Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Musical Alternatives to Ugly Speech

Anwar Saleem, an H Street business owner and chairman of H Street Main Street, posed the idea of raising money to fund musicians or an a cappella group to perform on the same corner as the group of amplified street preachers every Saturday.

The residents of the 700 block of 8th Street NE have considered alternatives, including musical groups and our own amplified speech, to the preachers' amplified ranting. However, this struck us as counter-productive--adding yet another layer of noise to that already loud corner. I believe the preachers simply would yell louder and turn up the amplifier's volume.

On the other hand, I really like his music idea from the standpoint of offering an alternative to the hateful content of speech--it's such a divisive downer for the community. We do support the preachers' right to say what they say, but that does not mean we must agree or let it be said unchallenged.

For example, a New Orleans-style jazz group that plays at Dupont Circle in northwest Washington would be an uplifting respite for the large numbers of people transferring between the X2 and 90 bus lines. For more about this group, "The Madison Lively Stones" and a photo, check out this website.

I'd be interested to know how others in our community--including church groups--feel about this. Also, should H Street Main Street coordinate fundraising for such an effort?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the idea! I bet we can find enough people and businesses right around 8th and H to pitch in a few dollars to get this up and running!

7:19 PM  

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