I guess this problem has replayed itself on much larger scales concerning migration of a mass of people to another land. The problem here in Asheville is on a much smaller scale, but a scale nonetheless.
What I see here seems to be a multitude of rich, ultra-conservative and often snobby people infiltrating our artsy streets and small-business dreams. When they come and walk our streets and complain about homelessness, and call the cops to do something about our drum circle downtown making too much noise—do they realize that if they don’t approve, they could take some of their multimillion-dollar retirement fund and build vocational facilities for impoverished people?
They drive around in their Bentleys or Lexus coupes and can’t seem to grasp the idea that they may be the reason why rent is so expensive and jobs that stress servitude are many times the only form of employment for our younger and less-well-financed citizens.
And don’t they realize that they could be the reason that the developers strip our precious mountains of their natural beauty to build a redundantly overpriced home that no native of North Carolina could afford on this city’s average wage?
When I lived abroad in Brazil, I accepted their culture, their ways of living, their methods of celebration among their cities’ flamboyant roads and alleys. So why should it be any different for these transplants, who shy away and cross to the other side of the street when they see my 230-pound, tattooed frame? This ain’t the Hamptons, folks. Get used to it—and know that even though I’m a big fella covered in tattoos, this military veteran would be the guy who would stop a purse snatcher from robbing you.
— Ryan Bolton