Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A close to home example of fake news: MS-13 gangs terrorizing the White House

Newsmax is a conservative news site. This is the headline of a story on its website today, which I couldn't help but click on:
WashPost: MS-13 Gang Terrorizes Neighborhood Near White House."
Because the closest neighborhoods to the White House in Downtown Washington DC are heavily high income and predominately "white" and/or upper middle class, and the closest heavily Hispanic neighborhoods close to the White House are a few miles north in Ward 1 -- I suppose the definition of close varies between "The Walking City" and automobile-centric neighborhoods -- I didn't see how this was possible.

Of course, it becomes even more ludicrous when the area in question is the Prince George's County district of Langley Park, on the border of Montgomery and Prince George's Counties in Maryland, MORE THAN 8 MILES FROM THE WHITE HOUSE.

While I understand this type of reporting has nothing to do with accuracy and is designed to make political points, it does have consequences, for example how a school in Northeastern Ohio cancelled their field trip to DC out of a belief itt's too dangerous ("North Ridgeville Schools cancels DC trip," Chronicle-Telegram).

Although I guess it's because the school fears that students could be at risk from mass shootings or terrorist incidents, not from everyday crime.  From the article:
Eighth-grade students in North Ridgeville Schools will not be taking the annual field trip to Washington, D.C., this school year because of concerns for their safety.

The district sent a letter to families Wednesday announcing the decision to cancel the trip.

“When your student began his/her eighth grade year, we shared information about our annual Washington, D.C., trip,” the letter said. “Included in our print material, as well as in our parent information night, was the message that our trip would be canceled if at any point we felt that the safety of our students and staff may be compromised. Sadly, we have reached that point.”

The letter — which was signed by principal Amy Peck, trip adviser Brittany Cioffoletti and Superintendent Jim Powell — said that since that meeting with parents, “we have mourned with many across the country at the loss of lives in Las Vegas, Manhattan and Texas.”
People really need to get out into the real world more.  Yes cities have crime, homeless, graffiti, and especially Washington, litter.  But that doesn't mean they are dangerous places that must be avoided at all costs.



At 11:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They're just headline-jacking today's Post piece. Idiots in flyover country don't know or care about the difference:

"‘People here live in fear’: MS-13 menaces a community seven miles from the White House"


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