Letter: Shame on Asheville for its systemic racism

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Asheville still has a large number of nonwhites, including many children, living in concentrated areas (housing projects), and they have extremely unequal chances for employment for the tourist industry jobs, which all go to whites.

Segregation and economic apartheid have been standard operating procedure for all my life in Asheville, and that has not changed. Most whites don’t even notice it or talk about it, and the situation will stay the same because for whites it is much better, and systemic racism works for whites and their children, and most whites in the area, even so-called progressive ones, neither acknowledge it is still a reality nor want to see it change.

Since both my parents have died now — my father, who helped integrate the schools, being the most recent — I have left the area, but I totally believe what I am saying here is true. So shame on Asheville for not moving ahead and changing, even now, after all the years of institutional racism and segregation.

— John Penley
Las Vegas

Editor’s note: Penley notes that he also addressed institutional racism in a 2017 letter to the editor.


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6 thoughts on “Letter: Shame on Asheville for its systemic racism

  1. Enlightened Enigma

    Oh, but we have a whole city department of Equity and Inclusion so stop worrying, Mr. Penley….(moved to LV?)

    • Lulz

      Payoff a few lucky minorities with six figure salaries, call yourself inclusive and diverse.

      • Phillip C Williams

        I also noted that the City did not find a deserving, qualified local minority candidate – or even one from WNC. I do not know how hard they looked around here first, but they wound up picking someone from elsewhere. Perhaps she had the most impressive credentials, but seems that they could have gotten someone with a vested personal interest in the region.

  2. MG Massey

    Racism and liberal hypocrisy.
    Asheville has both.
    The way the ruling class of this town behaves belongs in last century not now.
    Frankly..they just don’t care.
    Self reflection and truth come to Asheville to die

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