A racist rant published in last week's edition of C-ville Weekly has many outraged.
Dozens of protesters stood outside of the newspaper's office Monday, upset about a statement that appeared in "The Rant," a section of the paper that publishes anonymous messages it receives.
"I feel like they have crossed the line from free speech into hatred," said protester Deirdre Gilmore.
The profane post addresses black people, said to be looking for free food at Charlottesville restaurants. The incident has sparked a much bigger conversation about race in Charlottesville.
"Charlottesville has issues. It is not alone but Charlottesville likes to hide behind its issues and play nice and have another mint julep," said protester Colette Blount.
Ammon Winder, who organized the protest, said, "The racial issue is really being ignored. Nobody wants to talk about it and I think we do have a huge issue and that's just one example about it."
This issue joins the ongoing conversations about racial disparities in the juvenile justice system in the city and why they exist. It also follows the George Zimmerman verdict that once again put race in the spotlight. That verdict brought people out to last week's City Council meeting, calling for action to make sure it never happens in Charlottesville.
"The week of the Trayvon Martin-Zimmerman verdict, to release that is in disgustingly poor taste," said protester Joseph Jordan.
And even with the bigger issue of race looming, some say a simple solution is to take away the platform for these hateful comments.
"This is a pattern of the rant, it gives a platform for racists and queerphobic people, sexists, rape culture to flourish anonymously," Jordan said.
C-ville Weekly posted a statement on its website that will run in this week's edition of the paper, citing an editorial mistake in the publishing and apologizes for any hurt the rant may have caused.
You can read that full statement below.
Statement from C-ville Weekly:
"Because of an editorial mistake, last week's paper included a racist rant in The Rant section. We regret the error and we apologize for the hurt it caused. Our readers demand a higher standard from their community paper. The Rant is designed as a vehicle for free speech and our policy has been only to edit rants that contain libel or hate speech. Giving voice to racist sentiments is not consistent with the mission of this paper or the aim of The Rant."
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