Before I ever stepped foot in Washington, D.C. numerous warnings used to hit my Facebook feed.
“Oh, don’t go there — there’s so much crime!”
“Washington has some scary neighborhoods.”
When I taught in China, there was a popular exercise I did with students when I assigned groups an American city and they presented which monuments they wanted to see and how much they planned to spend on this once in a lifetime vacation to the United States.
Nobody groaned about being assigned New York City or San Francisco — but when it came to Washington D.C., dissenting voices arose. “But teacher, Washington is dangerous, yes?”
I lacked an answer because at that point I’d never been to D.C., nor did I want to express a misguided opinion.