Nikuyah Walker, the mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia, has come under fire for posting a graphic poem on Facebook comparing her city to a rapist.
“Charlottesville: It is the beautiful-ugly,” read the poem. “It rapes you, comforts you in its stained paper, and tells you to keep its secrets.”
Ms. Walker initially posted the poem on Facebook, but the company removed it for violating community standards. She then went to Twitter to post a longer version of the poem, with one offensive word removed.
“Charlottesville has no moral compass. It’s like good ole tj [Thomas Jefferson] still skillfully uses his whip to make the current residents submissive, ”says the longer version.
“Is that better? I’ll ask the person who reported my short poem to Facebook,” she said.
“Charlottesville is raping you with your breath. It stifles your hopes and dreams. It liberates you by conveniently redefining liberation. It sings little by little while acting conservatively. Charlottesville is anchored in white supremacy and rooted in racism, ”it says.
Some readers have wondered what prompted them to publish such an “inappropriate” and “offensive” poem, while others said they understood the underlying anti-racism commentary.
Brian Wheeler, Charlottesville Communications Director, confirmed the authenticity of the entries. “I believe the posts are authentic,” he told the Daily Caller News Foundation, but said the city of Charlottesville had no comment.
There have been a number of reactions to Ms. Walker’s poem. While some have criticized it and asked to apologize, others have said they understand the message behind it.
Alderman Michael Payne said CBS News that it is “hurtful” and “over the line”.
“I’ve heard of several community members who have survived sexual assault and sexual violence, and seeing that kind of language is just extremely hurtful to them,” he said.
Your posts on Facebook have since been restored. “It looks like Facebook got me out of Facebook jail. I think my post did not violate their guidelines, ”she said.
Don Gathers, a Charlottesville resident, said he understood Ms. Walker’s message. “The way she’s taken to get that across, if people just get into it and don’t look at the substance behind it, then they’ve missed the whole point,” he said CBS News.
Ms. Walker, who was elected to Charlottesville City Council in November 2017, was embroiled in further controversy last month when she said she was being investigated over using her city credit card to pay for gift cards given to people speaking at city council meetings had. Ms. Walker claimed that no one told her that these purchases were not allowed.