Rebuilt and recast as “The City to Busy to Hate,” Atlanta is home to Fortune 500 company headquarters; professional sports teams; the memory the 1996 Olympics and The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
Black people have long looked at Atlanta as the Black Mecca in America, a city that has for many years had a Black run government that catered to Black peoples every need. But that image is changing quickly:
“Metro Atlanta is in the grips of yet another wave of street violence with victims as famous as former boxing champion Vernon Forrest and incidents as shocking as a failed car jacking of a father and his child stopped by the youngster’s screams as the cowards tried to drag him from his car seat. For over 20 years friends have told me to “steal away” down the highway to Atlanta, where Black folks can get better jobs and treatment as opposed to Savannah.
"While it’s true that aggressive leadership and common ground thinking has made ATL a top pick for strivers of all colors, it’s crime rate is causing me to wonder if it’s time to rethink it’s rep as a “mecca” for Black people.
"Street crime and its sub-culture is the bane of majority Black population centers.”
The author of the above piece would lead you to believe that the massive crime wave hitting Atlanta like a tsunami is the fault of anyone but the progressive Black people she hopes can keep the city a Black Mecca. In the real world, the crime wave has been one of Black people’s major contributions to Atlanta, as they have gone after Georgia Tech students in record numbers and also each other.
“The campaign for mayor of this city, which has long promoted its racial tolerance, veered into controversy Thursday with the release of a memo urging black voters to unite around an African-American candidate and block the election of a white mayor.
A local group known as the Black Leadership Forum called for African-Americans to consolidate their support around Lisa Borders, president of the Atlanta City Council and one of several African-American candidates, according to a memo circulated on the Web and to local media.”
“On Oct. 16, 1973, Mr. (Maynard) Jackson handily won the runoff with 59 percent of the vote, becoming the first black mayor of a major city in the South, the same year that Tom Bradley and Coleman Young won the mayoralties of Los Angeles and Detroit respectively.
Mr. Jackson had campaigned against police brutality and for equity in hiring practices, and his first two terms revolved around themes of crime and racial preferences.
“Mr. Jackson's greatest legacy was in affirmative action programs that set the standard for American cities, especially those with black majorities, though his advocacy for those programs also helped set a tone of confrontationalism with the white business establishment that left scars on both sides.”
Black people have not relinquished the title of Mayor of Atlanta since this historic election and Black people are working to ensure that this doesn’t happen in 2010, even though the city they have presided over for 36 years is beginning to crumble:
“…But in a press conference Tuesday, the authors of the memo said that, politically speaking, Atlanta’s blacks would be well served by uniting behind one black candidate to defeat white frontrunner, Mary Norwood. They added that the uproar over the memo highlights how race discussions “put politicians in a straitjacket,” and how the realities of the Atlanta mayoral election are similar to changing demographics and election dynamics in cities all across the US.
The authors – Clark Atlanta University political science professors Keith Jennings and William Boone – say that electing a white mayor in Atlanta would be as historic as the 1973 election of Maynard Jackson, the city’s first black mayor. The election became a mile marker in the South’s civil rights struggle.
In that light, they say, the need for blacks to band together today to elect a black mayor – or at least someone highly sympathetic to black issues – are equally important in order to forward a “black agenda.”
Atlanta is a city rapidly undergoing gentrification, as white people are moving into the city in droves and Black people are losing their long defended clout as the titans of the city and with that perk, they maintain the keys to the cities lucrative government contracts, which are given to minority owned businesses (fellow Black people):
”But although gentrification has expanded the city's tax base and weeded out blight, it has had an unintended effect on Atlanta, long a lure to African-Americans and a symbol of black success. For the first time since the 1920's, the black share of the city's population is declining and the white percentage is on the rise.
Some, like Mayor Shirley Franklin, who is serving her second and final term, play down the significance of the change, saying that the city — now 54 percent black — will remain progressive and that voters here do not strictly adhere to racial lines. Others warn of the dilution, if not the demise, of black power.”
Black people in power are beginning to worry that their vice on Atlanta and Fulton County politics is slipping quickly and it is for the reason that Black people are frantically trying to band together in not only criminal behavior on the streets, but also at the ballot box, for the prospects of a white woman – Mary Norwood – winning the mayor’s seat is a great horror:
“Atlanta long has been seen by many African-Americans as one of the best places for blacks to succeed, in part, because of the city’s leadership. Aaron Turpeau, who helped distribute the memo, said some African-Americans are worried about issues — such as blacks getting fewer city contracts — if a white candidate is elected.
“(We’ve) seen progress and a level of support (under black mayors),” Turpeau said. “(We) have enjoyed the leadership of the black administrations and we question change.”
Stuff Black People Don’t Like includes losing power in Atlanta, for it is the key to a powerful throne from which they have sat upon for nearly forty years. The fate of Bill Campbell, a former mayor, could be the fate of many of the cities elected and appointed officials if a white person were allowed to audit the books.
The Reality of Fulton County will be a later entry on SBPDL…