Archive for norwood

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.

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