Statues & At-Large Remain From Segregation: Secret History Of Blue Ribbon Report
Charlottesville, Virginia (Dec. 27, 2016) — Unchanged from the 1920s KKK era are confederate monuments and the segregationist at-large city manager form of local government, conceived by S.D. Timberlake of Staunton. The so-called Commission form of government promised to run things like a business and was adopted in many cities foreshadowing one-party rule and inevitable decline.
Just this year, when asked if he would run the federal government like a business, President-elect Trump said No. The two should not be the same. By contrast the national Democrats want more At-Large, popular vote for president.
The Blue Ribbon Report makes no mention of the At-Large system. But it does mention Wards to identify representatives in the bicameral system, when the City had a Common Council, Board of Aldermen and elected Mayor. The report suffers from myopia, focusing on details and not seeing the big picture. Locally the Chamber of Commerce was born to push the At-Large.
Since the 1920s there have been at least two efforts to reform the majority-only system.
In the late '70s/early '80s the NAACP tried, right after the biggest part of urban renewal. City Council had to take over its own Housing Authority real estate company. The urban renewal agency just hired the latest redevelopment director ("City hires first chief of redevelopment," Dec. 22, 2016, Daily Progress).
The first NAACP was 1909 and Charlottesville's branch started July 1918, at the end of the local Golden Age for Race Relations, as the Progressive Movement was ramping up. Nobody remained alive with collective memory of the 1850s atrocities that ushered in the Golden Age. In this age there were only 2 lynchings, a black man and a white man, both vigilante mob justice. That all changed when Woodrow Wilson, also from Staunton, became President and re-segregated the military and federal government.
In 2000 a faction of the Democrats, who supported election reform and a directly elected mayor, were elected. While in office they opposed any reform offered by the lone minority voice on Council elected in 2002. Moving Council election from May to November is the only change since the Robert E. Lee statue.
Two decades after NAACP failed, City Councilor Rob Schilling gave it a try. The 2004 Commission on Council Representation was met with scorn from Democratic Councilors. In Nov. 2005 Schilling got the Elected School Board passed against unanimous opposition from liberals. Democrats wanted the at-large Council to continue to appoint by wards. The elected school board became at-large. All boards and commissions are at-large, so the segregegationist culture permeates throughout City government, called institutional racism.
Often a black city councilor or school board member will claim they represent the black community. That's impossible. Under at-large to get elected, you must have at least 51% of the whole city, not 51% of the black section of town. Blacks are 20% of the total population. At-large explains why black city councilors support policies hostile to minorities, like urban renewal, and oppose preservation and publication of local black history in the Housing Authority archives. The first black mayor was under at-large. But he was not the first black city councilor.
By itself At-Large is not enough to oppress blacks if blacks are 52% of the population. You need Annexation of white suburbs to dilute black power. Since the late 1800s black population has been fairly steady in the old town, called the inner city today. Under the Ward sytem, annexations would not matter much because the inner city would still have a representative on Council. Under At-Large the 80% whites determine all decisions and all discussion.
Some people are new to the abstract concepts swirling around the report. Here's an analogy. At your house, the heat is broken, the roof leaks and there's termites. So you've decided to paint the house, mow the lawn and pave the driveway. Now people are complaining that the paint did not fix the heat or the leak.
Political debates are rarely won on the merits of unfamiliar ideas. Congress is how the framers balanced at-large (Senate, popular vote, direct democracy, collective) with districts (House of Representatives, minority voice, individual rights). If Congress were completely at-large, whenever 51% of USA is Republican, then ALL Senators and Congressmen would be Republican. If USA became 51% Democrat, then every congressman and senator would be a Democrat.
It doesn't seem like that would be good for the nation. The great compromise is also part of the Electoral College. But there is no compromise on City Council. The same majority chooses all 5 city councilors. At-Large turns city councilors into mayors who each represent the entire City, not a precinct. The 5 mayors delegate mayor duties to city manager. The so-called Mayor is symbolic. His only special power is to run the City Council meetings.
The Blue Ribbon Report does not talk about the elephant in the room by the name of At-Large. But it talks about confederate monuments and symbols of segregation, that paint a stark outline of the At-Large system. It provides circumstantial evidence that City Council is the source of racism the commissioners cannot address directly.
( 3-meg 162-page Archive from June 5, 2000 speeches, Charlottesville Independent Media, to July 2005 eminent domain debate. Scroll through the headlines and pictures for more history. )
History of City Council Consideration of Elections by Wards – Rob Schilling. Mar. 23, 2004.
April 1979(?)-Mrs. Virginia Carrington, representing the Political Action Committee of the Charlottesville NAACP presents petitions to Council requesting a change in the City's electoral process to include election by several wards and one at-large seat.
Blair Hawkins' letter "Interest in mayor system ignored," Aug. 30, 2004, The Daily Progress
By 1924 there's hint of blocking efforts. Supporters rally again for the At-Large. Excerpts from Daily Progress.
*** Nov 3 1920, "COX IS GIVEN 700 MAJORITY"
Queen Charlotte – The black queen of EnglandCharlotte married King George III in 1761. It was a scandal long before it was a painting. Charlottesville took this name in the latest census redistricting in hopes Albemarle would be favored in the next census. But in modern academia, the only evidence is an art critic looking at a painting. Academics can't read anymore so they don't know about scandalous newspapers or a letter written by a slave. As big a problem as fake news presents, fake history is much bigger.
Fake news reports something happened that did not. Typically fake history says what happened did not really happen.
The Blue Ribbon Report tries to say the 1920s is how it is now. This essay of 2002 newspaper articles proves otherwise. So the purpose of the Report must be to justify the modern anti-white racism.
47-Meg 328-page Report Slow download. Also at Charlottesville.org
1924 Robert E Lee Park & StatueGift of Paul Goodloe McIntire in 1917 as first City public park. While racial tensions increased steadily during this period, McIntire had no segregationist intention when he donated parks for whites and parks for blacks. According to Margaret O'Bryant of the Historical Society, McIntire was a man of his times, generous and fair. The racial fervor was not mentioned at the dedication, though there were many KKK rallies at Lee Park. O'Bryant also said McIntire funded the first public library. Actually there are markers at Court Square that say the first public library was a century earlier.
If we look back at history, the 1924 statue takes us to 1865 Civil War...skipping over a chunk of history. The Age of the Lost History...coinciding roughly with the Golden Age of Race Relations 1865 to July 1918 when the local NAACP chapter opened. The Lee statue parallels the 1917 – 1924 rise in racial tensions, reaching a crescendo with KKK marches and rallies. So the statue is an unequivocal symbol of segregation and white supremacy. The only good meaning goes back to 1865 when that attitude was supposed to have ended.
However there was resistance. For example the YMCA said no to Klan use of facilities. Only a few years later in 1927 this iteration of the Y was absorbed into Farmington Country Club. The idea that every white person was a devout Klansman is a myth put forth by the report. The report compares statistics to show times are worse now than before the statue. But how can a statue discriminate? The only unreformed institution from this time is the At-Large direct democracy.
Adding historical context has already happened to the Lewis & Clark monument, also donated by McIntire.
2016 Vinegar Hill Park & Monument1924 History Repeats In 2016. Erase the history of urban renewal by focusing on 1960 Vinegar Hill. Reinforce policy that Vinegar Hill is the only Urban Renewal and there are no archives. In today's social networking, the At-Large Council cannot control the message.
1954 Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority. Eminent Domain for Private Use is legal for first time. 1960 Referendum for Vinegar Hill. 1964 Westhaven displacement housing (not temporary housing). 1967 Referendum for Garrett urban renewal, at least 3 times bigger than Vinegar Hill. 1972 First wave of Garrett demolitions. 1977 Clearance for Friendship Court, the most controversial part of Charlottesville's urban renewal. Today there are 7 public housing complexes + Friendship Court + 4 houses. Land for sale and already sold for redevelopment has never been accounted for.
Fundraising for the Vinegar Hill Monument has stalled because there's no demand for a misleading, exclusionary monument that isolates black people as the only victim of urban renewal. So the Park plan is new with this Report. The At-Large Council will have to provide funding.
2007 Feb. 24 – Carter G. Woodson Institute and Historian Scot French promise to preserve the archives. 2016 Broken promise. They only did a report on Vinegar Hill.
Lu Ann Williams apparently lies to the Historical Society. The archives were never digitized and published.
Scot French fixates on Vinegar Hill, the only minority history in Charlottesville.
1976 Crescent Halls public housing has the same problems today as the At-Large Council was warned about in 1954.
1950s Charlottesville. Upper right is Main Street. KKK would march to Vinegar Hill upper right corner. Left of the railroad is the vast Garrett urban renewal so many people are denying.
1865–2002 Jefferson SchoolReport got it right on Jefferson School. First classes 1865 in this location. This church was built 1883. Before that it was the Delevan Hotel, temperance house against alcohol, later part of the Civil War Hospital. In 1865 it became Colored First Baptist. Federal troops stayed in barracks in the parking lot and protected the school. 1866–1869 Classes moved into the union barracks when troops left. 1869 a new proper schoolhouse was built. 1894 Jefferson School moves to Vinegar Hill.
2000–2012 local media and officials suppressed the 1865 date of origin. The late Fred Dove of the Historical Society brought the real history to the Schilling Show.
1873 Daughters of Zion Cemetery1860 Alexander Garrett died with plans in place to develop his Oak Hill farm. 1863 Oakwood Cemetery is public and segregated with a white section and a black section. So back then blacks were considered to be part of the public. 1873 Daughters of Zion was private. Also called Society Cemetery, it was for affluent blacks only. A cemetery for rich whites only would be considered white supremacist. Rich blacks only, black supremacist?
The City acquired this private cemetery in Nov. 1971 during the most active part of urban renewal, only a few hundred feet from Crescent Halls. At this time it should have been integrated. The most recent burial was 1995. Benjamin Tonsler is buried here, who attended 1865 Jefferson School and came back to become teacher and principal. The City is now funding maintenance and repair of the segregated cemetery. Naturally. The At-Large system is based on segregation.
1820–1860 Slave Auction BlockThe marker has been removed and replaced several times, most recently in early 2000s after a living history reenactment offended people. Now the presence is greater than ever. Across the street is the courthouse and Civil War monument. The unspoken history is the 1850s spectacles to prevent a slave revolt, which ushered in the Golden Age of Race Relations.
More on Slave Auction Block Number Nothing.
"A southern snow brought out for an hour some black lettering through the paint..." BENSON AND BRO. AUCTION ROOMS right over the 18x15x80 inch auction block removed between 1906 and 1925 "by some employees of the city, when cleaning the streets or paving this section." The 1820 sale of this lot is written onto the 1818 plat. "At some later period, traditions of the slave trade gathered about this house." This area was a hangout "on court-day" for the big 3 founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe. They were slave-holders. They were also lawyers. The library was next door, holdings gone to the YMCA, tavern and hotel on both sides, the Swan and the Eagle.
The 1942 book is "Early Charlottesville: Recollections of James Alexander 1828-1874" by Albemarle County Historical Society formed in 1940. The book is researched, footnoted and indexed by Mary Rawlings. James Alexander was born in Boston in 1804 and came to Charlottesville 1828 to preserve the works of Jefferson. Alexander became a southerner and supported secession. Both his sons died in the Civil War, and three daughters survive.
The book is full of stories and anecdotes. There's a murder mystery next door when the Swan owner is killed and thrown down the well. An investigation revealed no clues. In 1832 the Swan collapsed while people thought it was an earthquake.
On the map west of the courthouse is a row of stores, which became Stonewall Jackson Park. One of those parcels was owned by John West, whose parents were the Gibbons slaves of a professor, name of the latest new Dorms on Alderman. John West, 1849 to 1927, developed Vinegar Hill after the Civil War, had many real estate holdings, and sold the Court Square lot knowing it was for a Confederate Park.