Regarding the April 10 Metro article “A go-go spot goes quiet, and protests fill the void”:
The D.C. Council’s call to arms on the quieting of our homegrown go-go music was nothing but a bureaucratic false flag in the culture wars surrounding gentrification. From 1987 to 2000, 60,000 people left the city. From 2000 to 2013, 20,000 black residents were supplanted from the District. Gentrification, aided in many instances by tax abatements and developmental inducements, stabilized and increased our population.
Up until 2000, residents departed not because of a lack of music but because of a lack of basic services, including education and health care. Ironically, cheap housing was plentiful but not compelling enough to stem the flight of the black middle class. Have things changed? Housing has certainly become more expensive, but city services, especially for the needy, remain desultory at best. Witness the closure of the obstetrics ward at city-operated United Medical Center, a dearth of affordable housing because it seems the city doesn’t even track it correctly and the performance of the schools — last year, 1 in every 3 students was deemed unprepared to graduate.
Did council members use their offices as a bully pulpit? No, they largely ignored these problems. We need an honest assessment of the issues, not an unimaginative, trope-driven tale that shrouds bureaucratic miscues. Thankfully, go-go has returned to Chuck Brown Way. Here’s hoping the D.C. Council can confront other issues with such deft alacrity and surety of purpose.
Greg Boyd, Washington