DC

DC Residents Poke Fun at Claim That City Is ‘Destroyed by Rioters'

Twitter users were quick to share images of placid scenes showing green spaces and people jogging or dining outdoors

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D.C. residents are having some fun on social media after a tweet saying the District was in shambles after recent protests.

"There's this creepy vibe in DC right now where it's obvious how badly the city's been destroyed by rioters, and yet people are almost afraid to point it out or oppose it," read a tweet posted Friday. "You almost have to whistle past the boarded up windows as if it’s all just normal."

While the tweet appeared to allude to recent demonstrations and protests in the District that have developed against police brutality, including after the recent shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin, other Twitter users were quick to share images of placid scenes showing green spaces and people jogging or dining outdoors.

"Yes, Washington is a real hellscape," quipped Daily Beast editor-at-large Molly Jong-Fast, tweeting a photo of a sunny National Mall with not a soul in sight.

D.C. residents came to the city's defense after a Twitter post claimed the district had been "destroyed by rioters." News4's Cory Smith reports. Since this story aired, the writer of the original tweet commented, in part: "Perhaps people don't like that my tweet sounded too apocalyptic, as though the city were a charred husk. OK, fair enough, but my point has always been: why are so many people so seemingly undisturbed by several months' worth of regular violence, intimidation, and clashes with police in DC?"

Matt Ford of the New Republic didn't mince words on Twitter, sharing an image of outdoor diners seated under red umbrellas on M Street in Georgetown, responding, "b***s***."

Others heaped on the sarcasm, including Twitter user @mbsocol, who posted an image depicting a charred and destroyed U.S. Capitol as shown in the video game "Fallout 3," saying, "thank you sir. libs don't have the guts to tell it like it is. i took this drone shot of capitol hill this morning. i weep for our nation."

Naturally, this then spurred a separate thread featuring various shots of D.C. as depicted in disaster movies and in at least one Civil War-era illustration of the 1864 battle of Fort Stevens.

Even NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent and anchor Andrea Mitchell got into the mix, responding, "Yeah at night it’s so dangerous in our DC neighborhood you could get run over by a deer."

She shared a photo of a deer in her post.

But in an unrelated tweet early Sunday, President Donald Trump spoke out against unrest in the District, saying Mayor Muriel Bowser "should arrest these agitators and thugs."

"Clean up D.C. or the Federal Government will do it for you. Enough!!!" he wrote.

D.C.'s police department and Mayor Muriel Bowser have said they would protect the rights of people exercising their First Amendment rights but that criminals will be held accountable.

Although many Twitter users were quick to poke fun at the original tweet, some others appeared to support the original poster's tweet, including @RoseLaoutaris, who wrote, in part, "There are many boarded up buildings and Senators and regular people are being mobbed and threatened in the street. Don’t act like there’s no issue."

That user may have been referencing an incident Thursday night in which Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., was surrounded by protesters who were yelling for Paul to say Breonna Taylor's name, as he and his wife left the White House.

In a statement to News4, the writer of the original tweet responded: "Perhaps people don't like that my tweet sounded too apocalyptic, as though the city were a charred husk. OK, fair enough, but my point has always been: why are so many people so seemingly undisturbed by several months' worth of regular violence, intimidation, and clashes with police in DC? This includes the disgusting harassment of diners while they're eating in public, fires set, property damage, boarded-up windows (there are plenty) — and the general sense that mentioning any of this will get you in big trouble. Am I supposed to pretend this is all normal and desirable? It's not on me to say why a tweet should bring more news coverage and public condemnation than the despicable behavior we've seen in this city over the summer."

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