Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wally Erb, Light Rail, and Race

Nothing like a trip back through the microfiche. Wally Erb is heading up the VBTA front group trying to petition a light rail referendum question onto the ballot. I have a good memory for detail, and recalled an article from the 1999 light rail campaign, Sure enough, I found this doozy of a quote from Erb in the October 22, 1999 edition of The Virginian-Pravda:

"There's going to be all sorts of people. There's going to be people who are coughing and not everybody is earning $45,000, $50,000 in a business suit and has a laptop computer. You're going to have some people who are bag ladies. That goes along with it. I'm not saying that it's wrong, but people who ride it have to be aware that they're going to meet a lot of people that they didn't meet before and that they're going to have to tolerate a lot of things that they wouldn't normally have to tolerate or even thought of."

In short, Erb fears light rail means having to tolerate people other than middle class Whites. While Erb goes on to deny any racial implications, no rational person can read them out of that. After all, the ridership of Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) is about 80% minority. When you realize that, reread Erb's quote and see how racially loaded it is.

Still, you have the right to sign one of Erb's ballot petitions. The volunteers will stand out: they'll be the ones wearing the white sheets and hoods.

In addition, at the September, 2005 monthly breakfast of the Tidewater Libertarian Party (TLP), Wally Erb and Robert Dean identified themselves as members of the radical John Burch Society.

You may want to stay clear of those guys.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wow...the referendum reason becomes a WHOLE LOT clearer now! Very sad that people still think this way.