The flag of the District of Columbia and the American flag. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

It’s time for The Post to stop sending mixed messages and be straight with D.C. residents on the issue of equality. The March 22 editorial “An important step for self-government” said, “The ruling by Judge [Brian] Holeman means that for the first time, the District won’t have to await a budget appropriation by Congress before adopting a budget and expending local funds.” A few sentences later, it said, “And hopefully Congress . . . will not try to block the District from exercising a basic right.” Hope is a beautiful thing, but if past is prologue, I wouldn’t put any faith in this happening.

It’s time to save the touchdown happy dance for what’s really important and stand with the 71 percent of registered D.C. voters who want statehood. Baby steps after 215 years, even when supported by the D.C. Superior Court, are a diversion. They can be accepted but shouldn’t be lauded. There is no such thing as conditional equality; you’re either equal or you’re not.

Michael D. Brown, Washington

The writer, a Democrat,
is a shadow senator for the District.