When most of us think of Washington, DC, we picture the monuments. We fondly remember that middle school trip to visit the Smithsonian where we also took in Shear Madness at the Kennedy Center, or a family vacation for the Cherry Blossom Festival. Maybe you’re an avid follower of the National Zoo’s Giant Panda Cam. Or maybe you’ve traveled to DC for the famous Independence Day fireworks and concert on the National Mall. Maybe you’ve even, pre-pandemic, visited your Member of Congress in her/his office or taken a tour of the White House or the US Capitol.
The thing is, more than 700,000 people, average people, REAL Americans (if I may), LIVE in DC. The US Capitol is right in a residential neighborhood, with thousands of regular people – some of whom had to evacuate their homes on January 6 because violent white supremacist Trump supporters planted IEDs at the DNC and RNC headquarters – living steps from the Capitol complex. As I’ve written about before, they lack representation in Congress, which includes limits on local control, self-determination, or their ability to protect themselves.
What I want to do today is link to writing and reporting from and about actual DC residents to help folks outside the area understand what our fellow Americans are going through right now, to empathize with them, and to remember that the thousands of people who live in DC are just as “real” as people who live in Kansas or Louisiana or Idaho or anywhere else in our beloved country.
- “The District is home, and advocating to stay and protect our home is more important than ever.” Washington City Paper, All Politics Are Local
- What It Feels Like to Live Under DC’s State of Emergency, DCist
- DC Love, love letters to DC, hosted by Shop Local DC (if you want, you can submit one, too)
- Interviews with some of the Metropolitan Police Department officers who prevented a massacre at the Capitol, WJLA
- Further reporting on the MPD’s actions on January 6, from the Washington Post
(Yes, I understand that cops are, largely, problematic. But these particular cops, on this particular day, were heroes.)
To conclude, from a local reporter:
I was in DC after 9-11, which is the first time I saw troops in the streets in America. I can tell you that today Washington is under much more intense lockdown than even then. All of the guys I dealt with this morning at checkpoints were terrific and doing their best. pic.twitter.com/nRYjjFjLdN
— Eamon Javers (@EamonJavers) January 15, 2021
When you look at the iconic images of our nation’s Capitol, remember the real people who live there who are in real danger right now, and keep them in your thoughts and prayers, particularly in the coming week.
Image from DCist
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