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Back in March, if you walked past New American restaurants and boutique shops in downtown Austin, Texas, you might have spotted a sticker declaring that the establishment was 'exclusively for white people.' When the stickers started popping up, they were condemned by Austin's mayor and the NAACP.
But don't worry, it wasn't the return of Jim Crow in Texas's liberal capital city -- it was just one of our favorite "lawyers behaving badly" stories of the year. The stickers were the work of Adam Reposa, a Texas lawyer and self-declared "badass" who took to vandalism to raise awareness about gentrification.
Reposa is a Texas DWI attorney in Austin. On the side, he's also apparently a street provocateur and champion of the dispossessed. His biggest cause in 2015 wasn't preventing DWI convictions, it was fighting Austin's gentrification. And Austin is in a bit of a gentrification boom, as the semi-countercultural artists' lofts, dive bars, and artisanal coffee shops of yesteryear are increasingly replaced with "loft-style" condos, divey craft beer bars, and artisanal coffee shops.
After the "exclusively for whites" stickers gained media attention, a shirtless Reposa ended up in a YouTube video entitled "Why I did it." Reposa explained that Austin was turning into "whites only" because of rising costs. Later, Reposa explained on Facebook that:
I never imagined it would be this easy. Remember it is valuable to see just what giving a f**k does to people as well as what not giving a f**k does for people.
It's like the perfect combination of Thomas Piketty and William Shakespeare. (It also appears to be a stunt to promote Reposa's equally subtle and satirical "cult movement," The Technology.)
Reposa's stickering doesn't seem to have landed him in hot water with the Texas Bar, who report no current disciplinary proceedings. But, Reposa has faced censure before. In fact, FindLaw first ran into Reposa way back in 2009, after the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed a 90 day jail sentence for the attorney. Reposa had directed a "lewd pantomime" and "masturbatory gesture" at opposing counsel at trial, an outburst that rose to the level of criminal contempt.
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