Is it possible to discuss DC’s Problems without bringing up race?

Photo by PoPville flickr user BrennaLM

Over the weekend there was a lengthy discussion/debate about the huge fight that took place on metro Friday night. I knew some folks would bring up the issue of race but I was surprised to see almost the entire debate devolve into the issue of race. I think when the debate is framed in this manner it does a great disservice to DC. Rather a great disservice to understanding, identifying and fixing DC’s problems. You see, in my opinion, whenever these conversations devolve into a discussion simply of race, it misses the point. The point being: How do we fix these problems? In 2010 to blame all the serious problems the city faces solely on the race of some of its residents is absolutely ridiculous and absurd.

On Saturday, Washington Post columnist Colbert King summed it up nicely in his column about the Mayoral election:

“This is not something to cheer but to regret. Not out of sympathy for Fenty. But out of concern for a city so trapped in its past that it can’t see the problems before its face — problems that are neither black nor white.”

So when do you think DC and its residents will mature to a point that we can discuss the major problems we face for what they are – major problems? Major problems that, sadly, plague many towns and cities regardless of the race/ethnicity of their inhabitants?

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