The DMV?

Yesterday’s Washington Post had an interesting article about a new way to describe the Washington, D.C. area.  Some folks are now using the nickname ‘The DMV‘ (District, Maryland and Virginia).

After initial obscurity, ‘The DMV’ nickname for Washington area picks up speed

By Paul Farhi
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 30, 2010; C01

New York is “the Big Apple” and Chicago “the Windy City,” but unless the earnest and obvious “Nation’s Capital” is your idea of a cool handle, Washington and its environs have never gotten very far in the civic nickname game.

We are pleased to report, however, that this could be changing. A nickname has recently emerged that could put the Washington area on the regional nickname map: the DMV. As in, D for the District, M for Maryland, and V for Virginia.

Sleek, succinct and inclusive, the name has been in common use for several years among the area’s — ahem, the DMV’s — hip-hop and go-go music crowd. It’s familiar to listeners of black-oriented radio stations such as WKYS-FM and WPGC-FM, whose DJs decorate their patter with mentions of it. It also pops up as geographical shorthand (“DMV man seeks woman”) on Craigslist, the classified-ad Web site.

It’s safe to say, however, that most of the rest of the DMV’s populace is unaware that the DMV refers to anything other than a certain sluggish city bureaucracy. Although the phrase has appeared irregularly in The Washington Post, most mainstream news sources haven’t picked up on it.

When I think of the phrase DMV I’m thinking the Department of Motor Vehicles. Though in Maryland it’s the MVA (Motor Vehicle Administration).  I have noticed that The DMV is used while listening to the radio when they do news bits but I don’t listen to WKYS and WPGC.  I tend to use the D.C. Metro area.

As hip locutions go, “the DMV” might even be displacing “Chocolate City,” the olde tyme designation for black Washington. For all its racial echoes and connotations, “Chocolate City” is increasingly limited; Washington’s suburbs have grown exponentially since the term was in vogue and are now home to more African Americans than the District itself.

I definitely remember the phrase Chocolate City when describing Washington, D.C.   D.C. use to be Chocolate City back in the day when the black population was hovering around 70%.  The group Parliament had an album back in 1975 titled Chocolate City.

According to Wikipedia:

The album takes its name from the term “Chocolate City,” which had been used to describe Washington, D.C. where blacks had been becoming a majority through migration (as explained in the cover notes included with one recent CD release of the album). The term had been used by Washington’s black AM radio stations WOL-AM and WOOK-AM since the early 1970s to refer to the city. Bobby “The Mighty Burner” Bennett, a DJ on WOL, told the Washington Post in 1998 “Chocolate City for me was the expression of D.C.’s classy funk and confident blackness.

But like yesterday’s Post article stated black folks have spread out to the Maryland and Virginia suburbs.  D.C. is more diverse now.

I guess with other cities using various nicknames like Atlanta (the ATL or the 404), Houston (H-Town), San Francisco (the Bay area), Los Angeles (Southland), Chicago (Chi-town or the Windy City), Philadelphia (City of Brotherly Love), New York City (the Big Apple) some folks in the D.C. Metro area are looking for a similar type of nickname.  But The DMV?  Sorry but I’m not feeling this one.  Folks looking for a nickname need to go back to the drawing board.

One response

  1. The possibility of calling D.C. the “DMV”? Anything for white folks other than the District of Columbia (D.C.) being known affectionately among African Americans as “Chocolate City” right? What everyone needs to know instead of focus on a new moniker for the District of Columbia is actually how the substantial demographic reduction of African Americans in D.C. actually happened.

    Every bit done to achieve this goal was indeed fully evil and willingly carried out by the two incredibly stupid, confused, and extremely well used half white half black puppets known as former D.C. mayors Adrian Fenty and Anthony Williams. These two former mayors did more to destroy earned employment, financial gains, and reduce D.C.’ African American population specifically on behalf of the city’ white rich and upper middle-class population than did the USA’ Great Recession. As a native African American D.C. resident, I will tell you the factual story about what happened, how, why, and also that it’s my understanding some of what I am about to describe has happened in other major urban cities as well but certainly not in quite the same vicious way blacks were forced out of D.C..

    Prior to D.C.’ predominately African American population being deliberately reduced via entirely evil methods, the city was always divided across racial lines anyway and continues to be due to white racism, which also strongly affected the prospects of even African Americans with college degrees ability to be hired by white private sector employers in the city. Therefore, a large number of African Americans with higher educations and those without were employed in local D.C. government jobs, in federal government jobs, and a large balance of uneducated, low-income African Americans held service industry, construction, retail, and fast food business jobs prior to the huge influx of undocumented and legal Latinos into the city.

    Before all of this, African Americans living in D.C. prospered, bought homes, sent their children to college, had savings and retirement income. Even many African Americans with high school diplomas who had decent reading, writing, math, computer word processing, and vehicle driving skills and lived in public or section 8 housing sought and landed local government jobs, which allowed them to financially uplift themselves and their families. Many of them as well were also able to send their children to college from government employment.

    However, beginning in 1997, rich and middle-class white leaders in D.C.’ private sector with assistance from a white D.C. city council chairman, a Congress-convened D.C. Financial Control Board, and Congress’ support developed a thoroughly evil and racist method to drive African Americans out of the District of Columbia principally by plan to develop an “at-will” employment category allowing terminations “without cause”, illegally forcing D.C. government employee supervisors grades 11 and above to convert from civil service protection status to “at-will” employment or face losing their jobs if no other non-at-will jobs were available, ignored employee unions, and effectively destroyed D.C. government civil service protection rights to fire hundreds of thousands of African American D.C. residents (rank/file administrative, middle and senior managers) from D.C. government jobs unrelated to performance. Thousands of African American D.C. government civil servants were also forced into age ineligible and financially unprepared retirement via bogus reorganizations of D.C. government agencies, false privatization of government services, and abolishment of their local government jobs, which following their terminations were resurrected, advertised, and non-African Americans hired.

    Adding insult to injury was the fact that not only were most of the D.C. government job vacancies created via firing of African Americans filled by whites, Latinos, and Asians, but African Americans unscrupulously fired from the D.C. government unrelated to performance were absolutely not being hired by the vast majority of white private sector employers or federal government agencies also quite likely by plan as well. What’s the fastest way to force huge numbers of African American D.C. residents and other Blacks having lived lifelong or long term in a major urban city to leave? Easy. Take away their government jobs and have private sector and federal government employers overwhelmingly not hire them.

    Deliberate job terminations, long term unemployment, loss of homes to foreclosure and rental housing to evictions, and loss of savings among other assets were all carried out against D.C.’ predominately African American population and local government employees. Use of the terms “diversity” and “gentrification” are far too convenient and also totally inaccurate. It was racism pure and simple at its worst. White D.C. residents and other whites wanting to move into D.C. wanted D.C.’ black population substantially reduced and wanted the city’ white population rapidly and substantially increased towards predominance.

    In addition to using every unfair, corrupt, and illegal means available, former D.C. mayors Fenty and Williams also ensured the great vast majority of public housing was demolished throughout the city, laws governing apartment tenants’ rights were thoroughly weakened, the D.C. Rent Control law was abolished, and white owners of apartment buildings throughout the city simply drove out their modest-income tenants by any unscrupulous means necessary to turn the buildings into high priced condominiums and thousands of African American-owned small businesses were driven out of the city as well by unscrupulous means.

    Today, if you ask any remaining D.C. African American residents about the huge numbers of whites who’ve moved into their neighborhoods citywide, most will tell you that white peoples’ reaction in encountering blacks walking, biking, or driving in the city, visiting restaurants, or doing whatever is unbelievable. The whites look at and treat D.C. African American residents as if we are strangers who don’t belong here in the city. Again, it is unbelievable and there is tension citywide. The attitude and mentality of whites is largely the same as it has always been since ancient times. War, steal, and take over by whatever ways possible and at whatever cost.

    Black peoples’ lives, financial and health futures, and neighborhood communities will continue to be damn expendable for the taking and remain so unless we eliminate counterproductive separatism within the Black Race across the board and fully unite to use Black economic, education, and brain power to exclusively support and empower our own race. This is the most effective way to buffer against, avoid, and prevent devastating, life-altering effects of white racism. We must substantially reduce and work to end full reliance on white employers, white-controlled financial and education institutions, and white-owned and also non-black immigrant-owned businesses, products, and services.

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