The “Things used to be worse” excuse

Sometimes people make obvious statements just to defend a position without vision or ambition. This is one I hear all the time:

Kennedy Street used to be so much worse.

There are two type of people who I hear this from all the time. One type is the NIMBY, which fears change for its own sake, and has – in some cases real and justified – reasons for this. The other type is the politician who has done nothing for the neighborhood, and gets impatient with the spirit and energy of those who are doing more.

This episode of the FBI files profiled the First and Kennedy Crew and their struggle with the G-men from the 1990s. During the summer, there were shootings in many booming neighborhoods like Columbia Heights and H Street NE. There’s been no major reports of violence from these blocks this year. Sure, it has further to go, but let’s help it get there faster.

Just because we’ve come this far doesn’t mean we should always be looking back.