Morning Reads Thursday, June 5th

Somewhere, a single perfectly formed tear is rolling down Micheal Stipe’s cheek.


Lesser Places

Morning Reads are an open thread. Tell us what you really think, assuming you are not Donald Sterling


    • bgsmallz says:

      Not lame…masterful.


      A, Always
      B, Be
      T, Trolling

      Always Be Trolling!

      You think a guy came to the morning reads because he wants to get out of the rain? He wouldn’t come on the page unless he wants to comment. He’s sitting out there waiting to give you his comment…and you want to take it.

      Always, Be, Trolling.

      • linuxfanatic says:

        Bollocks. Cobb is 26.2% black. That is less than the state, which is 31.2% black, but still more than twice the 12.5% national average. (And this speakings nothing of the Hispanic and Asian population.) The “white flight” Cobb of the 1970s, 1980s or even 1990s no longer exists. (These days, whites are actually fleeing Cobb, either for Forsyth and Cherokee or for downtown Atlanta.) Instead, many of the people fleeing Cobb are blacks (and Hispanics and Asians) looking for a public school system that actually works. Lots of educated, professional blacks (and Hispanics and Asians) are now in Cobb, Gwinnett and Henry because APS is so bad. Imagine what their presence, the homes that they would own and the businesses that they would start for example, would do for Atlanta.

        Folks need to stop living in the past and start fighting today’s battles.

        • Chet Martin says:

          Regardless of the current demographics of Cobb County (which is still melanin-deficient compared to the City of Atlanta), the concentration of wealth and suburban infrastructure north of the city is a byproduct of white migration OTP.

          Plus, if you can’t make fun of rich white folks, then all we’re left with is Alabama

          • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

            Mr. Martin, that is an excellent point that the concentration of wealth and suburban infrastructure north of Atlanta is a byproduct of white migration OTP.

            It is also true that Cobb County has a substantially lower percentage of people of color than the City of Atlanta.

            But the population of Cobb County is nowhere near as “melanin-deficient” as it may have been in past decades and years like in 1980 when Cobb County’s population was about 94% white. That’s because racial and ethnic minorities currently make up about 45% of Cobb County’s current population of about 717,000 people.

            The 45% of Cobb County’s population that is minority is almost completely identical to Georgia’s population in which minorities also make up about 45% of the population….Demographics which have both the state of Georgia and Cobb County poised to have populations where minorities will most likely become a majority of the population within the next decade or so.

            In terms of raw numbers, Cobb County actually has more racial and ethnic minorities than the City of Atlanta, with there being about 322,650 minority residents in Cobb County (45% of 717,000 = 322,650) compared to only 284,160 minority residents in the City of Atlanta (64% of 444,000 = 284,160).

            Granted, the Cobb County electorate most likely remains predominantly white for the time being.

          • saltycracker says:


            The news I read was the Braves were chasing their fan base (season ticket holders) and the public division most willing to cut a lucrative deal for them as Atlanta was about all in on the Falcons.

            Looks like the “joke” got the response you were looking for.
            And having lived in Alabama, they raz on Mississippi and they in turn raz on Cajuns, proving it flows downhill.

            • Will Durant says:

              I always heard the only good thing about Alabama was that it separated us from Mississippi. In Ohio they are West Virginia jokes, in California they are still Okie jokes, in New York City they are anywhere else in the county jokes including the rest of their own state.

              Statistically, (which has always been a big deal to the sport), baseball has fallen out of favor with urban African Americans who tend to support basketball and football to a higher degree. His Honor catered to the wishes of his constituency and didn’t show the Braves any love. The city did the Braves wrong by not adding a curve/spur/light line from the MARTA rail in lieu of profiting on parking. I’m just glad I don’t live in Cobb and unless they come up with something innovative for traffic I can’t see myself attending many weekday Braves games over there either. I’m just thankful I don’t live in Cobb and that Gwinnett’s folly was on the much cheaper AAA team.

              • saltycracker says:

                Agree with the spur line snafu. Maybe Chet was making a backdoor joke to pull the race card on Braves management for moving…….the discussion went there fast…..

        • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

          linuxfanatic, June 5, 2014 at 11:33 am-

          Those are some excellent points. Many (but most certainly not all) whites, particularly many long-time white Cobb residents who resided in the county when it was overwhelmingly predominantly white, are fleeing Cobb for further-outlying suburban and exurban counties that are still overwhelmingly predominantly white like Paulding, Cherokee, Pickens, Polk, Gilmer, etc….Just like many long-time white residents in Gwinnett (where minorities make up just under 60% of the county population) are fleeing that rapidly-urbanizing county for farther-outlying counties like Forsyth, Dawson, Hall, Barrow, Jackson, Walton and the Northeast Georgia mountain counties.

          Though it should be noted that not only are many blacks fleeing (or being pushed-out for gentrification) of the City of Atlanta, but many (if not most) blacks and minorities in general are moving directly from other states and countries into formerly outer-suburban counties for the high-quality of the schools….This is one of the main reasons why formerly predominantly white outer-suburban counties like Douglas, Cobb, Gwinnett, Rockdale, Newton and Henry counties either have become or stand on the very-verge of becoming ‘majority-minority’ counties where racial and ethnic minorities make up a majority of a county’s population.

  1. linuxfanatic says:

    With all due respect, you SHOULD resist linking to Ta-Nehisi Coates. You have millions of successful, educated blacks with moderate views capable of productively discussing such things as crime and illegitimacy on one hand and racism on the other. Conservatives tend to promote the likes of Clarence Thomas, Tom Sowell, Walter Williams etc. who focus on the former to the exclusion of the latter, and liberals have as their counterparts people like Coates, Touré Neblett, Melissa Harris-Perry etc. who focus entirely on the latter and insist that any discussion of the former is a manifestation of the latter. The only consequence of this is to make absolutely sure that no real dialogue or progress is ever made.

    Which is the way that both sides want it. Liberals do not want actual progress, because such progress would occur in our current system and the true goal of liberals is European social democracy at minimum. (Which is why you almost never hear anything about the racism and other troubles that blacks and other minorities experience in social democracies, even though they certainly do exist.) If real progress can be made in our current system, that would undermine the ability to use the race issue as a primary motivator to adopt socialism. The current line of thought in liberal circles is that capitalism is the true cause of racism – that racism and capitalism are synonymous – and that socialism (in whatever form it takes, from European social democracy to actual communism) would solve most forms of racism.

    Conservatives for their part … well a huge part of their base is A) former segregationists and B) low to middle income whites. So, “fixing the problem” for them is not in their interests, because such fixing would result in blacks moving to middle and upper classes and gaining political power, and doing so in places other than the urban areas that they avoid and despise (see the ITP/OTP divide). So they would prefer convincing blacks to be comfortable where they are. Consider the comments made by the Duck Dynasty guy Willie Robertson about how blacks were “more Godly” before the civil rights movement and weren’t troubled with such aspirations as the opportunity to go to college and better themselves as he did until the outside agitators came along. So when these folks say that the black communities need different leaders, they really mean that they want black leaders to advocate the neo-segregationist message that they want to but can’t.

    The GOP actually did have moderate blacks i.e. Arthur Fletcher, Michael Bins, Edward William Brooke III and of course Colin Powell. Fletcher, for example, created affirmative action (for the most part) in the Nixon administration, but only as a way to redress comtemporary discriminatory policies. For example, one of his affirmative action plans was created specifically to bust racist hiring practices enforced by PUBLIC SECTOR EMPLOYEE UNIONS – yes it was a different time then – and Fletcher denounced any talk of government action to redress past wrongs, whether reparations or even using affirmative action to address the fact that slavery and discrimination stripped blacks of the ability to immediately amass wealth, economically compete and produce a positive, pro-work and pro-family culture. When that segment of black intellectual leadership still existed, they could serve as a useful counterpart to the black Democrats who rooted for the Soviet Union during the Cold War right up until the very second that the Berlin Wall fell and to this day romanticizes Cuba, China and Venezuela, and come up with productive, actionable policy items such as enterprise zones in low income low investment urban areas (another Nixon innovation).

    But the rightward lurch of the GOP (first under Reagan, then under Gingrich, and now the Tea Party) has left the black moderate as a man without a country. And black support of the GOP has followed. They used to get nearly 40% of the black vote, and had the segregationists in the south actually allowed blacks to vote it probably would have been 60%. Where Reagan got over 20% of the black vote despite much of the black population having personally experienced severe de facto and de jure racism in 1980, today nearly 35 years later any GOPer that gets more than 5% of the black vote is considered a master at “outreach”.

    So that leads to stuff like this: two sides talking past each other on nonsense like reparations, Trayvon Martin and Obama’s birth certificate. Because that is the way that both sides want it. Absolutely no engagement on real issues that could lead to real progress is desired, because both sides have their own reasons for opposing real progress.

    • George Chidi says:

      I couldn’t disagree with you more.

      Ta-Nahesi Coates is probably the best working political writer of either party today. His recent piece on reparations was an important work, not because we’re any more likely to start a reparations program but because it cast a needed light on the very real, very modern, very current discrimination happening today to black Americans.

      The article dismantles tired arguments about why black people aren’t more successful in America despite de jure desegregation and civil rights law. It’s describing in detail the hole black people have had to climb out of, how deep that hole remains, and how society kept shoving black people in the hole even after the civil rights movement.

      Does he make a great case for reparations? I say no. But does making the case for reparations strongly bolster the argument that modern, on-going discrimination and racial bias in education, housing and employment should be treated much more seriously as a a moral challenge to America? You damned well bet it does.

      I reject the idea that most liberals do not want progress on race. I also reject the idea that most conservatives don’t want progress on race. There’s a terrible communication barrier. Broadly — and when talking about race, broad statements are fraught — I think white people want more open and honest acknowledgement from black people of how far whites have come toward evening the scale, and black people want acknowledgement from whites of how far out of balance the scale remains.

      Those are both hard conversations.

    • George Chidi says:

      Another thing bothers me about the position you’ve taken here. You’re building straw men around what black American “liberal writers” actually want, to say that we’re all screaming for some Swedish socialist paradise.

      Two propositions. Here’s the socialist proposition, which I am purposefully describing using the friendliest terms I can conceive — a model of governance in which the nation’s primary goal is to ensure a standard of living below which no citizen can fall, centered on a shared sense of national purpose and fellowship, with a long-term goal of rising standards of living, the elimination of poverty and a just distribution of wealth to all.

      Compare it to this — an economy based on personal merit, in which intelligence, hard work, creativity, market savvy, courage, prudence, honesty, discipline and honorable character would be rewarded without regard to the conditions of your birth. Essentially, a free market with meritocratic safeguards.

      I suspect most American “liberal” writers choose the second, as would most black writers in America and most black audiences.

      Liberal writers tend to be more apt than conservatives in pointing out that America is nothing like the latter, and complain bitterly that the country is lying to itself about what it actually is: a mercantilist, biased, socially-stratified oligarchy in which much of a person’s life outcomes are determined by who’s bootheels drummed on which ass before one is born.

      Black college graduates have an unemployment rate comparable to white high school graduates. A black man with a clean criminal record is statistically less likely to be offered a job than a similarly-qualified white man with a recent criminal history. Black people are four times more likely to be arrested for drug offenses than whites, despite a lower incidence of drug use. Black renters are still shunted into neighborhoods with worse schools, and black homeowners are more likely to be offered loans that cost more than white people with similar credit profiles. On and on. Not ancient discrimination — stuff that happened last year, or last month, or last week.

      The quality with the highest predictive value in determining future income of a high school student is parental wealth, which also serves to predict college enrollment, school selectivity, college graduation rates, employment rates after graduation, home ownership rates, debt levels, marriage rates, criminal conviction rates … the land of the American dream has been paved over by hereditary wealth über alles.

      This is not a free-market meritocracy.

      The market isn’t measuring merit. The system is set up to pick winners, and the winners are people from families that are already winning. I tire of being accused of being a socialist for pointing this out and calling for change.

      • smiling_bob says:

        Long time lurker. Reading the above moved me to join:

        “Liberal writers tend to be more apt than conservatives in pointing out that America is nothing like the latter, and complain bitterly that the country is lying to itself about what it actually is: a mercantilist, biased, socially-stratified oligarchy in which much of a person’s life outcomes are determined by who’s bootheels drummed on which ass before one is born….

        This is not a free-market meritocracy.

        The market isn’t measuring merit. The system is set up to pick winners, and the winners are people from families that are already winning. I tire of being accused of being a socialist for pointing this out and calling for change.”

        Well said, sir.

  2. FranInAtlanta says:

    Newt Gingrich supported Civil Rights – even when it wasn’t cool. And that goes back to 1974. As far back as I can remember – no one has given more thought to how to break the cycle of poverty that afflicts many blacks (and, probably, as many, although not the same percentage, of whites).
    That said, I have seen tremendous social pressure on blacks to NOT vote for Republicans and church buses to the polls, where Georgia – and I don’t know how many other states – does not require a secret ballot – reinforce that.
    Many Atlanta area blacks, both on social and economic issues, could find a comfortable home in the Republican party and would help rid Republicans of the white racist fringe/taint (been a long time since I have seen any but my Dem friends swear they are there).

  3. MattMD says:

    The lot on Kendrick Lamar’s house might be under 8K sqft but his house looks to be around 3K sqft.

    How much house do you really need, anyway? Didn’t Hollyfield lose his butt trying to keep up that Buckhead mansion?

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