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Party Politics


The uproar over nightclub-related violence and the city's new dance hall ordinance, “After the Party” (Cover story, Nov. 24), continued online, with readers debating racial motivations and the future of Shockoe Bottom.

Mr. Hairston's concept of an “Entertainment District” is a perfect solution. The flood wall already covers the south half of Shockoe Bottom, let's continue it in a circle around the Bottom and create an “enter at your own risk” district where the police never go and no crime reports will be accepted. So if a few people get shot, the police chief won't mind because it will not count on his statistics, and everyone who goes inside can stop complaining about the city and the police interfering with their fun. The rest of the taxpayers in the city can then get some decent police protection instead of it all being wasted on these morons. — Richmond homeowner, Nov. 24, 7:27 a.m.

The comment [above] is clearly some bitter white folks' idea of sarcasm, but the plain fact is that if City Council could get away with creating a straight up walled-in ghetto for black folks to party in they would, just to say that they were “doing something about the problem,” which is precisely what has put us in the predicament we are in now with the noise and club ordinances.
If you go anywhere else in the country, none of this shit is an issue. The police don't target certain business owners at the behest of others. ... The part of the dance hall ordinance restricting promoters is just another nail in its constitutional coffin. The city government has no right to define who may engage in cultural activity based on their criminal background, and if there's any part of this ordinance that screams out “racism,” this is it. I have an idea, why doesn't the city restrict who's allowed to develop real estate the same way? Justin French ring a bell? The people who are in charge of this town exist in a vacuum-sealed bubble of delusion that stays pumped full of air by the private interests that wholly define the agenda and the tone of discourse. — michael r., Nov. 24, 10:43 a.m.

This article misses one key point ... and that is Shockoe Bottom is rapidly becoming a true mixed-use neighborhood with a significant residential presence. While nightclubs may have been an appropriate use for the neighborhood over the past 20 years, it is becoming less so with every new residential project that comes on-line. Nightlife in a mixed-use setting should be more in line with neighborhood scale — 700-plus person nightclubs, regardless of race, do not fit this mold. — billchapmanent, Nov. 24, 3:43 p.m.

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