Cville Weekly Media Releases

Posted by on Jul 26, 2013 in Media | Comments Off on Cville Weekly Media Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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For more information or to schedule interviews contact Jeff Winder (434) 906-0421

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Cville Weekly Prints Racist Hate Speech

Protesters Descend on Office to Demand Retraction and Apology

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Charlottesville, VA – A diverse crowd will gather at the offices of Cville Weekly at 308 E. Main St. from 4:30 – 6:00 pm on Monday in protest of a racist diatribe that appeared in the most recent issue – the same issue that announced the racially charged Trayvon Martin verdict. Organizers maintain that the post crossed the line from free speech into the type of dangerous hate speech that dehumanizes people, emboldens violent extremists and contributes to an atmosphere conducive to hate crimes. Protesters demand that the paper retract the diatribe, apologize to the community and adopt editorial standards against printing hate speech in the future.

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“Sadly it comes as no surprise that these people are out there. Racism is deeply entrenched in our society and gets in the way of the work we are trying to do. But it’s? especially hurtful for Cville to give these people a chance to spread their message of hate anonymously. It’s cowardly and destructive,” said protest organizer Dierdre Gilmore a lifelong African-American resident of Charlottesville who has raised her children and grandchildren here.

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The quote, which appeared in the section called “the Rant” in which editors select from anonymous messages left on voicemail to appear in print follows: “To all you black motherf#$%ers running up here to the Charlottesville restaurants looking for free food, we wouldn’t be known as a restaurant, we would be know as a food bank. So, from now on when you bring your black ass into a restaurant in Charlottesville and want free food, carry your asses to a food bank. Thank you.”

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While freedom of speech is often broadly interpreted, protest organizers contend that Cville Weekly acted irresponsibly in providing a platform for racist hate speech. ?“Your right to freedom of speech ends when it infringes on other’s people’s rights to safety.? We’ve seen it over and over again where a rise in hate speech paves the way for a rise in hate crimes and intolerance,” said 13 year old Ammon Winder who helped to organize the protest.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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For more information or to schedule interviews contact Jeff Winder (434) 906-0421

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Cville Weekly Apology for Hate Speech Sadly Lacking

Protesters Continue Struggle

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Charlottesville, VA – Several dozen diverse protesters gathered at the offices of Cville Weekly to demand an apology for a racist diatribe that appeared in print and a commitment to a change in editorial policy to make sure it would not happen again. Editor Giles Morris came outside to read a prepared statement of apology, but was resistant to answering protesters questions. He refused to explain the mechanics of the editorial process that should have vetted this comment or to commit to any changes that would ensure it would not happen again.

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“If this apology was sincere he would have taken time to answer our questions about how this happened and what changes he would make, but he basically blew us off. This is not over – I’m in this for the long haul,” said protest organizer Dierdre Gilmore a lifelong African-American resident of Charlottesville who has raised her children and grandchildren here.

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The quote, which appeared in the section called “the Rant” in which editors select from anonymous messages left on voicemail to appear in print follows: “To all you black motherf#$%ers running up here to the Charlottesville restaurants looking for free food, we wouldn’t be known as a restaurant, we would be know as a food bank. So, from now on when you bring your black ass into a restaurant in Charlottesville and want free food, carry your asses to a food bank. Thank you.”

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Organizers maintain that Cville Weekly shares a burden of responsibility for creating this hate speech by providing an anonymous public platform to extremists allowing them to spew dangerous hate speech with no accountability and giving them easy access to an audience that they would otherwise have no way to attain.

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“The editorial staff of Cville Weekly really need to educate themselves about structural racism and their role in it. I was disgusted to witness this white man arrogantly explaining to people of color why it was ok for him to print racist hate speech that targets them,” said Jeff Winder, a community organizer with the Wayside Center for Popular Education. He continued, “This is far from over. We’ll be meeting during the coming days to develop on ongoing strategy to put an end to this irresponsible and destructive practice.”

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