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As I walk, I see a lot of messages. About half of those are graffiti.

The majority of them are positive: informative or poetry. Good graffiti has what I call a “ministrying” effect. It makes you reflect on yourself, your environment and things you have done. It puts you in the hip of what’s going on.

One example is “Don’t leave the house without consulting your doctor.”

This has been taken down, but it was some beautiful graffiti located near 16th Street and Columbia Road Northwest.

It made me think of the scripture Isaiah 31:1 “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help And rely on horses, And trust in chariots because they are many And in horsemen because they are very strong, But they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the LORD!”

These are both messages to guard yourself: one modern, the other biblical. Both direct you to think clearly on your daily decisions.

But some messages are detrimental. In many places across the city I see the graffiti tag, “Jawso” repeatedly. It’s around 14th and U Streets NW, it’s near Dupont Circle, it’s throughout Adam’s Morgan.

“Jawso” to me, means to disregard God, whatever your faith may be.

“Jah,” the end of Hallelujah, is commonly used to refer to God. Pairing the pronunciation of that word with “so” sounds to me like, “God – so what?”

Even though I’ve worked hard to maintain my salesmanship and entertainment for my customers, since I started seeing “Jawso” my sales have dropped – even with my regular supporters.

Unnecessary disrespect toward the poor has increased. I see new clientele and regulars alike go out of their way to drag me down. But this isn’t just me, or homeless people in D.C. In the news, I see the whole nation has similarly gone out of whack. It seems in today’s America, certain people are not allowed around the seemingly-affluent.

To me there is a lot of vulgarity when it comes to the treatment of our nation’s poor. Too often, people jump to negativity first when interacting with someone on the street, without exhausting possibilities of positivity.

This is toxic, and I blame “Jawso.”

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