It is common knowledge that Charlottesville, Virginia is a Democrat “machine” town. If you—as anything but a Democrat—want to “do business” in or transact with the city of Charlottesville, you had better hold your political views close to the vest.
On Monday, September 6, Labor Day, a group of concerned conservative-leaning businessmen placed the following paid advertisement, under their personal and business names, in the Daily Progress:
A Labor Day Message
As business owners and managers, we believe that the economic uncertainty created by the policies of Obama, Pelosi and Perriello are discouraging businesses like ours from hiring or expanding. The billions of dollars funneled into the Stimulus Package served only to remove precious resources from the private sector. The proposed Obamacare will increase the cost of health care paid for by small businesses and add burdensome administrative costs. Proposed tax increases for programs like Cap and Trade, supported by Perriello, would further weaken the ability of small businesses like ours to take on new employees.
Multiple signatories of this letter received threats against their businesses and livelihoods upon its publication. The most egregious of these reads:
Now that you have foolishly politicized your business you are going to see the consequences. Yes, we are all entitled to free speech but our actions have consequences. It was nothing short of stupid to have run such an ad bashing the President and universal health care in town [sic] as liberal as Charlottesville.
We are a group of individuals, most of whom have been your customers for many years, who will now boycott your business. And, we are starting a campaign to encourage others to do the same. We will do so through local blogs, Facebook and other media. We hope to hurt you in the pocket book for your ill-advised decision to go public, through your business, with your rightwing [sic], small-minded ideas.
You are entitled to your personal views but when you inject your business into the mix you have to pay the piper.
We look forward to patronizing your competition and encouraging others to do the same. Hopefully, your business will suffer and you will realize how foolhardy you are.
A group of concerned citizens
The letter’s cowardly ghosts clearly assert their conditional recognition of the right to “free speech,” but they continue by restating what they believe to be obvious: Publicly articulated conservative viewpoints are not permitted in a “liberal” town, and conservatives should know better than to express themselves politically.
In America, any individual has the right to transact (or not transact) with businesses of his or her own choosing (except when it comes to health care). Everyone understands that. The writers are free to “boycott” the business.
But in Charlottesville, “open-minded” progressives (as opposed to “small-minded” conservatives) once again have proven (albeit inadvertently) that liberal claims on tolerance are sheer hypocrisy.
Unfortunately, it appears that political terror and intimidation have been re-born in Charlottesville—birthed by the same political party that menaced black Americans while hiding under pointy white hoods. Metaphorical “cross-burnings” in modern-day form: The execrable Democrat legacy of clandestine terror continues into the 21st century—only now, with revised methods and new targets.
See the ad and the threatening letter:
Well I guess I’m one of the liberals supposedly shirking this blog post. So here I am. The problem is, there isn’t much to say because you don’t have much of a story. You write that “multiple signatories of this letter received threats against their businesses and livelihoods upon” the story’s publication, but you give us only one example. Where are the rest? How many is “multiple” in this case? 10? (Now that might be the beginning of a story). Or only 2? What were the nature of the “threats,” only what your one example states, that the signers will no longer patronize those businesses? That one letter wasn’t even signed; how do you know it’s not the work of one solitary individual? You have no evidence for your claim that the letter represents the thinking of local liberals and progressives, and even if it did, calling it “political terror” would still be laughable. If a boycott is terrorism, then your open disdain for Perriello must be out and out hate speech.
Having said that, I think it’s pathetic that someone would boycott a local mom-and-pop business over a difference in political ideology, much less send them a nasty letter announcing it. I don’t have any problem with criticizing people on my own side. And now, Rob, I look forward to your doing the same. Specifically, because conservatives love to call liberals liars, I look forward to your show on Politifact’s new report rating 11 different claims by Michelle Bachmann, 6 of which were merely false and 5 of which were Pants on Fire false. Also, your big show on how the Koch brothers and other magnates are funding the “grassroots” Tea Party. The Tea Partiers on average are well off anyhow. It’s bad enough that they open themselves up to manipulation by tycoons. Worse is that for all their rhetorical bomb throwing, they need the money because they won’t put their own money where their mouths are. Let’s see you challenge the Jefferson Area Tea Party to open their books and pledge to take no fatcat corporate money. Let’s see them challenge their sister organizations to do the same.
@ken, there is a story here and it explains why many bloggers comment anonymously. To do otherwise, can affect their livelihood.
Excuse me, but the last time I checked the choice to patronize or not to patronize a business was an individual political choice–the choice to publicize that choice was also an individual choice influenced only by one’s ability to stroke a check to pay for the ad.
I don’t see anyone burning crosses on the premises of these businesses. Or murdering these business owners and tossing their bodies where they can serve as a “warning” to others. No one has bombed these businesses. No one has seized these business owners bodily, gathered a mob together for the purposes of torturing them, set their bodies afire while they were still alive, cut off their body parts for souvenirs and sold them …
Complain all you want about the free choice of individuals to spend their money with business owners who reflect their political views. That seems completely hypocritical, but it’s a free country, so complain about it.
But do not call people who publish a letter in a newspaper the Klan. Generations of people died because they fell afoul of the Klan. People in all regions on both sides of the color line were terrorized by the Klan. That comparison cheapens those who dies–and who lived with the terror –and makes you look like a blithering idiot.