Career Race-Baiters Target Richmond Tea Party

The Richmond Tea Party audit comes as no surprise to Richmond residents. The city has been held hostage by civil rights era race-baiters for decades.

For the last 40 years Raymond H. Boone, the publisher and founder of the Richmond Free Press, has been playing the race card and getting away with it. The same man who recently told a reporter he sees his job as "comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable" is now hosting Occupy Richmond protesters on his 4-acre property in a quiet South Richmond neighborhood -- right next door to long time crony Mayor Dwight Jones.

His mostly Caucasian "special guests" camped out on his property in serene surroundings (away from Richmond's poor "afflicted" blacks in the crime-ridden 'courts' of inner city Richmond) is a scene reminiscent of a "Norman Rockwell painting" as one local black journalist described it.  Boone's Thanksgiving feast for the protesters might be laughable if the city were in better shape.  But Richmond has fared no better than other urban areas subjected to civil rights bullies like Boone. Crime and a lack of entrepreneurial opportunities have contributed to its downfall. Predictably, Boone blames the 'haves.'

The former Howard professor's fight for "economic justice" has been waged against, you guessed it, big business. When asked why he was opening his home to the occupiers he summarized his agenda in a nutshell.

We need to show the same kind of passion for economic justice as we showed for winning the vote, for voting rights. If you do not have economic power, you cannot have political power.

A Richmond weekly magazine featured Boone as a major influence not only in city politics but in the business community as well.  

It may not be a direct result of Boone's handiwork, but it's worth noting that three of the Richmond Free Press publisher's most frequent targets - Circuit City, Ukrop's and Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leroy R. Hassell - went away this year. (Hassell will step down but remain a justice.) Boone's soft touch with Mayor Jones' (No. 7) administration may suggest that City Hall's shadow falls heavily over the Free Press offices a few blocks west. 

A crusading, old-school newsman, Boone mostly eschews the Internet in favor of his bully pulpit, the Richmond Free Press' weekly print edition. Behind the scenes and in print, editor Boone remains someone who city politicians - and U.S. Senate candidates (such as George Allen) - would be wise not to cross.

The race crusader is not above throwing old pals under the bus. When Boone's unusual houseguests hit the news this past month, he was asked about his friendship with Mayor Dwight Jones. "Boone described his relationship with Jones as cordial. 'We have an understanding,' he said. 'He's the politician; I'm the newspaper man, the newspaper editor.'"

In fact, Mayor Jones invoked his own civil rights background when defending Occupy Richmond in October. After the group was evicted from Kanawha Plaza on October 31, Boone made it clear he believed Jones "identified" with the Occupy movement but was yielding to "corporate" pressure. Boone told a reporter Jones needed to decide "Whether he stands with corporate, or whether he stands with the people who elected him."

At the moment it looks as if the mayor is standing between fed-up tax paying neighbors, and a race-baiting, bullying editor. The Richmond zoning board has given Boone 30 days to comply with an order to "cease the unlawful use and occupancy of the property."

Jones' press secretary stated in an email the mayor "did not initiate" the board's action rather it was "prompted by complaints in the Brookbury subdivision." Clearly, Jones doesn't want to get on Boone's bad side.

Richmond, like other cities, is caught in the grip of men like Jones and Boone who have used the race card to secure their own positions of power, while large sections of the city are swallowed by blight and crime.

The Richmond Tea Party took on some seasoned race-baiters and challenged their perverted sense of justice. Now the city has responded, 'Joe the Plumber' style -- get some flunky field employee to sign off on a bogus audit to distract from lawless officials.




Read more M. Catharine Evans at Potter Williams Report