Last week, the Charlottesville City Council in Virginia held a meeting to discuss what should be done about their one black colleague, current vice mayor and city council member Wes Bellamy, who was recently forced to resign from the state board of education after revelations that he has a long history of anti-white and other vulgar remarks.
It remains unresolved whether Mr. Bellamy will keep his city council seat and whether he should be fired from his position as computer science teacher at Albemarle High School. He is currently on administrative leave from his teaching job.
The entire controversy over Mr. Bellamy stems from the work of a single activist blogger, Jason Kessler. In late November, Mr. Kessler discovered and publicized Mr. Bellamy’s extensive record of offensive tweets. The city councilman has since protected his Twitter archive, but here are some of the things he said between 2009 and 2014 about whites:
I hate seeing White people in Orangeburg (This is the location of his alma mater, South Carolina State University.)
He retweeted the observation that white women “smell like future assault charges n deli meat,” tweeted that “White women=Devil” and “So sad seeing these beanpole body white women in these sundresses,” but also tweeted “This weekend I’ll be on a whitegirl diet u niggers should try it.”
Mr. Bellamy tweeted other surprising sentiments:
The city councilman also referred to one woman as a “lyin cunt.”
On November 27, Mr. Bellamy apologized on Facebook for his tweets, but this did not save his governor-appointed job on the Virginia board of education. A spokesman for Governor Terry McAuliffe said, “The governor was horrified by what was reported as having appeared on Mr. Bellamy’s Twitter feed,” and Mr. Bellamy was forced to resign. He still sits, however, on the five-member Charlottesville City Council after winning an election in 2015 and being selected by the council for the position of vice mayor.
Mr. Bellamy insists that his old tweets are years old and no longer represent the man he is today. The Richmond Times-Dispatch’s editorial board accepts this explanation, and fully supports him, arguing that he has made a heartfelt apology and that there should be a statute of limitations on his anti-white tweets.
Blogger Jason Kessler, who first reported the noxious tweets, notes that they continued up until 2014, and that Mr. Bellamy has been active in many sharply partisan activities. In September 2014, Mr. Bellamy accused police of racial profiling when they arrested Jesse Matthew in connection with the disappearance of Hannah Graham, a white student at the University of Virginia. He never retracted those charges even after Mr. Matthew subsequently pleaded guilty to the killing, in addition to the murder of another white girl, Morgan Harrington, who was a student at Virginia Tech.
In March 2016, Mr. Bellamy pushed for the city council to tear down a statue of Robert E. Lee and rename Lee Park. He also wants to remove a statue of Stonewall Jackson. Moving the statues would cost the city approximately $700,000. Mr. Bellamy also pushed for similar changes at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s residence, though was not specific about what those changes would be.
Just last October, Mr. Bellamy launched a boycott against the restaurant owned by Douglas Muir, a University of Virginia lecturer who argued that Black Lives Matter was racist. Under intense pressure from Mr. Bellamy, student groups, and administrators at UVA, Mr. Muir agreed to take a leave of absence.
Mr. Bellamy has also had run-ins with the law. In 2012, he received four summonses: driving without a license, reckless driving, and two speeding citations. In 2013, he was charged with driving on a suspended license. When he failed to show up in court, the judge issued a bench warrant and Mr. Bellamy turned himself in. At the time, he was running for city council, and held a press conference to blame the court clerk for not rescheduling the hearing as he had requested.
Blogger Jason Kessler has done more than break this racially charged story. “There’s no advocates for white people . . . I’m the only one that has the courage to stand up for white people even though I’m going to be called a racist,” he told a local radio station. “Any one of Bellamy’s tweets would have forced a resignation a week ago if he were a white man,” he says.
At the latest city council meeting on December 5, Mr. Kessler brought forward an online petition with 900 signatures demanding that the city council remove Mr. Bellamy from his seat, but Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer said that the council has no legal authority to remove a sitting councilman. The rest of the council is strongly backing Mr. Bellamy. Councilor Bob Fenwick pledged not to waver in his support for Bellamy, despite what he called Mr. Kessler’s “virtual mob” demanding his resignation.
When the controversy first broke, Mayor Signer said in a statement that Mr. Bellamy should consider whether it was appropriate for him to hold the position of vice mayor, or even remain in public office at all. However, at the December 5 council meeting, Mayor Signer backtracked, saying “I believe in second chances.”
Mr. Kessler’s attendance at the meeting was met with protesters carrying signs that read, “Stop alt-right hate,” and one attendee called him a white supremacist. Mr. Kessler brushed off the attacks. The protestors “don’t even know what alt-right is,” he said. A former progressive, he says he abandoned the Left because of its “anti-white and anti-male politics and rhetoric.”
Now Mr. Kessler has started a petition that would have a legally binding effect. If he can get the signatures of 527 Charlottesville residents—an estimated 10 percent of the votes cast for Bellamy in the latest city council election—the councilman would be forced into court to answer a charge of “misuse of office.”
“We will get there,” Mr. Kessler told American Renaissance. “It’s just a matter of time.”