The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion A city is not just your home

The Harleston Village neighborhood, back, is protected from the Ashley River by only a thin line of large rocks in Charleston, S.C. (Hunter McRae for The Washington Post)
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At age 66, I’ve been around long enough to do the nostalgia tour in a number of places, starting in my hometown of Atlanta. Having lived in D.C. for more than 40 of those years, I and other residents aren’t immune to it here either. But Kathleen Parker’s Aug. 4 Thursday Opinion column “These days, I’m a stranger in my own town” about Charleston, S.C., left me wondering what she really expects. Put the city under plexiglass to keep New Yorkers out? Allow a “downtown in need of repairs” to crumble from the low country heat and humidity?

Charleston is an original American jewel. Though many people understandably view the city’s antebellum plantations through a different lens — seeing the suffering of the enslaved people who built them.

Charleston may well be underwater in a few decades due to climate change. Better to enjoy what’s there while we still can than moan about what’s lost. And while you’re at it, acknowledge its troubled history. Sorry, Ms. Parker, Charleston doesn’t belong only to you.

Karen Yudelson Sandler, Washington