Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Human Rights scheme to extort mediation settlements

"The racism is subtle and in your face,” according to a speaker.

Charlottesville, Va. – City Councilor Kathy Galvin expressed Monday night just before 10 p.m. what so many have been hinting at. The task force and Walt Heinecke on WINA this afternoon have stressed that mediation is where the vast majority of allegations of discrimination end. The ultimate enforcement power is for the 9-member commission to hold a public hearing and render a finding that you discriminated against one of the 6 protected groups.

The mediation means the commission calls the accused employer, landlord, or city agency to investigate. To avoid the bad publicity you can settle out of court. So instead of talking about equality and equal rights, the proponents talk equity – a share of the money someone else has. They want to get paid. In the second public hearing on this topic, some speakers wanted the commission to have the judicial power to levy fines.

There were 28 speakers 2 weeks ago on this issue. I didn’t count them tonight because the internet feed of the Council meeting was boring Winston Churchill Gooding on Public Access TV repeating himself every few minutes. So I went to a neighbor’s to watch it on cable. There were fireworks in the public hearing. But once Council started talking, we couldn’t take it anymore.

Only a few speakers talked about civil rights. That makes sense because the commission is a violation of civil rights. The struggle for civil rights has brought only equality. But since the 6 groups – based on race, gender, religion, age, disability, pregnancy – can’t make it as equals, the 9-commissioners will become felons when they violate the Due Process civil rights of those accused of discriminating. When the commissioners act on social justice, not equal justice, they can be prosecuted anytime in the future when new legislators, judges, sheriffs are elected, who seek to restore civil rights.

Sexual orientation was not included in the ordinance because discrimination against gays is legal in Virginia. But some speakers urged the commission include protection for nontraditional sexual identities. Some speakers wanted human rights for all humans. It’s okay to discriminate against anyone not in one of the groups.

While the Daily Progress has had trouble reporting the public and Council’s desire that the commission apply to the urban renewal agency, Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority since 1954, that issue came up again tonight. Councilors talked about “systemic and institutional discrimination.” The agenda materials specifically mention the urban renewal agency. The ordinance applies to entities “public and private.”

But the ordinance is a weird animal where parts of it would be approved by a future Council. You can read all about it on pages 23 to 32 in the agenda below. The vote to move the ordinance to an actual second reading occurred after I stopped watching.

And finally, race came up again. At the last meeting Brandon Smith claimed the downtown violence is mostly black on white. The mayor, Occupy Charlottesville Bailee Hampton who doesn’t report crimes, and Councilor Dave Norris rebuked him. John Hayden explicitly stated it tonight but beat around the bush the last couple of meetings where he spoke about the commission.

Tonight Hayden received a salvo of boos and heckles. Norris had statistics ready and waiting to show that whites are far more dangerous than blacks. According to Mark Twain, “There are lies, damn lies and statistics.” Norris is in denial of the race relations currently existing in this and other communities.

It took black man Robert Gates III to stand up for Hayden, his right to say what he believes, and our need to hear what people really think. Gates has spoken at many public meetings over the years. Gates supports the commission although he has talked in the past about non-racial problems holding people back, like not coming to work on time or not even coming to work.

Blair’s Blog is no stranger to racism. I gave a speech in 12th grade to the Black Elks Club on the topic of unprovoked violence. I knew the attackers were black. But I also knew I’d receive similar heckles and condemnation if I told the whole truth. Boyd Tinsley of the Dave Matthews Band won first place. I came in fourth out of four contestants.

Martin Luther King Jr. talked about his dream of judging people on character, not color. He claimed he wanted equal civil rights, not extra-constitutional or superior or supremacist rights. He also said you had a responsibility to act with good character so that others who look like you can be presumed of good character. Let me try to explain the human nature once again.

Let’s say 5 redheaded guys randomly punch me in the face over the course of a few years. Now when I see a redhead, my body goes on alert, my emotional mind equates red hair with danger. But when I see redheaded girls, I don’t get nervous because it’s just redheaded guys who punched me. Now I see and interact with many other redheads but I’m hesitant and remind myself this redhead is a different person than the ones who attacked me.

You can list all the questionable crime statistics you want, but that logic cannot persuade or outweigh what you have witnessed. It doesn’t change how you feel. It does nothing to bring reconciliation between redheads and blonds. Then a few blonds come to Council meetings and expose the redheads targeting the blonds. Nobody there believes you. Meanwhile books are being written and radio shows broadcast, which talk about the red war on blonds.

Some people will call this stereotyping – deriving a rule of expectation based on past experience. Change hair to fire. Can you imagine someone saying you shouldn’t be afraid of fire? Just because all the fires you met in the past burned you, that’s no reason to think this fire will burn you. Change it to anything else, maybe gravity. Just because everything has fallen to the ground in the past, that’s no reason to think things won’t float away if you let go. Change hair color to skin color and ask yourself why one should be protected and not the other.

By not identifying all people as humans with God-given rights, the Human Rights Commission is the definition of discrimination.

12-item, 78-page Council Agenda Feb. 4 2013 with background materials.

Video of Charlottesville City Council Feb. 4 2013.

Councilor Szakos dismisses race violence as conspiracy theory, Jun. 3, 2012. Includes lengthy discussion of race issues.

10-month Study for Human Rights Commission, Feb. 6, 2012.

Update on Water Plan, Human Rights Commission, Aug. 20, 2012.

Race commission postponed, Dialog on Race forever, Dec. 18, 2012.

Mayor shuts down dialog on race, Jan. 7, 2012.