Austin — a bastion of liberalism in otherwise red Texas and host to events like South by Southwest, a music and film festival held yearly in March — is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. Growth generally means a big dose of gentrification, which some don’t much like. Money and development may, after all, push the poor who previously made Austin their home further out from the core and into red rural Texas.
So last week, as South by Southwest was winding down, stickers began showing up on business windows declaring that the stores were “exclusively for white people.” The round stickers included the official Austin city government logo and stated that they were “sponsored by the City of Austin Contemporary Partition and Restoration Program.” No such program exists and the stickers were most certainly not sanctioned by Austin’s city government.
Enter Austin lawyer Adam Reposa, who claims he placed the stickers all over Austin in a rambling YouTube video as a statement on the dangers of gentrification and income inequality. He appears shirtless and tattooed and explains “Why I did it is pretty clear because it would be obvious that even though people know the real problem — and the problem is people without money are getting (expletive) — they’re getting pushed out, and pretty quick, this area of town is turning into whites only — not by law like it used to be…” (The language in the video is totally not safe for work, kids.)
Reposa, a criminal defense attorney, is no stranger to controversy. Back in 2010, he accepted a three-year license “probation” after being held in contempt in 2008. The contempt charge stemmed from making a masturbation gesture in court while defending a drunk driving charge. Reposa said at the time that the gesture was meant for the prosecutor. His license appears current and in good standing. He has a website which, regrettably, no longer appears to let you weigh how badass your lawyer is against how badass Mr. Reposa is, which is really a shame. Oh well. We’ll always have Mr. Reposa’s commercial.