Tea Party Primer On D.C.: Dangerous, Scary And Full Of Arabs

August 23, 2010 2:45 p.m.

Tea partiers preparing to pour into DC for Glenn Beck’s March on the capitol Saturday needn’t worry about where to eat or how to get around — thanks to a tea party leader in Maine, they have all the info they’ll need about how to operate in the nation’s capital.

But D.C. is a scary place, tea party activist Bruce Majors writes, full of “immigrants, frequently from east Africa or Arab countries.” (They are most often found driving cabs and working in restaurants, Majors says, and “do not like for you to assume they are African Americans and especially do not like for you to guess they are from a neighboring country (e.g. Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia) with whom they may have political or military tensions.”

Good to know.According to his Blogger profile, Majors actually lives in D.C. — so, you know, he knows what he’s talking about. Majors’ guide to visiting the city for tea partiers, snagged from his blog here, was posted to the Maine tea party site by a local activist named Andrew Ian Dodge.

Majors doesn’t specify whether visiting DC is any scarier than being a tea party leader in Maine — a job where being confronted by angry, threatening mobs seems to be the general order of things. He does say, however, that there are places tea party visitors to the city just shouldn’t go:

Many parts of DC are safe beyond the areas I will list here, but why chance it if you don’t know where you are?

If you are on the subway stay on the Red line between Union Station and Shady Grove, Maryland. If you are on the Blue or Orange line do not go past Eastern Market (Capitol Hill) toward the Potomac Avenue stop and beyond; stay in NW DC and points in Virginia. Do not use the Green line or the Yellow line. These rules are even more important at night. There is of course nothing wrong with many other areas; but you don’t know where you are, so you should not explore them.

Don’t feel like traveling underground? It’s best to stay out of the city entirely, lest you run into undesirables:

If on foot or in a cab or bus, stay in Bethesda, Arlington (preferably north Arlington), Crystal City, Falls Church, Annandale, or Alexandria, or in DC only in northwest DC west (i.e. larger street numbers) of 14th or 16th streets, or if on Capitol Hill only in SE Capitol Hill (zip 20003) between 1st and 8th Streets, not farther out than 8th (e.g. 9th, 10th etc). (Or stay on the Mall and at the various monuments.) Again there are many other lovely places, from the Catholic University of America to Silver Spring, Maryland. But you don’t know where you are so you cannot go, especially at night, unless you take me with you.

As the AtlanticWire pointed out, one DC blogger discovered that, when plugged into Google Maps, Majors’ tour guide for D.C. leaves visiting tea partiers with few places to go when they have downtime:

View The Tea Party Guide to DC in a larger map

Back in Maine, visitors to the post at the tea party site have praised Majors for offering his travel tips.

“Great stuff,” commenter Joe Elk writes, describing his 1998 trip to the city to visit Maine’s senators and ask them not to support CARA and Kyoto because they are huge job killers in Maine.” He then describes his harrowing night afterwards.

“While I was there I stayed in a cheap hotel and had the window open. I was on the third floor,” Elk writes. “I called home and while I was on the phone there was a burst of 9MM automatic weapons fire in the street. My wife said it was pretty loud and was that the TV? I told her it wasn’t the TV. It was live in the street in Washington, DC, which is more dangerous than Baghdad.”

(h/t DCist)

Correction: The first version of this post incorrectly stated that Majors posted the guide to the Maine tea party site himself. The travel tips were indeed written by him, on his blog, but they were posted in Maine by someone else. This post has been corrected to reflect that.

Support The TPM Journalism Fund
  • Contributions allow us to hire more journalists
  • Contributions allow us to provide free memberships to those who cannot afford them
  • Contributions support independent, non-corporate journalism
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: