Archive for the Atlanta Politics Category

Kasim Did It

Posted in Atlanta Politics with tags , , , , on December 5, 2009 by marcg

Kasim Reed is no progressive. No one thinks that. But he did just barely win the election in one of the most racist cities in the United States. And when I say just barely I mean it. In the December 1st runoff election against white candidate Mary Norwood from Buckhead, Reed came out ahead by less than one percentage point.

What will this mean politically? The white elites of Cousins Properties and the white men down in the Loudermilk Bldg still control Atlanta. Reed, like mayor Shirley Franklin and before her Bill Campbell, will have to have to answer to these rich whites. But in keeping Norwood, and the white frenzy that made her viable, out, Black Atlanta on some fronts managed to dodge one of the bullets of white supremacy. Again, being that Reed is no progressive, there isn’t much positives to look for in his candidacy. This was more about what we avoided. Still there are lessons here.

First thing. Every activist or politically minded person in Atlanta is aware that white progressives and Black progressives don’t really work together. The coalition aspect of work is what is instead emphasized. It has been almost 40 years since a white candidate had a real shot at being mayor of Atlanta. When Norwood, a self-proclaimed political independent, appeared as a candidate, white Republicans within the city limits raced to her side. They got there just a split second ahead of progressive Obama-whites who also sprinted over to support her. In a bipartisan psychic cry they all yelled, ‘Finally, a white mayor!’.

So the first and most important lesson from this election is that the racial coalition between white and Black progressive Atlanta, isn’t. It’s a fraud. This election will stand historically as the evidence.

Second lesson. On August 17th Kasim Reed polled at 8%. The Wall Street Journal reported on the polling. Less than three and a half months later he is the new mayor. He mounted an astonishing comeback. No, not really. Lesson number two is that Atlanta’s political polls/surveys are fake.

The final lesson from this election shouldn’t be a lesson at all, really. And that is that the people of Atlanta are a ways away from having the strength, the people power, to make anything happen from the grassroots. The reasons for this are many but this election is the evidence. As in the presidential election in 2008, the people are left to vote for a corporate candidate that appears or sounds minutely better than the other corporate candidate. Boooo…not good.

Oh one more thing that was obvious in this election but that we certainly should know by now. The blogosphere is really the whitosphere. To read websites and blogs one would have easily assumed that Norwood had the mayor’s office locked. Of course it was just white bloggers keyboarding to themselves and to their white readers mostly. December 1st delivered to them all a reality check. Even their most eloquent (or nasty) blog post ain’t got shit on reality.

Peace love and hairgrease.

Mary Norwood’s Race Politics

Posted in Atlanta Politics, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2009 by marcg

Mary Norwood is a white candidate for mayor of Atlanta, a city that elected the last white mayor in 1970, almost forty years ago. The one thing the election is not short on is pretense. We field negros are supposed to be pretending that race has nothing to do with any of this. With anything, in fact. Barack Obama is president of a white majority Amurka. Norwood can be mayor a Black majority ATL. See? No difference.

The New York Times reports today that Atlanta may see its first white mayor in more than a generation in Mary Norwood. The article is accompanied by many empty-headed slogans, from Black mouths of course, about it meaning nothing for a politician’s race to be Black. This is a slick move that distracts from the point of their article which is discussing a white mayor. Not meaning as much, or anything at all as some would say, that a mayor be Black is a very different thing than having a white mayor. Inductive reasoning perhaps is not required to become a Times writer. Or maybe the ability to manipulate faulty induction to build an upside down argument IS a prerequisite.

Mary Norwood Aims To Take Back Atlanta

Mary Norwood comes from Buckhead the whitest and richest white neighborhood in Atlanta. The political pundits who get their salaries paid by the advertising dollars flowing out of Buckhead won’t talk about her background much. And if you go looking for details and background info over at her Wiki page you’ll be left wanting. These are coincidences.

Anyone familiar with US politics beyond the superficial coding understands the role played by race and that there is a communication grid that operates just beneath the surface of all political talk. As a good auto mechanic would say, Norwood’s recent ad is hitting on all cylinders. As racist as this country and city are it is not your father’s racism and Norwood’s team understands it can’t win the mayor’s office yelling nigger. The operative phrases are crime, accountability and public safety. That’s nigger, 2009 style.

  • Crime is out of control = Black field negros are out of control. Of course with the implication that she will, finally, do some controlling.
  • City Hall is run poorly = Black politicians are corrupt. Duh. Of course they are. And who do they work for? The white men that graduated Emory with Norwood.
  • Everyone should be able to feel safe = White folks and house negros, it’s okay for you to come back into the city. Things are in good hands. Again. Kathryn Johnston types fiend for yourselves.

To be sure, all of the major candidates for mayor of Atlanta are business lackeys. And I don’t advocate for any of them but I do understand the particular threat posed by Mary Norwood, 1) she will give new confidence to white racism and white supremacy and 2) the increased difficulty field negros will have in protecting our civil liberties under a white mayor that does point 1.

Even Atlanta’s white progressives (whatever that means to them) are showing their true colors. The very first time a white mayor is viable in four decades, they are getting behind that campaign. Which doesn’t do much besides illustrate clearly to others what we already knew. When it comes down to it a white that calls himself liberal isn’t much different than a white that calls himself conservative. When it really comes down to it. He or she might not call me a nigger even behind closed doors but she’ll vote with the people who do.

If things keep moving in the direction we’re told they’re moving in (Norwood is supposedly the frontrunner) Black ATL will get to understand this truism up close and personal. And whites will get to turn the ATL back into Atlanta.

Does Mary Norwood Care About Black People?

Posted in Atlanta Politics with tags , , , , on October 14, 2009 by marcg

MARTA, Atlanta’s public transportation system providing about 400,000 rider a day is in the deepest financial crisis in its 40 year history. On Saturday August 15, 2009 service cuts went into effect reflecting MARTA’s deepening fiscal crisis and on Thursday October 1, 2009 a fare increase went into effect. The service cuts and fare increase have affected hundreds of thousands of Atlantans but if you were watching the mayoral debate that aired yesterday, October 13, 2009 you would not have known it.

Do you know how much MARTA costs? I know how much it costs. I live in Atlanta and use the service everyday. Let’s assume you, like me, know how much a bus ride costs in Atlanta. Mary Norwood does not know how much a MARTA bus fare costs.

Doesn't ride MARTA or read about it apparently

Doesn't ride MARTA or read about it apparently

There is a difference between me and you and Mary Norwood not knowing this bit of information. A big one. There is an election coming up soon here in Atlanta. In 20 days, in fact. And according to polls, if that election were today, of us three, the one of us that doesn’t know how much it costs for transit-dependent Atlantans to catch a bus would be the mayor of Atlanta. MARTA stands for Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. It also known as ‘moving Africans rapidly through Atlanta’ due to the highly skewed racial demographic of the ridership.

What is going on inside Mary Norwood’s campaign for mayor? What is going on inside Mary Norwood’s head? How is it possible that mayoral candidate could be ignorant about such an important piece of policy at such a critical time for MARTA and for its cash-strapped, mostly Black ridership?

I view this foot in mouth incident as a sneak-peek into what a Norwood administration might be like for people like myself who rely on something like MARTA. She doesn’t care and doesn’t seem to see it as a problem not caring. Every other candidate attempted to answer the question of the cost of a MARTA fare. Norwood simply said she didn’t know, making it appear that she doesn’t even care that she doesn’t know. It also appears that she and/or her campaign don’t think it matters much that she doesn’t know. All of these things are worrisome to me and they should be worrisome for Norwood. That they don’t seem to be is even more worrisome for me.

Many people have expressed concern about this majority Black city, with its sordid history and present-day white racism problems, having a white mayor. This clear and present expression of either dullness, disdain or disinterest does nothing to allay the concern and much to validate it. Shame on you, Mary.

Atlantans Standing Together?

Posted in Atlanta Politics with tags , on May 1, 2009 by marcg

interracial_handsATAC, Atlantans Together Against Crime is as founder Kyle Keyser says, ‘becoming a force to be reckoned with’. The group is holding rallys according to WSBtv, in neighborhoods around Atlanta to protest violent crime in the city. The group is receiving fabulous press. I have not yet read or heard a negative word (or negative framing) about them from big tv or print media. This is odd considering the press tends to disparage or at least present in a disparaging frame grassroots, people-oriented action unless it is conservative (the tea parties). I will be going to the next ATAC rally to see for myself what is going on and by whom.

Paul Howard ‘Frustrated’ Georgia Jury Won’t Kill

Posted in Atlanta Politics, death penalty, Racism with tags , , , , , , on December 14, 2008 by marcg

The 2005 Brian Nichols courthouse murders were a national story.  After refusing a guilty plea in exchange for life in prison, Fulton County prosecutor Paul Howard is angry at a few Georgians on the trial jury that refused to agree to murder Nichols.  Howard plans to use this case as a springboard from which to create legislation that allows for a death penalty without a unanimous jury.

Howard wants Georgia to be allowed to kill with only ten jurors agreeing instead of twelve.  Reducing the number of jurors needed to get the death penalty will, of course, only be the first step.  Then it will be nine jurors.  Then it will be pushed for the judge to have the power to overrule the jury and deal out unilateral death sentences.

If you only read the Atlanta Journal-Constitution you would think that this is maybe 1948, not 2008.  The statistics are clear.  Sentencing of the death penalty is racist.   Everyone knows it.  Paul Howard is not concerned with this.  Actually, he isn’t concerned with the death penalty at all, really.  He is concerned with advancing his political career.  And he knows that in the state of Georgia advancing the cause of easier death sentences for Black is his magic ticket to any political ball he might choose to attend.

The AJC write-up about the Nichols sentencing attempts to paint the ‘holdout’ jurors as intransigent liberals, describing one juror as having spent the deliberation process doing crossword puzzles.  In all my years of reading the AJC I have never heard a juror desiring the death penalty be derided as having made up his/her mind before jury selection.  The bias favoring death penalty decisions of the writer, editor and the entire paper could hardly be more obvious.  Perhaps if they did away with the article altogether and simply wrote in 30 font, KILL MORE BLACK MEN, might they get their point across more clearly.  Maybe.

If the Black community doesn’t bring balance to the Paul Howard-ruling class-fascist perspective don’t expect it at all.  And certainly don’t bother looking for it in the pages of the AJC.

Update: Again today the AJC continues to obsess over the jurors in the Nichols case that decided on life without parole instead of murder.  Perhaps this is pre-legislative session public buildup to increase chances of changing execution law next month in the Ga General Assembly.  Or it could just be the usual rallying the racist rabble type stuff that the AJC does everyday.

City of Atlanta Budget Shortfall; Undercover Cops Busting the Homeless?

Posted in Atlanta Politics on August 22, 2008 by marcg

The AJC brags that Atlanta’s Finest have busted 40 ‘aggressive’ panhandlers in less than 3 weeks in the city’s main tourist district, the Peachtree corridor.  Great job guys.  This is the really good kind of work I expect to see from the protectors of the City Too Busy To Hate.  Even better, the Atlanta Police Department is using undercover cops to do this work.  In effect using stings to bust homeless people.  This is so that when the cops lie in court, the lie sticks.  As opposed to the situations when they receive complaints and then have to deliver 2nd hand lies in order to prosecute.  Locking up the homeless for a week just isn’t cutting it.  We need to put these people away like we mean it.  An interesting expenditure of resources for a city facing a $140 million budget shortall.

No More Black Atlanta Mayors

Posted in Atlanta Politics with tags , , on August 13, 2008 by marcg

It is beginning to look as if Atlanta is seeing currently the last Black mayor for some time.  Councilwoman Borders has released the typical BS statement to the media in which she impresses upon us, her love and dedication to family, who of course need her at this crucial moment, family before politics-you know the drill.

Who knows what is really happenening here.  Borders comes from working as an executive for Atlanta’s Cousins Properties, one of if not the most influential property management/land developer in the entire city.   Also a city councilwoman, she goes from being the frontrunner to secede Shirley Franklin as mayor to the sidelines.  It’ll prolly be 3 months until we learn who the Atlanta ruling class’ candidate actually is now.  Until then, prepare yourself to endure a series of stories tellng how Borders ‘departure’  has ‘opened up the field‘ in the mayoral race (I love how the put quotes around any phrase that even might not be characterized as Kings English, hehe).  Who actually thinks the rich fucks would leave an election of this magnitude up to the voters???  Don’t answer that.  Anywayz, it’ll be interesting to see this play out over the next year.  Actually it won’t be but that’s what we’re supposed to say.

The era of Black mayoral politics may be coming to a close.   Or it may be that the city is going to sink lower than previously thought and it needs to therefore be run by a lower ranking Black figure than Borders.  Everyone knows the longstanding trend of city’s being handed off to Black politicos when they are in the dumps.   Franklin and Atlanta was an exception to this national if not global axiom.

Does it even matter if the mayor of Atlanta is Black?  I think it does but perhaps not in the way one might think.  On the one hand, a Black mayor can be more responsive to Black concerns than a white mayor can.  And I say this with the assumption that we all understand that it is a white power bloc of corporate investment behind the scenes that actually control the political scene in Atlanta or any major city.   That said, a Black mayor can be more often be excused or allowed by white power to be more responsive to Black criticisms (when they rarely surface).  That is one thing.  But this rarely happens in any serious way so its largely a moot point.  More significant is the way in which a Black face in a high place, as the saying goes, takes the steam out of Black grassroots politics.  Traditionally, the old guard of Black activism have been slow to go on the offensive against Black elected officials and this is a particular concern in Atlanta when it comes to Black mayors.  And comparing the Campbell term with the Franklin term it appears that Black women are more innoculated than Black men from criticism emanating from Black Atlanta.  So in this regard, the end of Black mayors may mean the beginning of a renewed era of Black protest in Atlanta, which would be a very good thing but can’t be taken for granted with the absence of color in the mayor’s office.  Time, and activity, will tell.