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District's changing complexion

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As a newspaper The Washington Post has used its editorial board, columnists, and writers to call into the question the political leadership of the District of Columbia. Post Publisher Ms. Katharine Weymouth, editorial page editor Mr. Fred Hiatt, and its principal District editorial writer Ms. Jo-Ann Armao make regular protestations for openness, transparency, and ethics.

These principles are not only valid for leaders in governments they are also valid for newspapers. The time has come for The Washington Post to come clean and to state clearly its aim is more specific and targeted than seeking good District municipal leadership.

The Washington Post front page story (Sunday, 9 March 2014) on the changing complexion of the District (written by someone who has been challenged by this writer for his comments against parental involvement is District public education during the former DCPS Chancellor Michelle Rhee regime) is nothing more than a racial political call to arms.

The idea and theme advanced by Ms. Weymouth and Ms. Armao that African-American political leadership is inept and evil must be vigorously challenged. If someone’s race the marker of intelligence and successful leadership, then Ms. Weymouth, Ms. Armao, Mr. Hiatt should immediately resign.

Corruption is not the provenance of District African-Americans, District Democrats, District residents over the age of 45, or native Washingtonians. The Washington Post which looks at the District and sees widespread political corruption and government mismanagement is being intellectually corrupt, unfair, and dishonest.

The real corruption in the District is how The Washington Post reports differently on misconduct in the District’s fire department verses the District’s police department.

The real corruption in the District is how The Washington Post uses its op-ed pages to divide the District by race, income, and zip-code to advance its corporate interests.

The real corruption and lack of integrity in the District is how The Washington Post seeks to frame an image of District political leadership in the negative by the use of code words and phrases designed to inflame by race, political view, and age.

By many, if not all objective measures, the operation and management of the District government over the past three years have been a model and beacon of light in local municipal management. The future of the District is not just recognizable in the hands of new youthful leadership and a growing population. The future of the District can also be seen in the sacrifices, dedication, and faithful leadership of its past citizens.

Can you imagine the Graham family conversations surrounding the fate of The Washington Company between the elder Mr. Donald E. Graham and his younger niece Ms. Weymouth on the future of The Washington Post?

How can selling The Washington Post, a family held newspaper because of dwindling subscribers and advertising revenue; yet keeping the same failed leadership be viewed as an opportunity for growth, while the District’s quality of life with improving public education, lowering unemployment rates across the District, offering hope and opportunity for its young people, support for its seniors, and securing a vibrant business climate under District Mayor Vincent C. Gray be viewed as a need for change?

There is strong opposition to The Washington Post, Ms. Weymouth, Mr. Hiatt, and Ms. Armao, across the District, not because District residents do not support open, good and effective government (which is present under Mayor Gray); but rather because people dislike the collective arrogance and intellectual hypocrisy of the leadership/management of The Washington Post.

One of the seven (7) guiding principles of the late Mr. Eugene Meyer, former owner of The Washington Post, was "The newspaper shall not be the ally of any special interest, but shall be fair and free and wholesome in its outlook on public affairs and public men." This single vision appears to be contrary to the ethos of Ms. Weymouth, Mr. Hiatt, and Ms. Armao.

Mayor Gray has govern to make the District a “One City” inclusive for all District residents, long-term and new, non-resident workers, and visitors.

Ms. Weymouth, Mr. Hiatt, and Ms. Armao efforts to distort the political landscape of the District have been purposely deceptive and intentionally treacherous. If Ms. Weymouth, Mr. Hiatt, and Ms. Armao, regardless of reason and evidence want District voters to cast their mayoral ballots on the basis of “isms” they should be bold enough to make their appeal plain.

Yes, it is their First Amendment right to push their plan of divisive politics, even if it is distasteful. However, they should know there are some who will mount a righteous resistance, regardless of the odds.

Not everyone reads The Washington Post and kneels.

E-mail contact information: rbrannum@robertbrannum.com

Twitter: @robert158

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