Black people are correct to call Atlanta the Black capital of America. Where else could a memo be leaked that called for Black people to unite together to keep a white women from becoming mayor of their city?
Some call Detroit the Black capital of America, a city which offers a glimpse into the strength and vitality of Black entrepreneurship and leadership, and acts as a microcosm for what the future holds for all major cities that lose any sense of racial diversity and become completely Black.
Atlanta. The home of Freaknic, Clayton County, Dekalb County (don't worry, this entry is coming), Georgia Tech students, near empty high-rise condo buildings and the largest concentration of homosexuals in the world is the true capital of Black America.
Though Atlanta is becoming increasingly white, the Black population of the city still sports a slight edge in maintaining racial hegemony and recently showcased that power in Piedmont Park during a showing of Transformers 2 at the recently returning 'Screen on the Green':
Mayor Kasim Reed said police and parks officials will conduct a comprehensive review of security protocols in wake of the melee that interrupted Thursday night's "Screen on the Green" at Piedmont Park.Last September, the Black Gay Pride Parade at Piedmont Park unfortunately descended into chaos. Reports of chicken being behind that event disintegrating into violence are unsubstantiated.
Reed vowed the city will take "extraordinary steps to make sure that the security strategy for this event is adequate and fully-enforced."
In the meantime sponsors of the long-running summer film series have decided to postpone next Thursday's feature by one week, Peachtree TV said in a statement released Friday afternoon.
Sponsors Peachtree TV, City of Atlanta and the Piedmont Park Conservancy are "committed to continuing this summer tradition in the city's landmark park, and are working together to ensure that it remains a safe and fun family event," the statement said.
It was anything but that Thursday night, according to witnesses who said groups of marauding teens took over the event.
At a late-morning press conference, interim Police Chief George Turner said that the city requires that all special event organizers have a security plan in place that specifies the number of "personnel required for the event based on the information that is supplied in the application."
"While the Atlanta Police Department works in partnership with the event organizers and the Mayor’s Office of Special Events, the security personnel are responsible for ensuring the city-approved plan is followed," Turner said.
But, he said that in the future on-duty Atlanta officers will monitor the event.
That might be counter-productive, concert promoter Alex Cooley told the AJC.
"Nothing against the police, but when you have a uniform navigating through a crowd of people that can cause problems," said Cooley, who promoted the Midtown Music Festival.
Cooley, who's promoted events and concerts at home and abroad, said Atlanta's security policy is routine.
"I've been doing large-scale events for 35 years and that's how it's always been," he said. Typically the promoter will contract with a private security force that provides "T-shirt security," Cooley said. "They marshal a force and try to diffuse the situation. If that doesn't work, they go to the off-duty cops who are usually stationed around the perimeter of the grounds.
"Maybe I've been lucky, but I've never experienced any major problems with security."
But some witnesses at Thursday's screening of "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" said security was inadequate.
Ron Sweatland wrote the AJC in an early morning e-mail Friday that about 15 minutes into the movie, "everyone's attention was diverted to the back end of the event where a group fight was taking place.
"There seemed to be no police presence and after about 10 minutes of this brawl it broke up with a group of people running into the dark," Sweatland wrote.
Turner said approximately 10,000 people were in the park, with 23 off-duty officers providing security.
After the fracas – Turner said it started with girls fighting, followed by a group of boys scuffling – the movie was stopped and off-duty officers “dumped” the park.
“Then we got a call from off-duty and we responded with the blue lights,” Turner said, adding that one person has been arrested for an unrelated incident. The chief said there was no evidence of gunfire at the event, as some had reported.
Police continue to look for suspects. An incident report was not available when requested Friday afternoon from Atlanta Police.
Turner said the movie drew a larger crowd than anticipated.
“They had a young – if you will – movie,” Turner said. “And they had more people than they anticipated. It was a lot younger crowd.”
One movie-goer said free chicken sandwiches may had contributed to the brawl.
"It was an absolute mob scene, from the Chick-fil-A girls getting mobbed trying to hand out free sandwiches to the complete lack of respect for the people watching the movie," said Marc Freund.
"After enduring the first 30 minutes of the movie with people walking around and screaming, we decided to leave," Freund told the AJC.
Midtown resident Jeff Keesee said there were "gangs of kids roaming the aisles, doing stunts to get crowd reactions. People just standing around talking, yelling -- disrespect, rudeness, unruliness -- a total disaster."
Sweatland wrote that as his group headed to their cars, he saw a group of "high school-aged kids" throwing rocks at passing vehicles. One of the rocks "completely shattered the back window" of one of the cars, he said.
He said many of the children in the crowd were "scared and crying."
"I can remember a time when Screen on the Green was great family fun and we always looked forward to going," he wrote. "I think this will be our last time going and our friends agree that they will no longer go either."
"Up until the drought, I never missed a Screen on the Green in Piedmont Park," Keesee told the AJC. "I was so excited it was allowed back in. After tonight's debacle, I will work tirelessly to have it shut down unless something is done to improve crowd control."
Keesee said he didn't see a single police officer as the situation got "completely out of control."
Josh Hice, 26, of Newnan, was driving by Piedmont Park Thursday night with a friend when he said he was attacked by a group of high school-age people.
"There was a car stopped in front of me and a car stopped behind me, and there was this crowd of about 30 high school kids parading down the street," said Hice, who was driving an open-top Jeep.
First, a girl came up and spat in his face, Hice said, then he was punched in the face by another teen.
"It split my lip, then they start climbing all over my Jeep, and I turn around and my buddy is getting punched in the face and has blood pouring out of his nose," Hice said. "It was ridiculous. We were definitely victims of a hate crime."
Traffic ahead of Hice finally moved "and I just peeled out of there. I peeled out even with one of the dudes still hanging on the back of the Jeep, and he just jumped off."
"I felt like I was in another country," Hice said.
It is a well known fact that Black people are incapable of being quiet during movies. Now, imagine an outdoor festival where Transformers 2 (a movie that Black people found offensive for having two stereotypical Black robot characters) is playing in the unofficial Black capital of America. What happened in early June 2010 is sadly what transpires routinely at events staged across the nation when Black people gather in large numbers, as scores of Black people engaged in behavior that brought ruination and disrepute to the 'Screen on the Green' reputation:
The June 10 Screen on the Green showing of "Dreamgirls" has been postponed due to last night's melee. The series will resume with "Dreamgirls" on June 17, according to Peachtree TV.Worse, another pattern is becoming painfully discernible, for once again a form of cooked poultry serves to create disadvantageous situations for Black people and anyone unfortunate enough to be near a ruinously diminutive supply of fowl.
"The Piedmont Park Conservancy, Peachtree TV, the City of Atlanta and other sponsors are committed to continuing this summer tradition in the city's landmark park, and are working together to ensure that it remains a safe and fun family event," according to a statement on Peachtree TV's website.
The popular Screen on the Green series at Piedmont Park ended abruptly last after several fights broke out and there were unconfirmed reports of gunfire.
Just like Tulsa's Chicken Hut and when Popeyes ran out of its prized offering, chicken contributed to the breakup of the peaceful viewing of the film in Atlanta.
Perhaps this is why block parties in the Black community have a habit of breaking out into violence: the supply of chicken is finite.
Stuff Black People Don't Like will include peaceful 'Screen on the Green' events, as Black people lack the ability to endure such an activity when a movie is showing with the simultaneous nuisance of free chicken sandwiches running out.
Black people don't like being quiet during movies and Black people don't enjoy shortsighted suppliers of chicken, especially when this delicacy is free.
You can bet no one shushed a Black person at this 'Screen on the Green'.
'Screen on the Green' video can be found here, showing a most unfortunate fight victim. Another story of the event can be found here.
UPDATE: SBPDL has learned that Chick-fil-A engineered a Flash Mob to promote the company's new chicken sandwich at the June 3rd 'Screen on the Green' event. A video of that is below, which helps those not from Atlanta understand the racial dynamics of the Piedmont Park event.