I believe in the fundamental American ideal that all men are created equal. Of course, it’s an ideal on which America has never come close to delivering. But that’s the entire point of America: we are bound together, united by a common goal of striving toward that more perfect union.
So I believe that the very least white people can do is call out racist bullshit when they see it. Silence is complicity.
So I’ll say it: Brian Spencer is a racist.
He’s not the card-carrying Klansman kind of racist or the Confederate flag waving kind of racist or the n-word spouting kind of racist. In some ways, he’s worse: he’s an entitled white person whose racism underpins his everyday actions but rarely seeps to the surface.
Sometimes it does, though. Take this email that Spencer sent to former City Hall leaders John Asmar and Bill Reynolds — both white — and you can see how Spencer talks when black folks aren’t around.
Spencer’s car — which he goes out of his way to make clear is a silver BMW X5 — is in trouble. Disabled by a flat tire, he’s been forced to leave it in a parking lot across from Interstate 110.
Set aside Spencer’s trademark alienspeak sentence construction (“Your allotment of time on my behalf is truly a magnanimous act”?) and the many questions this email raises (Does Brian Spencer not know how to change a tire? Why is he bothering city employees with a decidedly personal problem?).
Instead, jump right to the last sentence: “It won’t remain there (intact) another evening… it is very close to Pensacola Village.”
Whatever could Spencer mean by that? Is Pensacola Village home to a handsome, young white car thief like Baby from Baby Driver?
Probably not. Pensacola Village is, however, a subsidized housing development occupied predominately by black Pensacolians.
[My silver BMX x5] won’t remain there (intact) another evening… it is very close to Pensacola Village.Brian Spencer
City Councilman and Candidate for Pensacola Mayor
Surely there’s some disproportionate amount of auto thefts in and around Pensacola Village, you say? Nope. Brian Spencer just associates black people with crime, because he’s a racist.
I’ve walked door-to-door in Pensacola Village to register voters. Like many areas beset by poverty, the area has its issues, but it’s full of kind and hardworking Pensacolians that deserve better than to be painted with Spencer’s racist brush.
Pensacola is an incredibly diverse city forged by a wide range of cultures over the centuries. Is Brian Spencer the best we can do?