came out back in late 2012. In harrowing details, it documents the collapse of metro Atlanta: white people flee the black undertow of Atlanta and build prosperous, safe suburbs, only to have blacks follow and overwhelm the once safe streets, thriving business sector with the same environment they uniquely created in the city too busy to hate.
The first time Tammy Garnes visited a school in Cobb County, 10 years ago, she left in a hurry. It was just too white.
“I want to surround my children with black people,” said the film producer, who was sitting at a table in Marietta’s Double Take Cafe with a friend.
But when the Garnes family made a second visit to Marietta two years ago, Tammy found a different world: A diverse school, several fellow black California expatriates, a sophisticated town and a true gumbo of cultures. Since then she’s enjoyed Guatemalan cuisine, made Hindu friends and sent her daughter to a friend’s Brazilian baptism.
“We didn’t think that was what Cobb County looked like,” said Garnes. “It is a true melting pot, and that is a beautiful thing to see, with everything happening in the world.”
Cobb County a melting pot?
In four years, this former white conservative bastion is expected to become “majority minority”; that is, minority residents will outnumber white residents.
The massive demographic shift is evident everywhere. Cobb schools offer a dual-language immersion program in which students are taught half the day in Spanish and half the day in English — to the dismay of some longtime residents. In Mableton, where African-Americans accounted for 4 percent of the population 40 years ago, a black man is the state senator.
And in 2016, Cobb County, once a symbol of conservatism, voted for Hillary Clinton for president.
With the transformation of Cobb as its backdrop, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today launches a new coverage initiative, RE: Race. The project will chronicle the vast racial and ethnic changes in Georgia and both the tensions and the opportunities they present.
Cobb is the last core metro county in which more than 50 percent of residents are white. The opportunities, and the tensions, abound.
Cobb a welcome change from L.A.?
The transition has been smoother for other Cobb residents.
Tammy Garnes, 45, and her husband, Paul, arrived in Atlanta on the cresting wave of Georgia’s film industry. They lived in Grant Park and then southwest Atlanta before moving to Marietta.
During their time here Paul Garnes has produced three feature films, including the Academy Award-winning “Selma,” and more than 200 television episodes. Tammy Garnes produced the introductory movie that plays at the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington.
The filmmakers are also part of another wave. In 1990, one in 10 people in Cobb County was black. Now, it’s more than one in four. And in 10 years, it will be close to one in three, according to projections from the Atlanta Regional Commission.Clayton County's racial transformation was even more sudden and complete (note this is where Chick-Fil-A's founders lived and the Cathy family still have roots), going from almost entirely white to less than 15 percent white in the span of 30 years.
When the county elected the first black sheriff in 2005, he promptly fired all white deputies and had them marched out with snipers on the roof. [Sheriff Deploys Snipers After Firing Dozens, Fox News, 1-4-2005]
Conservatism, a political ideology embraced by whites in Cobb County for decades, conserved nothing. In less than five years, whites will become a minority in a county they were 94 percent of in 1980.
There is nothing, repeat nothing, for white people in Georgia.
The ghosts of the Confederacy will not rise to defend you as they did in Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
You can't run from diversity, because no legal protections (restrictive covenants or freedom of association) exist to keep your community safe from the horrors of black dysfunction/crime you flee.
The curse of whiteness is the ability to create thriving communities out of the wilderness and be hated for this talent by all non-whites who, curiously, desire living among us so they enjoy the high quality of life we uniquely create.
As a candle inevitably burns out, once white people become a minority in a community they created, the standards of living invariably recede to that developed by the new majority race inheriting the lands they had no hand in developing.
Clayton County, Georgia is a reminder of this truth, tragically ignored.
Cobb County is next.
Conservatism has no future, and if white people embrace this failed, evil, suicidal political ideology, they'll have no future in the territory once known as the United States of America.