Greetings from the fourth congressional district in Georgia! You know where we are. We are represented by a Buddhist who worries that Guam will fall into the ocean, who saw in his mind’s eye “folks putting on white hoods . . . riding the countryside” because another Congressman (correctly) accused the President of lying, and who believes that guns serve their purpose on firing ranges, “designated hunting areas,” and locked away in safes at home, as he wrote recently in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The paper also gave him a forum last September to explain his remarks about the resurgence of the KKK: apparently, Joe Wilson’s remark during President Obama’s healthcare speech represented part of the “alarming increase in extremism, hate speech, threatening behavior and outright racism that has accompanied the decline of reason and civility that tainted [last] summer’s debate.” (Gee, was he thinking about the SEIU thugs?) So my congressman believes that Congress should pass a law to trump Georgia’s new gun law, that law-abiding citizens should be forced to remove their guns from their cars when they drive to the airport to pick up a passenger. And that gagging Joe Wilson with a “resolution” will keep crazed tea-partiers from going into the streets with their flags and signs and starting a race riot.
Currently, there are four Republicans and two other Democrats besides Johnson running for this seat. Johnson seems to be doing little except sending out newsletters bragging about all the stimulus jobs and “job fairs” he is bringing to the residents along Cynthia McKinney Parkway. (Yes, I have to be reminded regularly of our former police-slugging, Hamas-loving representative.)
During this busy political season, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has set up a “Truth-O-Meter” to sort through claims, counter-claims, rumor, innuendo, rhetoric, opinion mongering, gossip, and general babble. They promise to help the masses sort through the “issues.”
Here in Atlanta folks are particularly sensitive on the issue of race. The commentators dance like little old ladies holding out lace hankies in a minuet when it comes to delicate things like “reverse racism.” Like a committee called the Black Leadership Forum strategizing on making sure that the next mayor is not of the white persuasion. AJC “Political Insider” columnist Jim Galloway during the election season of 2009 dutifully passed on key politico Aaron Turpeau’s explanation that a convicting memo, circulating for so long that it could no longer be ignored, “was an attempt to form an agenda for Atlanta’s black community”—just like everybody who has an agenda, like “gays” and “Hispanics.” That agenda includes “’economic equality, access to City Hall and respect for those displaced by development,’” according to Turpeau.
But part of being a good white liberal is never accusing a nonwhite person of racism.
So it’s not surprising that when it comes to charges of racism the new handy-dandy “Truth-O-Meter” flashes red and keens in high pitch only when it comes near a white person.
Using this device, reporter Eric Stirgus began his June 10 article, “In the complex world of Atlanta-area racial politics, this one was particularly bizarre and begged to be checked out by the PolitiFact Georgia team.”
“This one” was Republican candidate Liz Carter’s claim that she was excluded from a June 2 candidate forum because of her race.
Carter told Sturgis, “’[Moderator Maynard Eaton] told me I could not participate. He said it was a black candidate forum.’”
This is also what she essentially said to the regular 8:00 a.m. meeting at the Fourth Congressional District’s Republican Party headquarters on Saturday, June 5. She was upset because she did not get an invitation.
Well, the fact that only black candidates (including Republican Cory Ruth) were at the June 2nd forum and that the program Newsmakers Live addresses overwhelmingly black audiences (and lacks “diversity” among the faces on its website, except for Liz Carter’s ad) had nothing to do with racism, according to Sturgis. Nor did Sturgis mention that DeKalb County (a good part of the Fourth District) was found guilty of racial discrimination under the leadership of Vernon Jones , Democrat candidate and forum participant. He personally was found guilty of “creat[ing] and maintain[ing] a hostile work environment” for white employees.
“PolitiFact Georgia team” member Stirgus posited, “So was Carter the victim of discrimination? Or is she a shrewd politician with an instinct for publicity?”
We ask. That’s how you decide.
Newsmakers (and Politifact) apparently didn’t get the news flash that the qualifying deadline was April 30.
In the meantime, in the real world, at the Saturday morning public meeting Liz Carter proudly announced that she had received the endorsement of the Morehouse College Republicans. Cory Ruth announced that he had received the endorsement of state senator Dan Weber (who is white).
Both of these fine candidates know the real “issues.” And the folks—of all races—getting up early on Saturdays have an “agenda” too: the economy, terrorism, education, freedom, crime. It is for the last item that they would keep guns in their cars, nightstands, and holsters. They know that the threat coming from grannies putting white hoods over their red, white, and blue sweaters and tea bag-festooned hats is about as likely as Guam falling into the ocean.