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Thu May 25, 2017, 06:27 AM

Black Farmer Calls Out Liberal Racism In Powerful Facebook Message [View all]

Last edited Thu May 25, 2017, 03:48 PM - Edit history (1)

A black farmer has the internet talking after posting a powerful message on social media about race relations in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Chris Newman, owner of the Sylvanaqua Farms in Albemarle County, shared his thoughts on a recent “Love Trumps Hate” counter-protest on Saturday. The rally was held in response to white supremacist Richard Spencer leading a protest against the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

“I’d like to appreciate [the Love Trumps Hate rally],” Newman wrote in a Facebook post published on May 17. “But frankly I just don’t.”

Newman went on to call out the subtle racism of his neighbors, who purport to be progressive and inclusive but have yet to acknowledge the fact that Charlottesville is, by his estimation, “the most aggressively segregated place” he’s ever lived in.

The farmer recounted that he’s been racially profiled and questioned by police several times after receiving “strange looks from a passerby.”

“It isn’t Richard Spencer calling the cops on me for farming while Black,” Newman wrote. “It’s nervous White women in yoga pants with ‘I’m with her’ and ‘Coexist’ stickers on their German SUVs.”

The farmer went on to suggest that residents of the town who are interested in racial progress should consider how to effect change in their own everyday lives.

“People are so busy going after that easy fix, going after that Confederate flag, that they’re not doing the hard thing, which is thinking, how did we get here, and how the hell do we dig out of institutional racism,” Newman wrote.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/black-farmer-calls-out-liberal-racism-in-powerful-facebook-message_us_5925a027e4b0650cc020eb4d

The racism on our side is more subtle. It rears it's racist head in sneaky ways. Often by people who mean well and don't know or don't want to know they're doing it.
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Full Text of Chris Newman's Facebook Post:
A message to Charlottesville about Lee Park from your local Black farmer:

I know some folks are really feeling themselves about this whole Love Trumps Hate counter-rally to Richard Spencer's punch-worthy shenanigans in Lee Park. I'd like to appreciate it, but frankly I just don't.

I've lived in several cities and visited many more before Charlottesville. I like this town for its natural beauty, it's small size, the friendliness of its people, and its food. 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.

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