Nikuyah Walker is the mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia. She was elected to the city council in 2017 on a BLM-style platform and was selected by the council to be mayor in 2018 and 2020.
Charlottesville knew what it was getting in Walker, and that’s what it got. She insisted that the city was racist, going so far as to tweet out a graphic poem that compared the “beautiful-ugly” college town to a rapist. She says she “spent time every day trying to convince people that there is racism in our city government.”
In terms of policy, Walker’s anti-white ideology manifested itself most acutely on the issue of policing, as one would expect. She backed unstintingly the city’s radical police chief, RaShall Brackney, a self-described “expert in the areas of harm reduction, procedural and restorative justice practices, and community-police relations.”
Like Walker, Brackney is African-American. And like Walker, she delivered what the city must have known it was getting when it appointed her. She disbanded the city’s SWAT team, hired a “Fourth Amendment analyst” to review body-camera footage regularly, fired several white officers, and disciplined others.
Brackney’s conduct alienated her department. The local chapter of the Police Benevolent Association declared that officers had lost confidence in Brackney. It cited a survey of 65 employees, many of whom expressed concern about her leadership. A majority said she made them feel insecure in their careers and that she didn’t have the best interests of the department in mind.
On September 1, the city manager announced that he would fire Brackney. At a city council meeting to discuss the firing, Walker moved to bring the subject up for public discussion. No one seconded the motion.
The next day, in protest, Walker announced she would not seek reelection as mayor. She accused the city council that appointed her of taking racist actions, and called two particular city council members “consistent advocates of white is right, white power, and the power of whiteness.”
City council members, in turn, called Walker a “divisive force,” a characterization that seems difficult to dispute. They blamed her for the unusual amount of turnover, including the departure of two city managers, that has plagued the city since she became mayor.
In a way, I sympathize with Walker and Brackney. They did what they were hired to do. It’s not their fault that the city council liked the concepts the two were peddling far more than they liked the phenomena that flowed from those concepts.
I’d like to credit the city council for finally waking up, but I’m not sure its members have. I suspect they now favor Walker/Brackney “lite.” That seems to be the position of one of the two council members accused by Walker of being a racist (see the end of this link).
But there is no Walker/Brackney lite because there is no BLM lite — just as there is no communism lite.
The Charlottesville city council played with fire. It got burned. I hope its response won’t be to set the flame at a lower temperature.