With the approaching Glenn Beck Tea Party rally planned for August 28 in Washington, DC, Tea Party organizer and blogger Andrew Ian Dodge decided to write up a comprehensive guide for his fellow patriotic Real Americans on visiting their nation's capital. The Tea Party guide to Washington is filled with advice and, more than anything else, warnings about this scary mid-sized city of 600,000. Like any good guidebook, it's a bit long, so here are the bullet points:
- Warning: Caribou Coffee wifi "restricts your access to 'adult' sites."
- "Dupont Circle, gay area"
- At the West End Bistro, "Nancy Pelosi, Alan Greenspan, Andrea Mitchell, Clint Eastwood, and other notables, good and evil, local and visiting, may be spotted."
- On scary African people: "DC's population includes refugees from every country, as the families of embassy staffs of third world countries tend to stay in DC whenever a revolution in their homeland means that anyone in their family would be in danger if they went back. Most taxi drivers and many waiters/waitresses (especially in local coffee shops like the Bread and Chocolate chain) are immigrants, frequently from east Africa or Arab countries. As a rule, African immigrants do not like for you to assume they are African Americans and especially do not like for you to guess they are from a neighboring country (e.g. Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia) with whom they may have political or military tensions."
- On the metro: "Do not use the Green line or the Yellow line." [Editor's note: About half of the Atlantic Wire staff lives safely on the Green and Yellow line. Of course, we are all armed to the teeth. And Eritrean.]
- The eight blocks that are safe: "If on foot or in a cab or bus"--Segway riders, it seems, can safely skip this note--stay "in DC only in northwest DC west ... of 14th or 16th streets, or if on Capitol Hill only in SE Capitol Hill (zip 20003) between 1st and 8th Streets, not farther out than 8th."
- Where you can go: Pelosi's house, to protest. The guide concludes by listing the home addresses of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Anita Dunn, and Tom Daschle. "Feel free to protest!"
DC blogger Laura Olin helpfully provides this map of the city, with the proscribed "safe" area in blue and the "unsafe" in red.
The American Prospect's Adam Serwer reads the guide's subtext, "which basically goes out of its way to impose on Tea Party activists the necessity of not accidentally visiting any of DC's mostly black neighborhoods." He sighs, "I suppose if you exist in a media atmosphere in which black people spend their time developing plans for racial 'payback' than believing its really dangerous to enter a mostly black neighborhood is an entirely rational response."