November 04, 2009

Washington DC '09 trip (Day 1)

After sleeping only two hours Sunday night, I couldn't get to sleep at all Monday. Too much anxiety over my upcoming trip.

At 4:30 am I headed to the airport. One good thing about getting up that early is that the place is almost empty. My only complaint is that LAX doesn't have free Wi-Fi. They have it, but they charge you for it.

My flight to Washington (with a stop in Chicago) was smooth and uneventful. Richard Regan, the diversity specialist at the Department of Agriculture who invited me, met me at the airport. We took the Metro train back to L'Enfant Plaza, and I checked into my hotel. Then we had something to eat at Vie de France, a nearby sandwich shop.

I learned Regan, who seems like a good ol' Southern boy as well as a Lumbee Indian, is a real rabble-rouser. He files grievances and helps others do the same whenever discrimination breaks out at the USDA. He's kind of like I would be if I worked in a government agency--except I couldn't play politics well and would get fired quickly.

Then I took the Metro to Dupont Circle and walked to the NCAI's new embassy building on P St. Although the festivities were almost over, the building was still packed. Among the notables I saw were Billy Frank, Ernie Stevens Jr., Mark and Holly Cook Macarro, and Lise King. Eventually the crowds thinned out and I headed back to the Metro and my hotel.

For more on the subject, see Speaking on Stereotypes at the Capital.

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