Atlanta Mayoral Election and Racism

Last week I wrote a blog entry on Mary Norwood.  It was mostly favorable, with some concerns.  Now? I don’t know.  I deleted that entry because I had too many questions about ‘why’ Mary Norwood was running.  I  believed her when she said “she loves Atlanta and Atlantans”.  Well, so do many people.  I wonder if Mary is driven by something else, though.   Always looking, anywhere…for a position, a job a seat. 

Plus, friends and a particular editor took me to task:  politics and politicians were a jarring  presence on this literature and poetry blog.  Mary didn’t belong here.  And I came to agree.  I had asked Mary for some info on her campaign to write this blog entry around.  3 days later she sent something but it was god-awful.  I wrote back and told her that this stuff….which made her sound like a Valkyre…was so damn artificial , just the usual (but more uber) political speak.  I wouldn’t use it.  There was a disconnect here that was blaring to me.  And others.  Mary wanted me to send her copy, but I told her to go to my blog and read.  Apparently she is too busy to do so.  Ok..I won’t spend any more energy on Mary Norwood since the silly woman can’t take the time to read a blog entry about HER.

Sad, but after 44 years in Atlanta, I am getting wise to the politics here and the politicians.  Black, white, male or female, they are all of a kind.

Lady Nyo, 9-11-13

I swore I wasn’t going to do this.  In fact, I wrote and later deleted some entries on the Atlanta Mayoral campaign. I also wrote about Mary Norwood, one of the candidates.

But!….This campaign has raised so many issues here in Atlanta.  And as an Atlantan….I will use my blog to express my opinions.  It’s a good way to work out some of the issues.

I’ll be plain here.  Atlanta is multi-cultural city of Black, White, Hispanic, Asian and other other cultures.  Unfortunately during this election we only have heard from Blacks and Whites, the two biggest demographics.  This pisses me off because it deletes the voting power and concern for this city we all share.

Atlanta has had a Black Mayor for the past 36 years. This was an historic event 36 years ago, the first Black Mayor (Maynard Jackson) ever for Atlanta.  However, what sprung up around him was….for lack of a better term….a Black Elite that funneled the issues of contracts and power into a class of their own.

This happens I would believe in any city.  However, corruption ensued and it has been 36 years of squandered opportunities, fiscal issues and unending embarrassment for the majority of Atlantans.

Eight years ago the last mayor, Bill Campbell went to prison, indicted for 12 counts by the feds.  He was an arrogant bastard and funneled contracts and money to his friends.  It was something that the feds took their own sweet time to do something definite.

For the past eight years we have had Shirley Franklin, part of the machine of Jackson…as have all the previous mayors been.  Now there is a question of a ‘missing’  $140 million dollars.  It’s amazing that in this day the accounting of money can get so screwed.

So here comes Mary Norwood.  She is a white City Council member of eight years standing.  She lives in a ‘good’ part of Atlanta called Buckhead.  She is running against Kasim Reed, a lawyer and a former Atlanta Senate member.

I’ll cut to the chase.  Mary Norwood has been attacked by the Black Elite and many of their supporters as a ‘old white bitch’, a “Buckhead Betty”, just about everything that can be said in a derogatory way…but the main attacks are on her race and her serving on the City Council for the past 8 years.

(Mary was the ‘go to girl’ when a community, mostly black, had a problem.  She was an ‘at large’ council member and was amazingly responsive.  I know, because I have known her for about 10 years.  Way before she decided to run for mayor.  She was who you contacted because your own council member was MIA or non responsive.  And she really served in the full spirit of a council member….not like those who napped or played games on their phones.  We got the video of all that!)

The opening salvo of this was a memo put out to Black Atlantans (yeah, leaked….) saying that “Atlanta would only be served by a Black Mayor, and that the African-American community needed to rally around a Black candidate.”

Now, I have a problem with this.  A big problem. The racism of this is obvious, and IF this was turned around and the plea was to Whites to ‘rally around a WHITE candidate because the interests of the White community would only be served by this’….well, you can see the racism there.

Seems to be two standards in Atlanta today.  And this isn’t right.

Supporters of Mary Norwood are being attacked racially on blogs, campaign signs have been taken by Reed supporters (and stacks of them have been found at Reed’s headquarters in the back of his staffer’s SUV) , and there is a climate of extremism and intimidation right now in Atlanta.

People have a right and a duty to vote for whomever they please.  But right now there is a nasty ‘mob-rule’ in this campaign.  The Reed camp has some issues that they are bucking: like an ethical cloud over Reed’s head as a lawyer (that is well documented here in Atlanta and I won’t go into it here.  You can google these issues if interested) and some other rather disturbing issues of personal conduct.

Reed is the continuation of the Black Elite.  Same old same old for the gravy train for a small minority of citizens.

Mary Norwood represents some radical change for Atlanta.  And this is a painful issue for many.  We have a city that is fraunt with crime, corruption, more crime and extreme infrastructure issues.  Incompetency in the City Hall and Water department. Property tax issues that have been raised 42% this year.  A Police Chief that was hired by the Franklin administration out of New Orleans…yeah right.  He’s MIA and has been for months.  He’s just waiting for January when he can skip town.

We need a radical rupture with the issues of business as usual in Atlanta.

This used to be promoted as “A City Too Busy For Hate”.

Wish that ever was so.

Lady Nyo

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2 Responses to “Atlanta Mayoral Election and Racism”

  1. Steve Says:

    As a neighbor and friend, we have deliberated on this mayoral campaign, probably excessively, and I come away with the realization that there will always be this wall of separation between the races and to think otherwise is tenuous at best. It is a power play here and it is intrinsically linked to race and not what is best for the city proper. Even though they are a majority, cleaning up streets and neighborhoods for the betterment of the city is not their goal as they know they have that vote anyhow. As you alluded to it — it is the betterment of the black elite. Maybe it will take another administration of corruption and nepotism to open more eyes. Hope it happens before it is too late.


  2. ladynyo Says:

    Agreed …mostly. I also think we are suffering fatigue from all this crap.

    Just talked with Mary Norwood’s volunteer coordinator. She believes that Shirley Franklin is behind much of the crap we are hearing out there. I think it comes from many sources.

    The only thing we can do is not pay it back in kind, take the high road and see what happens.

    I think it’s never too late in the total scheme of things…I know we disagree on this. Our family has made it’s home here for 40 years. We have wonderful black and white neighbors and friends ….and Mary Norwood is one of them. Just one of them.

    Regardless what happens after Dec. 1st. we will continue to gather in the good folks and welcome more into the neighborhood.

    Even though the tenor of what is happening now is so racial….and all from Reed’s camp, I think we will remember these lessons and build more positive ones for the near future. I’ve already told Mary regardless of the election outcome I’m taking her to Kaboobees for lunch.

    That girl deserves a big break. But she has run a good race and hasn’t fallen to the mob’s tactics.

    She has been grace under terrible fire.


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