7/12/2006

Who Are You?

Blesus and I have been discussing the murder of a British man and the attempted rape of his female companion in DC this past weekend. Specifically, the crime took place in Georgetown. We know a lot of people have been posting about the murder and the subsequent declaration of a "Crime Emergency" here in the District, and we just felt we needed to weigh in. Not necessarily about the actual murder - which is tragic and awful - but about the debate that is now raging on about why this happened, the DC Police Department's reaction, and the inevitable question of "why don't the police react this way when [insert non-caucasian race here] people are murdered in [insert non-Northwest quadrant of DC area here]?"

DC Blogs and Why.I.Hate.DC. have both brought our attention to some astoundingly ridiculous comments that were made on DCist in regards to this horrible event and the fallout within the District. There are several gems, but I would like to call your attention to this one, because its not to be missed:

"It's pretty clear that crime in this city is out of control again. Its not so much the numbers, but the fact that the underclass has raised a generation that kills for fun, rather than profit. I recall an effort a few years ago to pay poor women to be sterilized. This sounds like the only long term solution to turn around DC."

This assinine comment begs the question - WHO ARE YOU? As Blesus and I were discussing, its almost impossible to decide which is worse - that someone was murdered in cold blood or that this commenter thinks that sterilizing women is the answer to the crime problem here and, presumably, in other cities around the country. Its so sad that (again, presumably) educated people can make such intolerant and uneducated comments. Blesus and I are in agreement that the commenter probably learned those ideas from his/her family/parents and its funny to us that this commenter seems to think that sterilizing underprivleged women is the answer to this disgusting crime, yet its ok for him/her to be spread their message of intolerance and incompetence.

While the commenter on DCist is clearly a complete idiot, the Gold Medal for Dumbest Comment Ever goes to Inspector Andy Solberg for telling the crowd at a Georgetown church community meeting "to report suspicious-looking people to police when they see them in the neighborhood." He talked about the suspects in the Senitt killing and described one as a "chubby, stocky guy" and one as a 15-year-old. He said at 2 a.m. they "are going to stand out" in the area. "They were black," Solberg said. "This is not a racial thing to say that black people are unusual in Georgetown. This is a fact of life."

Ok, yeah, I'm pretty sure that's racist. To quote Blesus: "Solberg tried to backpeddle and say that it wasn't meant to be racial but the fact is there aren't a lot a black poeple in g-town - which means that if you DO see a black person in g-town at night he/she may or may not kill you." Yeah, so run for your life if you see a black person. I hear they're all dangerous. Every single one of them.

We're concerned about a few items here - 1)How did this man ever even make it out of the police academy?; 2)Who gave him a microphone?; 3)Did anyone recognize before he made these comments that he's a complete moron?; 4)Is this the mindset of everyone else working in the DC Police Department?

But what this mainly comes down to for Blesus and me is that we don't understand why all of a sudden the city is in a "Crime Emergency." Because a white person was killed? Hello, DC Police Department? There are people killed in this city every day and I doubt we hear about half of those murders.* While we're sad for the family of Alan Senitt and think the whole story is tragic, his life meant no more than all the other people who are killed in DC every year, white or black or yellow or green or blue. Its disheartening to see that in a city that certainly defines the term "mixing bowl," the people in charge really only seem to care about one race.

*Before someone sends us hate mail, we do realize that there have been 13 murders in DC since July 1 and that they are all receiving coverage due to this "Crime Emergency" situation. However, I think we can all agree that if it weren't for the murder of Alan Senitt, this may not have become the serious matter that it has.

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