and German culture was wiped out of the area.

    So all of the things that are happening with gentrification today happened in reverse 60 years ago. Cultures are being destroyed, families, communities, neighborhoods, yes that is all true. The only difference is that now when you sell your house and flea in a xenophobic frenzy, you make a half million dollars on your way out. And seriously folks, no one is holding a gun to people’s head and forcing them to sell.

    My grandparents didn’t go around making a big stink, they just moved on with their lives. things change. this whole issue is overblown.

    I honestly don’t see what the big deal is with history repeating itself.

    • so sad how those of german decent are still maligned and mistreated in our society that has an institutionalized discrimination against them, even after having been here for 60 plus years.

  • wow, so many commenters on here win at BINGO today. http://www.flickr.com/photos/lizhenry/3223223918/

  • 20 December 2010 9:43 AM | Anonymous Said:
    The outrage comes from people telling me that I’m an oppressor, keeping the black man down and that everything I do is privileged, racist and wrong. . .

    Who is saying that? You are personalizing criticism of the system, and your defensiveness is more revealing than you think. I came to DC about 7 years ago too. I am a white, middle class gentrifier. While I am not personally oppressing anyone, there is no doubt that my life is possible because of a racist, classist system that benefits me at the expense of others.

    I am not a bad person and don’t apologize for an accident of birth. However, I *would* feel guilty if my reaction to the meeting and the flyer was defensiveness and an unwillingness to listen. It is my obligation to be an ally, not to push meetings that might make me uncomfortable and call out my privilege out of public spaces. Why wouldn’t you go to the meeting first to see what it was all about, before trying to shut it down?

    As for the rest of your post…if you truly believe that expecting your neighbors not to commit crimes is the issue, there probably isn’t anything I can say that’s going to help you get some clarity. You clearly do not understand the issue at hand and an internet discussion space probably isn’t the place to get the education you need.

    • +1^n

      this is the most intelligent, well-stated comment made concerning both the meeting and the massive amount of white privilege being thrown around the comments section of this article. thank you.

    • You really need to read all of the comments.Did you comment just so you could type?

  • I just don’t get meetings and rallies like this. If you are concerned about losing your community try making it better, clean up your neighborhood otherwise the gentrifiers will, we will make the neighborhoods nice and work to increase their value. What i see here is:new people move in, invest to turn around the neighborhoods and then the locals get pissed and want their community back. But wait you had this city and ran it into the ground. You had a permanent tourist destination woth constant cash flow, with a constant workforce in the federal govt and yet somewhow this city managed to get screwed up, neighborhoods trashed, homes run down. Finally the city is making a comeback and then we get groups like this that try to divide based on hate. Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

    • James,

      Your level of ignorance is only exceeded by your level of arrogance.

      Obviously, the (Black) people who lived here before you came (because, obviously, no white, latino, asian, african, or anybody else lived here too, right) didn’t care about the city or community. They didn’t care about education, crime, cleanliness, sports, art, you know, quality of life. Only since YOU, and other whites have more recently come (because again, no other type of people have come since you have who care about the city) has the city start to “improve.”

      So, close down General Hospital, certain schools (none in whiteopeia, Ward 3), homeless shelters (especially downtown) and make life hell for street vendors and taxicab drivers (who happen to be mostly Black and/or immigrant). But got to have those dog parks. No, “those people” they screwed the city up on their own.

      Congress didn’t have anything to do with it (who controls the city budget and laws), and outside (white) developers, who have bought the city council, and get huge tax abatements, while others get forced out, or go to foreclosure. No the system is totally fair, and money, real estate, etc is available to anyone who wants it at a fair price. Right?

      Yes, gentrification (by whites, that benefits mostly whites, at the expense of anybody non-white, or who don’t believe having $400K condos and Walmarts and Starbucks everywhere is the best use of scarce resources) is a GOOD thing. And like the Washington Post says – “if you don’t get it, you don’t get it.”

      Why before gentrification began, this was a wasted land of lost opportunity. Just ask the Native tribes who lived in this area before those lost (white) souls of europe were forced out, and decided to come here, how they wasted the land, lived in relative peace and harmony. But hey, clean water and air, and no prisons and lawyers, demonstrates a “primitive” society. How could “they” live like that?

      Yes, anyone (Black or otherwise) who doesn’t “get” all these benefits, well “they is” the problem. Not your ass and your snarky, arrogant, know everything, fuck everybody else attitude.

      Thanks, now I know why “those” people are “extremist”.

      You’ve performed a magnanimous act of community education with your post.

      • Sweeeet! This is an awesome hipster response!

      • I don’t know that the Utopia you speak and dream of exists, also the fact that may post educated about something about which you have been apparently blind would suggest your post displays more ignorance than mine. I like everything you say, or i should say I liked it when i learned all that text book mumbo jumbo back in the ivory tower of college. In regards to the “fu@$ everyone else” attitude it is the people who held this meeting that have that attitude. Gentrifiers get tired of being blamed for all the ills in this town while the blamers take no personal responsibility – this strikes at the very heart of American values and is why people get so frustrated with it. I would also guess that you don’t actually own a home in one of these neighborhoods and so it is fair to say you are not as invested as those of us that are trying to make this a more livable town. It is easy to preach from from an english basement apartment when you literally aren’t in debt to the neighborhood in which you live. In regards to the $400k condos, PG county is the wealthiest black county in the country so it has nothing to do with money because the ability to afford those condos goes beyond white people.

        • The problem (or at least one of the problems) with your initial comment can be found in your declaration that “you had this city and ran it into the ground.” That’s a standard response that those who feel they are being criticized for “gentrifying” DC like to give. It’s an ignorant statement because it presumes that none of the people who lived here before the “gentrifiers” gave a damn about the city. The longtime African American residents that I know don’t have a problem with good neighbors of any color. To the extent that they resent gentrification, it’s because they have been working for a long time to make their neighborhoods better but the City didn’t really seem to give a rat’s ass until some higher income white people moved in.

          • That’s an interesting point – but how often can we shift the blame. I also see a standard response in the “longtime African American residents that I know” excuse – that would imply there is a mysterious resident or two running around causing all of the problems and everyone else gets to wash their hands and say “it wasn’t me” over the last 40 years. When are people responsible for their communities and towns and when do we get past the victim and perpetrator dichotomy. When we see a majority of the residents vote for the past like in the most recent election how can we not blame the majority? But then we move to say it was the fault of the elected officials – when do we stop shifting blame? Also I don’t know if the above implies that the folks here before the gentrifiers didn’t give a damn – but what it does say is that the gentrifiers gave more of damn because they came in and started changing things. So while the African Americans and other groups you mention as the original inhabitants may have cared, someone else cared more and continues to care more given the fast shifting demographics of the town. I would be interested in the examples of the neighbors that have been working a long time to make their neighborhoods better because I have not seen very many. I know that this is a sensitive issue but it is one that this town has been ignoring for a while and that continues to be a liability and holds the city back from becoming a great one.

  • this is better than six flags.

    • The only thing I remember bout 6 flags was the roving gangs of 12-17 year old bmore hood-babies gettin high at the bus stop. Ugh drop the bomb already, get it over with.

  • I worked with the folks at Everlasting Life about 10 years ago and found them completely and totally racist and homophobic. They got caught and are back-pedaling. Anyone who believes they aren’t racist simply doesn’t know them. They don’t think they’re racist, but to me they are.

  • I have been to Everlasting Life Cafe recently and when I made a comment about their food being better than their other locations, they told me that they were under new ownership and management as of 2 years ago and no longer connected to the previous owners or African Hebrews. I guess this would explain the beautiful renovations, after all, it just looked like a dump when the other people owned it.

  • I am disgusted by all the comments I’ve read here. Everlasting Life had no problem with all the “extremists” that patronized their business and kept it afloat before White people even realized it was there. I don’t expect White people to understand how gentrification has ravaged the Black community. The people who called in were so quick to call it “racist” without attempts to understand the point of view. It amazing how people get so uppity and make theirselves out to be victims while destroying the free speech rights of a group they know absolutely nothing about. I bet the Klu Klux Klan would never experience this kind of treatment. They are allowed to march and spread hateful filth in Black neighborhoods. I suppose my words are falling on deaf ears, as the people who called in will always feel a sense of entitlement to do as they please in a community where they don’t even live, where they don’t even experience the BULL we experience on a daily basis. WHO NEEDS YOUR PATRONAGE?! Soul Veg and Everlasting Life have done fine thus far with a loyal Black clientele. KICK ROCKS! All of you!

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