Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Georgia: GOP Banks on Your Bigotry

And I thought the GOP hated gays! Well, they sorta do, at least in public. In private, they'll hire us to do their dirty work. But that is not the point of this blog entry. During the last week, I have read articles that expose the naked underbelly of hate and fear the GOP is trying to spread across Georgia in an attempt to solidify their hold on power.

First came former Rep. Bob Irvin's screed for Buckhead to join Milton County. The impetus for this plea allegedly came from the GOTV call from Shirley Franklin, John Lewis, and Andy Young on behalf of successful Fulton County Chair John Eaves. That call claimed that if the GOP took over Fulton County's commission, the days of fire hoses and attack dogs would return, and civil rights progress would be undone. A lot of my friends felt the ad was fine, and it gave to the GOP as good as they ever give to us. That's a good point, but the ad made me uncomfortable. While I do think the GOP as a whole wouldn't mind undoing the work of Dr. King and the civil rights movement, I'm not convinced the specific candidates for the Fulton Commission were in that category. I also feel that as Democrats, we should be better than the GOP in all respects. We need to find ways to win without sinking to their level. Perhaps that's not possible.

What I did not interpret that add to be saying was that white people are bad. The GOP claims that talking about "Republicans" is code for white folk. So much for their "diversity" plan, huh? Last time I checked in the mirror, I was a white guy AND a staunch Democrat. A good number of my friends in the Young Democrat community are also white and in many respects, more liberal than I am! So no, "Republican" doesn't equate to white. Republican equates to REPUBLICAN, whatever your color or creed.

Anyway, ex-Rep. Irvin wants Atlanta city council areas to be eligible to join the proposed resurrection of Milton County. After all, the whole purpose of resurrecting Milton County is to stop rich white people in Alpharetta from having their tax dollars potentially go toward services for people whose skin is darker than theirs. That's why the cities of Johns Creek and Milton have been formed. That's why the GOP will propose a constitutional amendment in 2007 to resurrect Milton County, thereby cutting of 46% of the value of the land of Fulton County from the rest of the county that is south of the Chattahoochee. All for the sake of their perception that their tax dollars should only go to "deserving" white people.

The whole reason Irvin wants the city council districts to vote is to get Buckhead to join Milton, in a first move that he admittedly hopes will lead to a "city of Buckhead". Well, shoot, Midtown seems to be whitening up too, Bobby, so why not annex Midtown too? Segregration worked SO WELL the first time we tried it, right? Why not give it a second go?

Don't be fooled. This whole citihood push for North Fulton and Dunwoody and the resurrection of Milton County is all about segregration. It's all about walling yourself off from people who don't look like you or make the money you do. And it's disgraceful. Yet I fear all this separation will come to pass, which will throw Fulton into a tailspin since no services will be affordable anymore. Will it fall to the cities? Won't that drive taxes way up? Of course it will, but the GOP doesn't care. They view this as hurting mostly poor people who are brown. "Those people" won't vote GOP, so what does it matter?

The next article was about Rep. Timothy Bearden of Villa Rica who is pushing a bill that would prohibit all Georgia cities and counties from issuing documents and forms in any language other than English. Bearden ckaims, "They refuse to learn the language, they refuse to assimilate. And that's a very dangerous problem."

Ohhhhhh, it's the ominous "they"! They are here to rape your children, steal your women, and force you to speak a strange tongue! They are here to burn Christians at the stake! They, They, THEY! How scary "they" are! We must stop "them" before "they" destroy us!

Bearden, he of "let's vote back in the Rebel flag" fame, also claims that English is the thread that unites us. Perhaps it is, perhaps it is not. It's telling though that the idea of the week from www.georgiaspeaks.com, the GOP idea board, was: "Public schools should be limited to kids who speak English as their first language and whose parents speak English as their first language." That was Dec. 5's "creative conservative idea of the week".

Immigration is a tough problem, and the system should be overhauled, but it can only be overhauled by the national government. Mean-spirited notions like the ones Bearden supports will get us no where. It also sends a message loud and clear to Hispanics, both legal and illegal, that they are NOT wanted here by the GOP. They are NOT welcome here by the GOP, and they will NEVER be "real" Americans in the GOP's eyes.

The question that I have is: will Georgians buy this? Will they allow themselves to be manipulated and fear-mongered into slapping around people who have never done anything to them? I used to have faith that the answer would be "no", but the gay marriage amendment's passage with 76% of the vote in 2004 changed that for me. The GOP was listening then, and that's why they are doing these things now. At what point will it stop?

Will Georgia once again live up to its motto of Truth, Justice, and Moderation?

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