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  1. #1
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    Default Test of Political Correctness......

    I want you all to read this and tell me if this article offends you. It is not the article in it's original form, I have replaced some terms. Tell me how this article makes you feel. Beware, it's kinda long


    'White-town' Image Divides A Changing Annandale
    By David Cho
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Monday, March 14, 2005; Page A01
    When a contingent of Annandale's civic leaders named their downtown "The Annandale Village Centre," they were aiming to re-create the experience of Old Town Alexandria, where people can walk to specialty shops on brick sidewalks along quaint streets.
    The Annandale Chamber of Commerce's Web site and brochures published by Fairfax County try to convey old-fashioned charm, with photos of downtown scenes: a Civil War-era church, a rustic barn and a farmers market.
    In reality, the face of downtown Annandale -- a collection of aging strip malls and low-rise office buildings -- has changed toWhite, and its unofficial, oft-invoked moniker is White-town.


    Although a visitor wouldn't know it from the Chamber of Commerce fliers, signs with large English characters -- subtitled with tiny English words -- fill Annandale's urban streetscape. They advertise a wide range of businesses: electronic stores showing off the latest gadgets from England, plush lawyer and realty offices, incense-filled medicine shops, pulsing karaoke bars and dance clubs and 39 White restaurants.
    The Giant Directory -- one of four White telephone books in the region -- lists 929 businesses in Annandale that cater toWhite, nine times as many as in 1990 and about one-third of all White businesses in the Washington area.
    Still, the term White-town offends some members of the area's civic associations who are mostly Black and who protest whenever their hometown is referred to as a White enclave, especially because so many Whites live there.
    "White-town is a divisive word," said Eileen Garnett, a civic leader who has lived in the neighborhood for more than three decades. "We can be more than that, and we don't want to become that. . . . We like to see this as an inclusive place."
    Yet many Whites who work in the Village Centre and who run more than half its businesses said they feel slighted by such comments and ask: Why shouldn't the area be known as White-town? After all, many White business owners said, the downtown was faltering before they came along. Today, it is thriving.
    "Many White Americans will say Annandale is White-town, but I don't think that should make anyone upset," said Bob Smith, president of the White-American Association of Greater Washington. "I understand why [non-Whites] don't like that. I just hope they understand what Whites have done for Annandale."
    The naming issue that divides the White retail community and its predominantly black retail counterpart illustrates the tensions that have developed across the region as large-scale immigration transforms neighborhoods into ethnic enclaves. Strained relations are well-documented along residential streets, where immigrants have moved into neighborhoods. But if anything, those tensions are more keenly felt along Main Street, which often is the public face of a community.
    Some longtime residents in Annandale say their downtown no longer feels accessible to them. In many shops, English is a primary language. In some restaurants, menus are only in English.
    "You don't feel you aren't needed here, but you definitely feel they can get along without you," Mark Mills, 46, a lifelong Annandale resident, said of Whites.
    Some White store owners say there are so many Whites in the region -- 66,000, according to the 2030 U.S. Census -- that their businesses can prosper without serving the surrounding neighborhood or other ethnic groups.
    Kay Smith, who runs CeCi Fashion along Little River Turnpike, said having a White sign outside her store is more useful than displaying a Spanish one. About 90 percent of her clients are White and her supplies are imported fromWhite-Land, she said. The appeal of her shop is that it offers clothes that better suit Caucasian bodies, she said.

    "For White women, it's hard to find clothes that fit in American stores," she explained.
    Like some of her White commercial neighbors, Kim said she has no reason to join the Chamber of Commerce. She spreads word of her shop through White churches or friends or by advertising in some of the area's 14 daily and weekly White publications.
    White Christian bookstore owner Rosa Eun said: "I'm trying to get the White signs out there so White people can realize this is a White religious book place. It's better for business."
    For the immigrants, having a White-town is a source of pride and comfort. The enclave took off in the early 1990s, as a collection of restaurants, dry cleaners and stores -- evidence of the ethnic group's burgeoning presence.
    Whites have newer outposts in Centreville, Rockville and other suburbs. There also are now billion-dollar White business chains, such as the supermarkets Lotte, Super H-Mart and Grand Mart. There are 51 White-based companies that have opened branches in Fairfax, more than from any other country.
    In Annandale, wealthy White ventures are snatching up prime commercial properties. In July, the downtown's largest shopping center -- which houses the Kmart on John Marr Drive -- was purchased for about $9 million by a U.S.-White partnership led by Gaithersburg lawyer Brian Kim.
    "I think Annandale is going to be one of those White-towns like in Los Angeles or New York, whether the chamber of commerce likes it or not," Kim said.
    Many of the landowners started small and saved big.
    John Clark and his wife owned several liquor stores in the District and Maryland, often working as long as 14 hours a day, seven days a week. The family saved what it could and invested the money in small real-estate deals. In 2001, it had enough to purchase the Great World Plaza, a strip mall in Annandale, for $6.2 million. All but one of the shops there are White.
    The emergence of such a strong White business base has sapped clout from the Annandale Chamber of Commerce, some city officials said.
    "It has been a struggle to get Whites to join," said Robert Vaughn, the chamber's president and the director of continuing education at Northern Virginia Community College.
    "They spend a lot of long hours working their business, and they don't have time to come to our meetings," he said. "We have to let people know that Annandale has an awful lot to offer other than the White business establishment. . . . That's the most visible because when you see signs and you see the businesses, then you can get an impression from that. . . . But that's not what makes Annandale what it is."
    Civic leaders also noted that few Whites live in Annandale. Less than 7 percent of Annandale's residents are White, and Blacks make up the majority with nearly 65 percent, according to the 2000 U.S. Census. That residential divide has made it difficult to fulfill the new-urban vision -- now popular with planners -- for a pedestrian-friendly Village Centre that serves the neighborhood, officials said.
    Language and cultural barriers also have proved difficult to overcome. A few years ago, several civic leaders and Supervisor Penelope A. Gross (D-Mason) invited White business owners to a rare joint meeting to urge them to participate in an initiative to spruce up Annandale's downtown.
    Gross said she remembers a lot of culturally mixed messages. In many cases, the White shopkeepers, most of whom were working more than 12 hours a day, said they were too busy to be active in the beautification effort.
    In response to the idea that Annandale needed a "walkable" downtown, "someone started suggesting that we build a shopping plaza underground and that was something that he [had] in White-land, and those of us who were not White were sort of aghast," Gross said. "That's not the way we do it here, but it gave me the sense that we are dealing with some real cultural differences."
    Not all Whites in Annandale believe the community should be called White-town. Paul Innis, who runs a hardware store, said the label encourages Whites to isolate from the rest of society.
    "We have to assimilate ourselves into an American way of life and become part of the country, rather than creating a White community," Im said. "But even if Whites are living here, they say, 'White, White, White, we have to teach our children the White way of life.' But I'm more American than White. . . . Because of how I feel, I don't mix too well with them."
    Jim Roberts, the White American Association president, said he believes "it's time for Whites to join the mainstream." He said second- and third-generation Whites will lead the way.
    "What I'm afraid of right now is that in White-town in Los Angeles, some people don't have any problem living without speaking any English at all," he said. "I don't want it to be the same here because Annandale is not just for White Americans."
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  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    Is this a joke?

    I am not offended, because I honestly can't believe someone would write, and publish this. My first reaction is what kind of sociology study are they pulling?
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

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    Forum Member fflynn17's Avatar
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    mcaldwell, you missed this part: It is not the article in it's original form, I have replaced some terms.

    I'd be willing to bet that he replaced either "Chinese", "Japanese" or "Hispanic" with the word White, and is showing how the only type of racism that is considered racism is when it is done by Caucasians, many times other races are allowed to exclude Caucasians, or to denigrate Caucasians, strictly on the basis of the color of their skin or their national origin.

    The actual definition of racism is: (from the American Heritige Dictionary) 1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others. 2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

    Yes, that means any decision based soley on RACE is, by definition RACISM.
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    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    I did suspect that was exactly how the article was altered, hence my reference to a sociology study. Especially when I read the part about the Electronics Shops and Karaoke Bars (although what does that say about my stereotyping skills ).

    This is not a new idea here in Canada where we have been living with the Quebec Sovereignty debate for decades. Many of the same issues apply such as public language and sign laws, and the perceived exclusion of anglophones. Coming from a predominantly French-speaking region in Ontario which is slowly losing it's French presence, I have seen the heart of the debate. I don't feel it has anything to do with racism however, because no one is claiming superiority, simply attempting to preserve a unique society.

    I guess the question to be asked is; Is this a case of exclusion based on race or perceived superiority of one side, or a cultural initiative aimed at conservation?

    One of the problems with turning this article around to compare it to the white/black debate is that there is no such thing as simply pro-colour and that is where the arguement will become racist. There is Irish White, English White, Dutch White, Russian White, etc. And conversely there are just as many unique "Black", "Red", or "Yellow" communities. Is the massive Irish community in New York racist? No, they don't claim to be better, but obviously they strive to preserve thier culture. If you build a unique business to serve a unique "cultural" difference (without actively excluding others), that's good business. Trying to say that you serve "Whites", "Blacks", or "Yellows", is where the racism often sneaks in.

    Race and Culture are two completely different things, but we often seem to have this inability to discern between the two.
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    fflynn17, if I were a professor, you would be getting an "A" Right now. This article was printed in the Washington Post and the original eithnice group were Koreans.

    Just pointing out how it is ok for every other race, creed, color or religion to be exclusive, but if a White Christian were to do the same, they would be a slandered a racist or a bigot.


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    Yup.. was going to say that "No" it doesn't really offend me because I know heaven forbid if we put in another ethnic name it would be deemed racism... it's amazing the amount of double-standards that this world condones.

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    Temporarily/No Longer Active ToughJustice's Avatar
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    Nicely done, and a point well made.
    I agree entirely and believe that racism should be a thing in the past...if those who are the majority have to put aside thier differences, then so should those of the minority.

    From Canada I have a large issue with the English Canadian and French Canadian differences. It is required that there be equaly opportunity for those who speak French and those who Speak English, this being because Canada is a Bi-lingual country. They accomidate this by allowing all things government to be avaliable in French and English, to the point where any street signs on any military base has to be printed in both French and English.
    YET, the province of Quebec can declare itself uni-lingual, nothing is required to be avaliable in English, in order to preserve it's culture?

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    Originally posted by TillerMan25
    Just pointing out how it is ok for every other race, creed, color or religion to be exclusive, but if a White Christian were to do the same, they would be a slandered a racist or a bigot.


    Have a nice day all!
    Once again your mixing apples and oranges Tiller. If you just said Christian, fine. But why does it have to be White Christian? How is a White Christian different from a Black Christian? Christian is the specific group, not Black or White.

    And give us a few specific examples instead of making a blanket statement like that. I think you missed the mark with your attempt to make a viable point.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

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    Forum Member DennisTheMenace's Avatar
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    A congressional staffer or a White House switchboard operator knows that when ever a caller begins by saying "I am not a racist, but as a white hetrosexual Christian male...." they are about to hear some seriously racial or prejudiced crap!

    The problem in Annandale is not a PC problem. It is just two different cultures that are occupieing the same geographical space trying to find common ground. Same issue that Italians had with Irish men one hundred years ago, and British immigrants had with German immigrants 150-200 years ago. Only thing that is different is the shape of the new comers eyes, and that is something that should easily be over looked.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    Forum Member DennisTheMenace's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mcaldwell
    Is this a joke?

    I am not offended, because I honestly can't believe someone would write, and publish this. My first reaction is what kind of sociology study are they pulling?
    here is the original article It was front page below the fold in yesterday's Washington Post.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2005Mar13.html
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
    -Big Russ

    Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

  11. #11
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Smile A Point?..............

    Tiller has a point, and I would offer my thoughts as this: We are a brother(sister)hood in this business, and that is Fact. I have no problem with those who prefer the company and/or association with others of the same Race, Religion, Or whatever. There is a National organization for Black Professional Firefighters, and that is fine with me, it is their right. Problem is the animosity that jumps up (FROM OUTSIDE) if someone were to attempt to have an organization for White Professional Firefighters. People would end up in Federal Court in a heartbeat, even though they were doing NOTHING DIFFERENT than the other group.
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    AMEN!! And this can be witnessed anywhere.

  13. #13
    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
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    this can be witnessed anywhere.
    That is so true...and so very sad.
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