I have lived in D.C . for two years now. I’ve never been mugged or accosted or harmed in anyway. Mostly, people have left me alone. I lived in Wilmington, NC for over then years and I was hassled almost every time I walked out the door. I had someone point a gun at me, been pistol whipped, pulled over almost weekly and told to “Mind my own fucking business” almost like being told “Nice weather”. I can say, almost effortlessly, that the D.C. Metro area is safe as long as you A) are aware of your surroundings and B) don’t act like a jackass. However, Glen Beck’s rally is this weekend. So the “Don’t act like a Jackass” rule can’t really apply to these people. I guess that is why someone decided to send them all some rules of the road. I didn’t make any of this up.
If on foot or in a cab or bus, stay in Bethesda, Arlington (preferably north Arlington), Crystal City, Falls Church, Annandale, or Alexandria, or in DC only in northwest DC west (i.e. larger street numbers) 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 (e.g. 9th, 10th etc). (Or stay on the Mall and at the various monuments.) Again there are many other lovely places, from the Catholic University of America to Silver Spring, Maryland. But you don’t know where you are so you cannot go, especially at night, unless you take me with you.
Here is a personal favorite.
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. It’s rare to meet anyone who gets really offended, but you can still be aware of the issue.
The funny thing is that this is true. Africans hate being called African Americans and African Americans hate being called African Americans. You might want to try calling us “People”. I know, that might be hard. The best thing to do is not to talk to us at all. Or come to D.C. Or exist. Good Morning.