Jason Kessler, the previously unknown writer who last month exposed Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy’s racist and vulgar tweets from before he was elected, is now collecting signatures to remove him from office. He’s also made a video that elucidates some of his concerns about issues affecting white Americans.
“I’m closing in on a hundred,” says Kessler about his signature collection.
Virginia does not make it easy to remove elected officials, even convicted sexual batterers like former Albemarle supervisor Chris Dumler.
Kessler must gather enough signatures of registered Charlottesville voters to be equivalent to 10 percent of those who voted in the last City Council election, a number he’s pegged at 527. Once the signatures are collected, he says a special prosecutor will try Bellamy for “misuse of public office” for calling for the boycott of Doug Muir’s restaurant, Bella, after the UVA lecturer compared Black Lives Matter to the KKK in a Facebook post, and for Bellamy assigning his Twitter account the username ViceMayorWesB when it contained the older, “hateful comments,” says Kessler.
“There’s a pattern of bias, racial bias Bellamy has consistently shown since being in office,” he says.
Kessler has been busy on his blog, charting the times Bellamy tweeted while on the job as an Albemarle teacher, denouncing Mayor Mike Signer, calling out the local “biased media” and accusing Bellamy of using the Young Black Professionals Network of Charlottesville as a slush fund.
Says Kessler of his petition, “The local media is trying to suppress it because they’re shills for the status quo. They care about access to politicians.”
Kessler shared some of his thoughts in a YouTube video on Donald Trump and white identity politics.
In it, he denounces years of “racist, anti-white policies,” such as affirmative action, and the growth of social justice warriors—“blacks, Hispanics, gays”—for whom the culture is “so slanted in their favor that they have something magical called privilege…”
He blames media for “blaming white people for slavery, even though it was done by every race of people on Earth.”
He also notes “biological differences in intelligence” between races. “I don’t need to go into that because you already know which groups are not focused on intellectual attainment and their culture does not promote that,” he says.
“My greatest fear is we will become the new South Africa and there will be a white genocide,” which, he assures viewers, is being covered up by the mainstream media.
The video is no longer available online.
“‘Identity politics’ is a dismissive term, originally hurled by conservative critics to demean what we on the left call the civil rights struggle,” says Jalane Schmidt, a UVA religious studies professor who teaches classes on race and religion.
While the term “white identity politics” may be new, she says, “the ideas are quite old: using discredited biological theories to dismiss black intelligence and culture” and “propagating a falsehood of ‘black privilege.’”
Because conditions for working-class whites have declined, she says, those espousing white identity politics have turned their fire on “undeserving” minorities.
While Kessler had earlier aligned with the alt-right, he denies he’s a white supremacist and describes himself as “center left” on most issues.
Says Kessler, “In 2016, a lot of working-class whites felt they were being picked on by elites, academia and the media.”
And in his video, he says, “The white majority spoke. It wanted Trump. It wants to slow the brakes to being turned into an oppressed minority.”
Correction 12/21: The original story cited a fake video called “Party at UVA” that Kessler says he did not create. C-VILLE regrets the error.