Letter: What the numbers (and attitudes) say about Asheville area

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Apparently, Asheville has earned the dishonorable distinction of placing in the top 10% of most violent cities in the entire country [avl.mx/8uz].

Wondering how much it has to do with this: “Asheville Rents Up 4.3% Since Start of Pandemic” [avl.mx/8v0] or this (a local law enforcement sergeant’s response to my statement on a community social media site regarding the need for a more diversely staffed police department): “That premise states that only an ethnicity or gender can equitably apply fairness of the law to the same group. Creating such an environment, by its own declaration, implies that no group can equitably and fairly serve other groups.” Ahem.

Time to start looking for a new place to call home.

— Angie Song
Black Mountain


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22 thoughts on “Letter: What the numbers (and attitudes) say about Asheville area

  1. Bright

    Oh yes…we are moving out of this hellhole. Asheville, evidence of a proliferation of idiots…and a warplane is the fitting representation as mascot for this disappointing place.


    I have noticed a worsening of attitudes in Asheville as compared to Hendersonville in particular and I am very glad to live in the latter. I used to visit Asheville every few weeks, but no longer feel comfortable especially at places like Trader Joes. Too many nervous, paranoid people and I just don’t enjoy that atmosphere. I have also noticed that Asheville seems quiet compared to busy downtown Hendersonvile which remains friendly to visitors and locals alike. The difference in overall ambience is very noticeable. Unfortunately, it seems that Asheville is overly conservative and is way over regulating businesses. It will not be able to sustain the attitude nor the over regulation and still attract tourists…….they are all migrating to more friendly territory. Too bad!

    • Mike Donohue

      “…it seems that Asheville is overly conservative…”
      I almost blew my beer out my nose.
      I moved here eight years ago and think I have met eight conservatives.

    • Lou

      And there you go, this explains everything. Let me guess, you’re Caucasian, wealthy, and over the age of 50?

  3. Lee lee

    You gotta watch out in downtown Asheville these days. You could very easilybstep on a dirty needle! OUCH!!

  4. Richard B.

    Respectfully, Ms. Song, I do believe that your assumptions about why violence is increasing in Asheville are ill founded and naive.
    First, if one’s rent is $1000/month, and it is raised to $1,043, then you have license to commit a violent crime?
    Who would do that? Do you know people who have engaged in criminal behaviors, using your example as an excuse?
    Second, the APD Sergeant is on solid ground with his or her reply to you. If a criminal of color commits a violent crime, you are claiming that if that person was aware that the local police force included more cops that looked like him, that he would be less likely to violate the law. In other words, the crime committed is sort of a “protest”. That makes no sense. Because in the first place the criminal likely is unaware of the racial make up of the police force, and secondly, most crimes are committed and THEN the police show up. So what does the skin color of the officers first on the scene have to do with the original intent to commit the crime?

    • Tracy Rose

      One point of clarification — the letter doesn’t refer to an APD sergeant, but to a local law enforcement sergeant.

    • Lou

      I think you should read the letter again…you are inserting your own perspective into what was said. I believe the writer has a valid point. Where the least opportunity exists for all, the most dissatisfaction resides. Violent crime is born of desperation. Lots of desperate people in this town.

  5. Enlightened Enigma

    Why does Asheville attract the desperate people ? Should the citizens ban all the free giveaways in this town so they will leave ? I vote YES !!!

    • Lou

      People became desperate after the area attracted many wealthy white retirees, who drove up the cost of property and everything else. I always know the writer has made a good point when the likes of you reply. I know today is really difficult for you, what with getting a new president and a female vice president of color. Gosh, you must be losing your mind right now. Lol, I love conservative tears.

      • Jack Jack

        The wealthy pay the bills and have a much lower crime rate. And yet, you blame them.

          • Jack Jack

            What actual crime has been committed by the wealthy in Asheville? Investing in the local real estate? Eating at the restaurants? Volunteering? Donating to the local charities? Creating jobs? There are plenty of places – right here in Appalachia – where there are noting but the Poors. You could go there.

  6. Richard B.

    Not perspective, Lou, simply an argument of logic. The writer made two points, not one. They were that violent crime is increasing in Asheville due to two
    factors; – an increase in average rents, and her belief that the number of law enforcement officers of a particular skin tone, or absence of same, has an influence on
    the rate of increase of those committing violent crimes. I just don’t buy it. I think, and this IS my perspective, that the cultural shift to excuse some who
    commit crimes, plus the general shift to anti-law enforcement thinking (defund the police, etc.) is a threat to our society. It undermines the absolute first need
    of citizens, that being to feel safe when they are in their home or out in public. Take that away, and you’re back in the Stone Age. And into the Age of everyone
    wants a Permit to Carry. Can’t have it both ways. And, a further perspective, – obviously not shared by you or the writer – that opportunity does exist for all.
    All that wish to take advantage of that which our society offers to those who wish to “succeed” in the traditional American way.
    Heresy to the Liberal narrative, I know. You needn’t reply to point that out.

    • Lou

      I won’t point that out because people like you are so sure of their position that they are unwilling to yield at all. However I will point out that the writer merely presented a theory, not definitive facts. So again, perhaps you should read the letter once more and try not to be so judgmental.

      • Jack Jack

        Crime is committed by criminals, no? Buncombe County released a bunch of inmates last year.

        Instead, however, the left manufactures fanciful and insupportable theories from whole cloth that conveniently assigns blame to the “wrong people,”, namely those who had the nerve to succeed and invest locally.

        When all of the people with money leave a community, it works out poorly for those who can’t. Tourists and retirees have lots of options these days – they can elect something other than Portland light.

  7. blueridgeguvnor

    Asheville without question has become an angry, negative place. Incredibly poor leadership. It will take years to recover its luster, if ever. I know lots of people who just flat out won’t go downtown anymore because of the caustic vibe.

    A real shame.

  8. Shultz!

    So sorry to hear you’re thinking of leaving – these are tough times indeed! With a primarily tourist-based economy, 2020 has been really hard on so many folks here, so it’s not unexpected to see the city’s violent crime numbers where they are. The rent thing is out of hand & I don’t expect it to get any better w/out drastic measures. Perhaps stay & get involved with local government to enact change, if you have the energy? As for your local copper’s point – meeting him/her in person for a cup of joe may do more to generate understanding than social media dialog (especially that site, which is the land of bad behavior). Anyhow, don’t let that stuff get you down – stay!

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