The past few weeks have been profoundly difficult for Charlottesville. One thing about which I need to be clear: the Nazis and white supremacists you saw on BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, etc? They are not from Charlottesville. Charlottesville is not a haven for hatred.
Our community was shaken, and continues to be. And we continue to heal.
Inarguably Charlottesville has issues – affordable housing, class segregation, racism, access to some of the wonderful things that make Charlottesville a wonderful place to live. Many of these issues, one is likely to find in other areas of our country.
We are not a haven for white supremacy. We try to be inclusive. Most of the people you saw on the news are not from Charlottesville. They came from other states, near and far. Don’t believe me? Watch this horrifying Vice video. Watch the whole thing.
I have no doubt that racism is here. We have and are learning. Our community will be stronger, better, smarter, and more aware and prepared.
Buyers are telling me that they don’t want to, or are reconsidering moving to Charlottesville.
I was riding my bike this morning and a friend who was just out west said that people to whom he spoke, who had never heard of Charlottesville, now had. And not in a good way.
(I) Was talking to friends yesterday & today; we live somewhere that will now be regarded as a place w/ named terrorist event. As a friend said in response, while we are that place, we will “not be defined by it.“
I suspect the question, “Will this negatively affect property values?” is one that we should all be asking, and use this as an opportunity better our community, to help counter false negative opinions of Charlottesville, and be what we hope to be – a community that attempts to welcome, accept, and embrace everyone, excepting Nazis, white supremacists, and their ilk. They are not welcome here.
Some of my clients buying new construction and moving here from out of state very recently moved here to temporary housing while their home is completed, so while they are transplants, they also have the benefit of seeing this unfold from within Charlottesville. When I checked in with them today, they expressed that, though moving to a new state can be daunting in terms of wondering if you’ve made the right decision, they were initially pretty confident when they decided to relocate that they would like Charlottesville. And after seeing our community’s reaction to what has happened here over the last week, they are 1000% sure that making Charlottesville their home was the right decision.
A personal note: I have struggled enormously with these events, seeing the hatred temporarily infiltrate my hometown, seeing the violence on our streets, Charlottesville events canceled in the face of impending or active violent acts. I walk 4th Street frequently, where Heather Heyer was killed by a terrorist. I have likewise struggled to articulate my thoughts and feelings, how I could have helped, how I will help going forward, and what the future looks like. I’m hoping to be better at being a community member, participant, and citizen. I don’t know how we move forward, but know that we will.
One thing: Charlottesville media
The Charlottesville media, many of whom are in this twitter list, have done remarkable, profound, heroic reporting from the midst of the terror our town experienced. They documenting from within – several getting tear gassed, others similarly abused, and they continued on. As of a couple weeks ago, I subscribed to the online Daily Progress. I give to Charlottesville Tomorrow. Local media matters, and I ask and implore you to thank them, and thank them by subscribing or giving. CNN will be gone soon (hopefully they are now); our neighbors with the local media outlets will be here tomorrow and the next.
Photos from a friend; this is Charlottesville
Sanjay Suchak, a friend and extraordinary photographer took these