In my discussions with nonwhite citizens of Charlottesville over the past week many have raised the issue of why the hell the other councilors would let an Afrocentric black supremacist like Wes Bellamy run amok in the first place. The reason keeps circling back to the fact that these Democrats are the most wealthy and privileged members of the community and do not interact with black people unless they are a “pet project” in need of “rescue”. They aren’t in the streets interacting with the common people like the rest of us. In fact they are hypocritical elitists, hiding behind Wes Bellamy to prove they are down with the people on the street. Bellamy “proves” that they’re connected to the concerns of the working class and underclass when they are anything but. Bellamy is untouchable to them, no matter how ridiculously anti-white he is, because he symbolically makes them untouchable. But don’t think they actually find you or I palatable. We are gross and loathsome to them.
Take for the example the way that privileged rich man Mike Signer treated a poor black man named Raymond Mason. Raymond is a good-natured guy. He’s a Charlottesville native. Like a lot of folks in the predominantly black Fifeville area he’s been to the Main Street ABC store for a drink. In comes Mike Signer, who at the time was President of the Fifeville Neighborhood Association. Mike wanted the ABC store gone because, like many of the wealthy whites flooding into the historically black neighborhood, he felt it reflected poorly on home values. Raymond says that Signer complained, “People were having sex in the parking lot. Predominantly black people were hanging around panhandling and drinking. They were leaving too much trash around.” (Editors Note: For the record, the "sex in cars" quote was actually from Councilor Bob Fenwick).
I asked Raymond if he thought Signer specifically had a problem with how the ABC store tended to draw so many black people to the area. “He didn’t say black but that is who he was talking about. White people are sitting in cars and drinking around Barracks Road, around Route 29. I guess that’s acceptable.”
Signer drafted a petition which was signed by the wealthy whites within his social circle. Raymond felt that the historically black neighborhood was “under attack from white people (like Signer). They are moving in in droves. He didn’t have many black people in the community signing that petition.” In an effort to defend his people from gentrification, Raymond drafted a counter-petition which quickly dwarfed Signer’s in terms of signatures.
Signer panicked and dug up Raymond’s criminal history which consists of a few drug arrests. Signer blasted out Raymond’s years old drug history in an e-mail to influential people throughout the community, whom Raymond describes as “an ex-mayor and former city councilors” among others. Current Councilor Bob Fenwick has confirmed publicly on the Schilling Show that he was among the recipients.
Ultimately Signer’s effort to move the ABC store failed. This clearly taught the man, who has written about James Madison and considers himself a second coming, that he could not get what he wanted by simply throwing his privileged connections around. He certainly couldn’t get there on populist appeal. When he ran for City Council last year he spent a whopping $40,000 for a $15,000 a year job, culled mostly from wealthy developers. It seems when you’re rich you get your way whether others like it or not.
Raymond doesn’t have a $40,000 war chest. He’s just living his life like the rest of us, now with the knowledge that the most powerful people in town know his dirty laundry. “When I hear Signer talking on the radio about what Wes did was years ago, I wonder why he didn’t feel that way about me, “said Raymond. “To me it was vindictive. It was inappropriate. It’s not characteristic that a mayor should be vindictive like that.”
Correction: I have updated the story to correctly attribute the "sex in cars" remark to Councilor Bob Fenwick.
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