Meet Chris Newman, owner of Sylvanaqua Farms in Albemarle County, Virginia. Newman is a “local Black farmer” and a recent post of his on Facebook went viral after he took on racism in the town of Charlottesville.
You see, it’s not white supremacist Richard Spencer and his recent citronella tiki-torch protest over the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee that he’s called out.
Newman writes that he’s more bothered by the town’s “nervous White women in yoga pants with ‘I’m with Her’ and ‘Coexist’ stickers on their German SUVs” and the “town’s progressives assuming its race problem has nothing to do with them.”
Check it out:
The rest via Facebook (emphasis ours):
… But folks, here’s something else: Charlottesville is by far the most aggressively segregated place I’ve ever lived in or visited. And that seems a strange thing to have to say about a town that hosts a public university.
I say “aggressively” for two reasons. One, because of how assertive police (and the citizens who summon them) are here with racial profiling. It got so bad in 2014 – 2015 that I stopped renting farmland on estates where I could be easily seen from the road, and I stopped making food deliveries into wealthier neighborhoods because of how often police would “happen by” and sometimes even question me five or ten minutes after I got a strange look from a passerby (usually someone jogging, but occasionally someone in a car). I’m not a paranoid kinda guy, but this happened way too often to be a coincidence.
It isn’t Richard Spencer calling the cops on me for farming while Black. It’s nervous White women in yoga pants with “I’m with Her” and “Coexist” stickers on their German SUVs.
Second is the sheer degree of cultural appropriation going on with businesses in the city proper. It’s little things – e.g. shops and other businesses incorporating wide swaths of hiphop culture into their branding while having not a single Black owner, partner, employee, or vendor. And those businesses are KILLING IT here. This is a town where Blackness advances White-owned brands and subjects Black-owned businesses to inspection by law enforcement.
Do you really think that problem comes from people like Richard Spencer?
Check out C’Ville Weekly’s Instagram feed when you get a moment, and try not to notice that the few depictions of Black people are limited to sports, singing, criminal justice, or single parenthood. White people, meanwhile, are represented as political activists, chefs, cogs in the gig economy, musicians, dancers, people who get married, visual artists, songwriters, architects, landscapers, thespians, artistic directors, wedge-heel-wearing rugby players, dog lovers, farmers, firefighters, and people who play with their kids in cul de sacs.
Richard Spencer is not the editor of C’Ville Weekly.
Truth is, as a Black dude, I’m far less bothered by the flag wavers in this picture than this town’s progressives assuming its race problem has nothing to do with them. The former is a visual inconvenience. The latter could leave my daughters without a father.
So please, put down the candles and instead ask yourself: why is my city like this? Why is life like this for Black people in my wonderful city? The answer is a lot closer to home than Richard Spencer or Lee Park.
As for the Instagram account of the C’Ville Weekly which Newman also called out above, he does have a point. Here are the 6 most recent posts, only one of which features people of color and as Newman pointed out in his Facebook post, it features people who are singing:
Will liberals admit they have a problem?
'Looks like a D&D meetup': Richard Spencer protests removal of Robert E. Lee statue with citronella tiki torch march https://t.co/vdRihTxKao
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) May 14, 2017