Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Race commission postponed, Dialogue on Race forever

Charlene Green and Elizabeth Breeden of Dialogue on Race and Brandon Collins in front row.

Charlottesville, Va. – Despite a full chamber enthusiastic for action now, City Council agreed without voting to form a Human Rights Commission with full enforcement powers allowed by state and federal law in late January or February. The 3-year-old Dialogue on Race will likely be institutionalized and re-organized as part of the commission.

One commissioner engaged in grandstanding to assert racism because the school placed her son in an all black class. But it was a class of all black boys. Black girls are not segregated to keep fellow students safe because girls are not acting up as routinely as black boys. Other speakers brought up the idea that non-racial, substantive issues are being ignored.

The enforcement powers mean a commissioner hears the complaint and decides if it’s illegal discrimination, talks to the accused employer (for example), brings the two together for mediation, referrals to other agencies, and whatever’s spelled out in the enabling ordinance. As a last resort the case would be referred higher up the governmental hierarchy. Councilor Dede Smith kept asking what’s the next step. The answer never came.

That’s because we have a dual justice system at every level of government. The courts judge people as individuals without regard to their group status and rule based on fact and evidence, the American system. The legislative branch, such as City Council, judges you according to how people in your group should be treated, the socialist. The courts have equal justice. But tonight the talk was all about racial justice, economic justice, social justice and social equity, redistribution by public hearing. Council tries cases involving eminent domain and housing code violations while parking tickets go to real court.

Councilor Dave Norris was the most ardent supporter of the most hardcore commission. Norris claimed he had voted for the commission in February by voting no for the task force to study it. He repeated the charade of wanting the commission to do all things. But Norris was more organized this time and tried to rattle the commissioners with a tattoo of a dozen yes or no questions mostly about gay rights.

To his credit Norris pointed out at a forum at First Baptist Church that, out of dozens of complaints of discrimination, all but one was legal discrimination. Norris also wanted the commission to apply to the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority, which is in “chaos” according to one speaker. Norris is long-time chairman of the board for this agency. So he’s basically asking someone to stop him from the discrimination and illegal violation of eminent domain his job requires.

Councilor Dede Smith also warned the public, “We can’t be relied on” to follow the reports and commissions we authorize. We can’t be trusted to do the right thing. To her credit Smith’s logic brought her full circle. The commission would basically apply to the largest employer in town, which is the city.

But the task force pointed out the commission would only apply to the urban renewal agency or police or city government if the enabling ordinance specifically addresses it.

More than anything we saw how communism works. You have one-party rule. People are divided into groups and labels and not treated as individuals. In public comment there were calls for both. People wanted the homeless to be treated like individual human beings. And others set up false conflict between groups, gays and straights, black and white, native and immigrant, abled and disabled, and on and on.

The Council meeting format is designed to “cool out” the public, release a little steam, make it look like the decision-makers are listening. Most people were there for the race commission. Why didn’t a councilor make a motion to move the commission item to first place when the interested public is actually there? Because the five councilors agree unanimously to deliver poor public service. And now the vote is postponed again?

Early in public comment it seemed the public wanted the commission to target private businesses for the insults, humiliation, lack of respect and dignity. But as the meeting wore on, it became obvious that the biggest transgressor is the city government and its agencies. But newspapers will dutifully report the rosy picture as the infrastructure and vacant buildings crumble.

And community leaders like former Councilor Holly Edwards will work to erase local history and black history by playing games with the urban renewal / Housing Authority archives as documented here and on the Schilling Show talk radio. Communism requires you erase history because, if you knew the past, you would [stop] doing the crazy things that lead to humiliation and poverty. You would stop stereotyping and treat everyone in a way that has equal value.

Elizabeth Breeden of the Dialogue on Race said one of their priorities is to make “invisible history visible.”

Last Tuesday Daily Progress reporter Graham Moomaw deliberately and carefully misled the public on the heritage of Jefferson School. Even the mayor thought the school was the most deserving of a landmark but didn’t know why. The Progress has a policy to make invisible the full heritage. The policy was discovered when the newspaper refused letters giving the original date for the school. What’s the most important date in your life? Your birth date. But for Jefferson School there’s a double standard. More recent dates give the impression there are no earlier dates. But all dates are factually correct when alone and out of context (“Former school transformed, renewed,” Dec. 11, 2012).

The heritage of Jefferson School is it opened 5 years before public schools in Virginia. How hard is that to say? When the human rights commission talks institutionalized racism, will they call up the Daily Progress? Oh wait, that’s legal discrimination.

Update on Property Amendment Results

Thanks to Rob Schilling, who sent me the results he requested from Voter Registrar Seri Iachetta. The amendment passed with 61% of the 66% turnout, making it harder for the government to take your property. The amendment passed statewide by 75%.

Locally about 2 thousand voters skipped the ballot question while 8 thousand voted no to show their support for redistribution of real estate.

I don’t expect to blog again until next year. So Merry Christmas and happy holy days!

Video of Dec. 17, 2012 Charlottesville City Council.

Agenda Dec. 17, 2012 with background materials.


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