So I’m reading Bol’s blog post “Atlanta a City on the DL” and I was amused. I like dudes’ writing actually and I love that he gets a lot of comments on his posts. However, most people who commented on this particular post were talking about how gay Lennox Mall has become -blah blah blah!
It’s funny to me that a city that should be heralded as the blueprint to build other chocolate cities has been reduced to a gay joke.
Well the jokes on us because as we sit and argue whose plantation is the best we are all about to take a big political diznick up the back door! Yeah I said it!
Next week for the first time in my life I may be faced with living in an Atlanta with no black mayor and I, in my heart of hearts, feel that if my city falls under white Republican leadership after this upcoming election, it will set Atlanta’s black businesses and opportunity back 36 years.
The socialites, black Hollywood, fashion-oriented mind state that the city’s new occupants have is a real problem for Atlanta. More people know who Lisa Wu Hartwell is than Lisa Borders and that’s a piss poor shame.
The backbone of Atlanta’s success in being the Mecca of black business and gateway to the south has been the strong African American politicians, educators, business leaders and an active political voter base. Even prior to the 70s blacks were active on these fronts. Since Maynard Jackson won the 1973 mayors race and awarded 23 percent of city contracts to black business we have enjoyed a much different reality than the rest of America’s chocolate cities. We, like plenty of other chocolate cities, have had our share of corruption and all the other controversies but for the most part our city has thrived. Black politicians work with the white corporate business community for the betterment of both communities. Blacks get city contracts, and build multi-million dollar corporations (see Herman Russell construction). Coke, Delta and John Wieland homes keep their head quarters in the city and provide jobs. Because the tax base is strong and the politicians have built a symbiotic relationship with the right white money we have been able to keep all our sports teams in the city. That keeps tax dollars in the hood so if (Michael) Vick goes that’s cool but if the Dome goes to the burbs that’s a problem.
Atlanta’s young and black take this freedom for granted. Those who recently moved here have no historical view of the importance of having a black political agenda that benefits us, so voting does not hold an important place in their personal agenda. We all have become spoiled and taken this city for granted. We assume it will ways be cool, the clubs will always be open and that music and fashion will take us to freedom. They will not.
If we lose Atlanta we lose the chocolate city that works. We lose what we think we got in Barack Obama- black leadership that works above and beyond the political nonsense that has crippled great potential leaders like Kwame Kilpatrick.
The two leading black candidates are Kasim Reed (former state rep. endorsed by Andy Young) and Lisa Borders (city council president endorsed by the Black Leadership Forum). Both are young, have vision, understand Atlanta’s legacy and would make powerful Mayors. However they run the risk of splitting the vote and handing the office to Ms. Norwood.
Since there will probably be a run-off election because there is no clear majority leader in votes we will have to vote again in December, it is a paramount importance that the person with less votes, bows out and supports the person who got more.
Atlanta natives and new comers please get off the bullshit! This wonderful chocolate city has the potential to make 30 more years of black millionaires, educators and strong political leaders. Let’s not squander that with who’s-fugging-who-talk, who-shops-where-talk or Gucci and O.J.-bashing. We know better, so we gotta show’em better. VOTE! See ya’ll at the polls. -It’s Bigga!
P.S. I know some will scream racism but I don’t care. I voted for Barack because I have lived under black leadership my entire life and I know that we are as good and bad as any other race in politics. I however know how delicate the racial dynamic is in the city of Atlanta and I know what it takes to maintain that fragile balance so I offer no apologizes. Deal with it. In the word of a prominent Black Atlanta Business Man Big Al “Boy If I died today God know by living in Atlanta I have already experienced a black heaven!” Amen.