Charlottesville’s reputation as a “World Class City” is long gone and unlikely to return.

Now internationally recognized as the “Capital of the Resistance” and a home for violent anarchists, Charlottesville is considered by many, a fallen city.

On the one-year anniversary weekend of the August 12, 2017 riots that shook his city, Charlottesville City Councilor Wes Bellamy ostensibly encouraged angry anarchists to take matters into their own hands. In an August 11 email released in his name and sent by The Collective Political Action Committee, Bellamy calls for the unlawful destruction or “tearing down” of Charlottesville’s Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson monuments:

Subject: Tear down every single one

It’s been one year since the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.

One year since Nazis with torches felt bold enough to openly march in the streets of our city. One year since peaceful protestor Heather Heyer was killed when a car accelerated into one of the Charlottesville crowds.

And one year later, the disgraceful Confederate statues that prompted the protests still stand.

We haven’t forgotten. It’s time to remove these symbols of hatred and division — on the one-year anniversary of Charlottesville, will you add your name to our petition to tear down these statues?

It’s long past time these Confederate statues were gone.

And even though more and more are being taken down across the country, the number of recorded Confederate statues has actually INCREASED. Even more are being discovered as we tear more and more down!

How we honor and venerate symbols matters. How we react to fascist tactics and violence matters. And how we respond today, on the one-year anniversary of the attacks in Charlottesville, matters.

We have to remove every single one of these statues. Can you sign right now to take a stand against bigotry and hate?

Thank you.

Dr. Wes Bellamy
Charlottesville City Council

In addition to violating his oath of office—in which he swore to “support the Constitution”—Bellamy’s email “spoofed” the sender as being “City Council” and used his Charlottesville “City Council” title without disclaiming that he was not “representing” the body, an apparent contradiction of established “Council Meeting Procedures” policy:

F 2. Members of the City Council, including the Mayor, shall represent the official policies or positions of the City Council to the best of their ability when designated as delegates for this purpose. When presenting their individual opinions and positions, Council members shall explicitly state they do not represent their body or the City, nor will they allow the inference that they do. No member of City Council may purport to speak on behalf of the City on matters that have not been voted on by Council or that do not represent official City policy unless authorized by the City Manager. [emphasis added]

Later that day, Councilor Bellamy reportedly interfered with an unlawful assembly declaration, issued by the Virginia State Police in order to quell a brewing riot. Bellamy’s stand-down intervention was covered by WVIR-TV’s Henry Graff and apparently shown only once, on that evening’s 10 PM newscast. Although Graff’s broadcast was not archived on the WVIR web site—as is protocol for most of their stories—it was obtained and can be seen below:

This, unfortunately, was not the first time Councilor Bellamy directly interfered with police officers in their efforts to enforce the law.

A continuing wave of public anarchy also was on display at the August 17 Charlottesville City Council meeting—the first regularly scheduled gathering of that body following 2018’s “anniversary weekend.”

During a discussion of the City Manager search process, the Council’s conversation was interrupted by an audience member who approached the microphone to announce the toppling of Silent Sam, a North Carolina Civil War Monument. The speaker continued by publicly threatening that if City Council and the City Manager did not “tear down” Charlottesville’s statues, “we will.” See video below:

The speaker’s remarks were received by some Councilors with tacitly sympathetic chuckles and joking. No councilor expressed concern over the explicit lawlessness of the threat itself.

“Dave,” a frequent council critic, who appeared during the “Community Matters” portion of that same meeting, referred to Police Chief Dr. RaShall Brackney (a woman of color) as a “fascist,” while calling for the disarming, defunding, and abolition of the Charlottesville Police Department, as shown in the following video:

While Charlottesville’s government continues to spin wildly off-center, raucous public meetings and accompanying calls for social, economic, and legal anarchy come at great cost.

Most recently, local developer and perennial City Council ally, Keith O. Woodard, cancelled the long-planned $50 million West 2nd project, citing an “adversarial” relationship with the City and “uncertain” process. The development was expected to net Charlottesville nearly $1 million annually in direct tax revenue.

Adding insult to injury, Charlottesville City Councilor, Mike Signer, himself was General Counsel on the Project Team for WillowTree at Woolen Mills. In such capacity he presumably helped negotiate app developer WillowTree’s exodus from Charlottesville into neighboring Albemarle County—a $20 million, 200-job boon for Albemarle’s economy and another crushing financial blow to the City, this time delivered by a Charlottesville elected official.

Nine years on, the rusting hulk of the Landmark Hotel on Charlottesville’s downtown mall stands as a monument to ineffective, bumbling, incompetent governance. The economic implications are manifest; no rational developer would risk large-scale “investing” here presently.

But the escalating social and civic anarchy promulgated by the current crop of councilors has impelled Charlottesville into a rapid downward spiral, wherein nothing much may be left to “tear down” when all is said and done.

18 COMMENTS

  1. When I’m overseas nowadays and people ask me where I’m from, I fudge a little and tell them “Washington, D.C.” Their eyes light up and they get excited: “Donald Trump! Drain the swamp!” But every time they ask me exactly where I live and I tell them Charlottesville, their faces fall and they look at me with pity and horror: “Capital of the Resistance! A home for violent anarchists!” Wes Bellamy has made me a liar and ruined my life.

  2. As Nero fiddled…
    Apparently the citizens of Charlottesville, either agree with city council, or don’t take the time to vote.
    Unbelievably sad what Charlittesville has become. I dont remember racial tension at this level and I have lived in this area for over 50 years. SAD

  3. Debra, you can point the finger at one individual that has been provided a podium and PHD to promote his hateful vindictive rhetoric. It’s amazing that this clown who was so much of the foundation for 8/12/2017 is still sitting on the city council chuckling and acting like the buffoon he is. The first step to fixing Charlottesville is to put a bipartisan no-nonsense city council in place of the endless cycle of left wing activist we have seen over the last decade or more. Don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen until dear old UVA decides he is harming their precious blue blood image.

  4. AL, I agree. If they continue messing with UVA and start in on Monticello, maybe someone will stand up to them.

  5. He has been provided a PhD? Not so, he earned one. Don’t just criticize the most prominent African American in the city, call him a clown and a buffoon – and then complain about racial tension.

  6. My comments that cover a multitude of issues of indoctrinated youth ESPECIALLY UVA-
    Why can’t Americans visit the LiberalofCongress.gov ? Dr. King who through segregation in Atlanta educated himself through hard work and determination all the way to his Doctrine? Really the man just was ignorant of The War Between the States and American history?
    Man you Indoctrinated lie ridden anti Americans!!!!
    Yeah next thing you know I am a white supremacist for raising my Army of Northern Virginia Battle Flag too??? Right!?
    I am a Jewish American who has traveled across this country and the world at historical sites! I KNOW MY HISTORY OF the genocide of MY people – ironically the same indoctrination happened across Europe with the occupation of the NAZI party. Do not insult those who know FACT OF HISTORY! The current students at UVA are an absolute disgrace to Thomas Jefferson and his dedication late in life to “free” education! WE ARE A FREE REPUBLIC and WILL NEVER BR A SOCIALIST COUNTRY!
    You want Socialism- tell ALL the “billionaires” mostly liberal to give up their person wealth to fund it!!! Ha ha wake up and recognize YOU only have the freedom to be indoctrinated with lies because we are a FREE REPUBLIC!
    אנחנו אחד
    We need federal protection on all historical registry locations in America!
    Executive Order NOW- stop the destruction of OUR American history!
    Stop taking down Monuments and historical emblems ! Stand up for OUR Constitutional Republic!!!! Raise your American flag of choice for OUR CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC AND PRINCIPALS!!!

  7. Well, it’s pretty obvious there’s plenty of clowns and baffoons with a PhD these days.
    C-ville in no exception.

    “Some levels of stupidity are inaccessible without an advanced degree”
    Lt Col Jeff White

  8. There is an obvious difference, which you don’t have to travel the country or the world to understand, and which some people who have done so apparently don’t want to understand, between remembering history and honoring bad actors in history. There is an obvious difference between teaching history and teaching a version of history falsified by the written documents of the very side you’re trying to exculpate. And there is an obvious difference between presenting a reasoned argument and just ranting in bad English.

  9. First of all, Cville was never considered a “world class city.” It is the home of a superb public university, and that is it. In the 16 years I lived there, people spoke of the Downtown Mall as something unique (it is not), as DMB being the best band in the world (it is far from it [subjectively]), they rode poor Mr. Jefferson’s coattails unit they were worn to threads, and acted like this was nirvana. Heck, even the major media (the vaunted “fourth estate”) in this bastion of freedom is third rate, at best (meaning The DP, WVIR, Cavalier Daily, Newsplex).

    The city is reeling from what we tell the little kids: “you’ve made bad choices.” Cville is a town built on the laurels of UVa and the riches of a select few. Those rich folk will continue to stay rich; Bellamy will fade away. He ain’t the publicity hound of an Al Sharpton nor the orator of a Jesse Jackson. He is Wes Bellamy.

    The city politicians are small fry in way over their head. This city has historically been plagued with those: Dave Norris comes to mind. However, folks like Norris metaphorically would dive into the 12-foot section to get “over their head”; these folks are cliff diving into shark-infested waters without knowing how to swim.

    As for calling Wes a buffoon and clown, I know not why this would inflame racial anger (as Ken said), unless the AA community in this area is so myopic that they would stand behind said clown because of his pigmentation. I give the black people of Cville a bit more credit than that. Despite anyone’s skin color, there is an abundance of buffoonery to go around this council….and around….and around….and around….

  10. Think of all the things African-Americans have been called, Forbes. Now imagine being an African-American and hearing white people call any black leader, regardless of his faults (and I acknowledge his faults), what he’s been called here. A little empathy – a little heart – is all it takes to understand.

    John Prine said it best: Some humans ain’t human.

  11. Your self righteousness and use of the race card knows no bounds Ken. Would you like me to list a few of the many offensive adjectives that began in the black community then went mainstream? You insult the entire Charlottesville black community by elevating Wes Bellamy to the level of most prominent African American in Charlottesville. To paraphrase Dr Bellamy, “tear down those statues by whatever means and take your law and order witchu”. I’ll close with a link from the Cavalier Daily regarding some of Dr Bellamy’s prominent contributions to Twitter and the community. http://www.cavalierdaily.com/article/2016/11/wes-bellamy-charlottesville-twitter

  12. What would be the point of listing them, Al? That two wrongs make a right? “Prominent” means important and famous, not “highest in character and admirable accomplishment.” I doubt the entire black community is of one mind about Bellamy any more than the white one is, but they’re used to having their leaders crudely insulted.

    I’ve criticized Bellamy. Now you criticize Trump for the same things you knock Bellamy for, and tell me his character over his entire adult lifetime isn’t 100 times worse. The only faults you guys seem to care about are liberals’ faults.

  13. I reckon you make assumptions that I do not. Namely…
    1. That Bellamy or Sharpton or Jackson are “black leaders.” Who appointed them as such? If I go into the black community and ask 1,000 random black people who they follow and look to for guidance, would those names come up?
    2. That the “black community” needs leaders from outside their immediate sphere of influence. Are you saying they are that rudderless that they need to look to elected officials and self-appointed representatives like Sharpton or Jackson to help guide their life’s ship?
    3. That black people are so lemming-like and brainless that, if a so-called “leader” acts like a Bellamy or Sharpton, they automatically stand behind him because of his skin color and will defend him?

    White “leaders” are castigated as much as black “leaders.” It happened with Reagan, Bush, certainly Trump. It happened with Rizzo in Philly and many other politicians. I happen to think the outrage in the black community when someone like Bellamy or Sharpton is criticized is really negligible at the rank-and-file level; it is the press that inflates the hysteria. I mean, did I care that some idiots protested Bush 43 with images of him in crosshairs? Not really.

    Now to criticize Trump…one can debate that the Trump admin is helping America flourish or is damaging America. That is a worthy argument between two camps. However, it cannot be disputed that, with this current cadre of “leaders” in this humble little one-trick town, the city has degraded radically. How could people like Szakos, Signer, Bellamy, et. al. watch this degradation? How could Bellamy think that racist, radical posturing like his will, in the short- and long-term, help his city?

    Now, I do not know Ken’s race, but I like the phrase “imagine being an African-American….” That is the essence of white guilt, for I cannot imagine being black no more than I can imagine being a Jew in 1938 Germany. But libs like to imagine they are some other race or gender or other protected class and then stand up for all the injustices they believe were thrust upon them. I can “pretend” to imagine, but it would be a fruitless game. I think the real situation with the Bellamy outrage is one word: lefty sensibilities were triggered when he was called a “buffoon,” because it reminded brainless people of another “b” word that rhymes and could very easily be used as a racist term. That is my take on this.

    Since I don’t listen to much Prine, I will close with this…
    As Zappa wrote, “Po-Jama people are boring me to pieces.”

  14. 1. Who appointed them as leaders? Bellamy was elected, obviously. Jackson served his community in Chicago and derived a following because of it. Dr. King even brought him into his circle – is that good enough for you? If you really don’t think they are respected and appreciated – not uncritically, but by and large – I suggest you go into the black community and ask.

    2. Is the black community so rudderless that they need outside leaders? Substitute “white” for “black” there and you’ll see how prejudicial the question is.

    3. Is the alt-right so lemming-like and brainless that, if a so-called “leader” acts like a Kessler or Trump, it automatically stands behind him because of his skin color and will defend him? You guys are the pot calling the kettle black.

    You “happen to think” you know what the black community feels. Maybe you should ask around. Criticism is fine, but it should be measured and thoughtful.

    Good people can disagree about whether Trump’s administration’s policies are good for the country, but that’s beside the point. The point is that Trump’s behavior is every bit as bad and worse than Bellamy’s, on exactly the same things Al knocks Bellamy’s character for: previously expressed attitudes towards women, whites (various ethnicities in Trump’s case) and gays (go ahead and tell me you really believe Trump doesn’t insult them in private). I’ve criticized both men for these things, but you guys don’t say a word in criticism of Trump. You’re hypocrites. It’s as simple as that.

    I didn’t associate “buffoon” with any other word. If imagining yourself in someone else’s shoes (that’s what’s called empathy, an essential property of civilized humanity) is too hard for you, imagine your people having the same history in this country as black people.

  15. 1. Great. Bellamy was elected, so he is a leader? DJT was also elected. As for the man who fathers out of wedlock and still calls himself “reverend,” there is a lot of controversy over the relationship of JJ and MJK. I was a wee five-year-old during that hellish spring of 1968, but I know enough about JJ and his background; as folks are wont to say about DJT, morals and honesty matter.
    2. I think the term “leader,” like “role model” and “racist” and “diversity” have been bandied about so much that they are meaningless unless the conversation starts with a measurable and agreed-upon definition of the term. For example, if JJ is a “leader,” and he got his start as a community “leader” in the South Side, how can people turn to him in the last 10 years, when the South Side is a killing field? How did he walk away from Chicago into the national spotlight when the po-po was warehousing black men for interrogation for days at a time without any cause? I would say he is a failed leader.
    3. I am a little more nuanced that that, Ken. I stand behind Trump in a lot of matters. Now, if you want to discuss honesty and morals, then NO pot can call another pot anything. However, when WJC showed his disgusting morals, I did not see hysterical people running around in faux blue dresses squirting Elmer’s Glue on them (which, in the ’90s, would have been the right’s equivalent of the pus*y hat). When Obama lied repeatedly about matters, I did not see the left shaking its collective head in disgust.

    Perhaps we should all acknowledge that–when one rises to the level of congressperson or higher, they are corrupt, That is the way it is. Now, I am not sure to whom DJT is beholden (I have my suspicions), but I look at whether the policies are in my wheelhouse and are effective. Since you seem to know who DJT disparages in private, here’s one for you: Do we really believe that–being nurtured and created in the most cynical, corrupt and disgusting political machine in this nation (Chi-town Dem politics)–DJT’s predecessor was not corrupt and immoral? How many times to people need to hear “wolf in sheep’s clothing”?

    4. Is there even such a thing as a “black community” or is it a media-created and fostered fallacy, when there is immense diversion within any huge demographic? I think if I “asked around,” the more thoughtful black people would say “what ‘community’ are you talking about?” But the “community” term makes it way easier for the divide-and-conquer set to–well–divide.

    And, since we are talking history, after all the silly police/piggy socks, all the kneeling, all the poor-writing cub reporters’ sensational stories, what is it–exactly–that this enigmatic (please don’t crucify me for the second syllable there, SJWs) “black community” wants?

    I would suspect that, if I were to go into Hardy Drive or Fifeville and ask 10 people what they want in life, I’d get similar answers to if I went into the barren, impoverished coal towns of southern WV or eastern KY. In other words, despite the pigmentation issue, they are not that different as humans.

    But it wouldn’t be good for business if we assumed that.

  16. I voted for Clinton, but I wanted him to resign when the scandal broke. In a better world Bellamy, Trump and Clinton would all be disqualified, at least for a time in Bellamy’s case, from leadership positions, but a) Trump is in a category of his own and b) while I criticize them all, you guys are selective. I’ve never disputed Trump’s election. You’ve even disputed Obama’s citizenship. You flatter yourselves that you’re loyal to the vision of the Founding Fathers, but you are the mob they feared, willfully ignorant and willing to tolerate demagoguery if the demagogue is on your side.

    Obama is an excellent example of a “self-made man.” It’s ridiculous to play guilt-by-association and say he was created and shaped by the Chicago machine. If he was corrupt and immoral he would have shown himself as such a long time ago.

    What do black people want? Respect, for starters. We can start by abandoning dishonest historical excuses (I’ve posted direct quotes from Southern states giving the lie to them),and taking down monuments to men who fought for the right to keep them enslaved.

  17. Ken, you have no idea why Confederate soldiers fought and died. Why don’t you and the black “community” deal with the present? Every ethnic group on earth can find examples of extreme abuse if they go back in history far enough. I have felt since a child that the right side won the civil war. However to insist that I am racist because I admire people like Robert E Lee and Stonewall Jackson is not only wrong, it’s pathetically offensive. Most Confederate soldiers fought to defend their homes, property, and homeland because they were invaded. Those soldiers did not withdraw from the union nor did a huge portion of them have any vested interest in slavery. I have no use for snobbish arrogant plantation or in today’s world anybody that expects cheap labor and fights like hell to prevent good paying jobs from locating in their communities. I will propose a question to you. What will happen if a group of white people build up enough anger and hatred to tear down MLK statues? You will say it’s not the same but that is your opinion. Both are blatantly illegal and wrong. One side of a conflict cannot expect to continually take matters into their own hands via civil disobedience without the other side employing the same tactics. We are damn lucky there haven’t been more rallies like last year that resulted in loss of life.

  18. One big reason they fought is that white preachers convinced them their cause was right, Al, just like some leading white Christians justify racial insensitivity today. But the statues here in town aren’t of mere soldiers, they’re of their leaders. They don’t symbolize the common man who did what was expected of him and what came natural and would have needed extraordinary courage and insight (and even self-sacrifice when it came to his home) not to. They symbolize the cause itself, the evil that caused the war, and you guys are wrong to whitewash it and pretend it was about state’s rights or whatnot. It was about holding onto an economic system that kept fellow human beings in bondage, and did so – Lee’s own treatment of his slaves is a good example – by brutal means. We all need to face facts before we weigh in on policy.

    Secondly, I haven’t said anything so simplistic as “If you admire Lee and Jackson, you’re a racist.” There is much to admire about them, but what they fought for was very wrong. The racism is in not having enough feeling for your fellow man that you can’t understand or don’t care about the hurt that honoring them causes.

    Nor have I defended anyone’s taking the law into their own hands and pulling down statues. But yes, I would say the intention is clearly good on the one side and would be obviously racist on the other.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here