I went to bed last night on a DC-high. I woke up this morning, and that all went out the window—or the gate, as I should probably say.
My sweet Eli woke me up at 5:30am, ready to play. He was literally jumping up and down at the bedroom door so that I would let him out. Begrudgingly, I got out of bed, made my way downstairs, and went to the front door. I have this paranoid habit of looking out of the door window before I open it—just in case.
Well, for the first time, there was something to see. Our front gate was open and some things on our front porch had been moved a little. Clearly, someone had been in our yard and on our porch that night. What they were doing, I don’t know. But whatever it was, it’s not okay!
Luckily, we didn’t have anything of worth on the front porch—just some car cleaning supplies and bags of dog poo (which, sadly, my late-night visitors did not take with them).
But, I’ve never felt so violated—and vulnerable. Made worse by the fact that Ru was out of town. (He’s back now, thank God!)
My experiences in the last 24 hours really put into focus the two different DCs that exist—the beautiful, majestic, safe DC that exists for tourists and politicians, and the gritty, crime-ridden, impoverished, ignored DC.
And the differences are apparent everywhere you look. Nice DC consists of grand homes and buildings, clean and good-quality streets, and a plethora of exciting restaurants and stores. Not-so-nice DC is full of run-down homes and streets with pot-holes and empty beer cans.
In Nice DC, you have some of the best schools in the country that prepare the kids for Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. In Not-so-nice DC, you have literally the worst schools in the country, with astronomically high drop-out rates.
In Nice DC, you have powerful and important jobs (a little job called president comes to mind…). In Not-so-nice DC, you’re lucky to have a minimum wage job. In 2006, the employment rate for African-American adults was just 51% in DC. And only Atlanta and Tampa beat DC for the greatest disparity between high-wage earners and low-wage earners.
It really says something about or society, our values, our government, that our nation’s capital—the heart of the country, the home of some of the most powerful people in America—has this much inequality.