No Healing

Washington Times: 30 Years Brings No Healing in Atlanta

What a sad story this is:

For decades as white residents fled to the suburbs, Atlanta's black political establishment, led by a string of strong mayors, revived the moribund economy and so revamped the city's image that it earned a national reputation as "Hotlanta."

Ironically, that success - including a winning bid to host the 1996 Summer Olympics and a slew of Fortune 500 companies relocating to the city - has brought white voters flocking back to the city and, for the first time in 36 years, could put a white candidate back in the mayor's office when voters go to the polls Tuesday.

In a race testing racial harmony in Georgia's largest city, some veteran black power brokers say their hold on power is being undercut by their past successes running the city.

"We haven't always gotten the credit for that, no," said former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, who oversaw the early days of the city's rebirth during the 1980s. "I brought in 1,100 companies from around the world - $70 billion in private investment - and generated more than a million new jobs.

"But most people think that's automatic, that that would have happened anyway," he said with a laugh.

Black mayors have occupied City Hall since 1973, but this year, a white City Council member is leading in the polls, even though two black civic leaders urged black voters to unite against her.
I don't know what to make of the claim that "we" don't get credit. Andrew Young, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the French Legion d'honneur for his work, has received "some" credit. Maynard Jackson had the Hartsfield International Airport partially renamed in his honor (it's now the "Hartsfield-Jackson" airport). The city, the nation and the world know who they are and have recognized their work.

Neither of them, however, is running for mayor of Atlanta. The candidates who are running have to run on their own strengths, not on the record of Andrew Young.

Isn't it possible that the lady is winning because she is the best candidate? Or is that just not possible, and her support really... well, racial?

No one raised race as a claim in the last debate, although there may have been a proxy used: a claim that Ms. Norwood is secretly Republican. She says she voted for every Democratic presidential candidate since 1996; that shows some poor judgment in the 2004 election particularly, I'd have to say, but it's certainly one measure of her bona fides as a party member.

Ah, well. It's a sad thing to see this kind of attitude on display. I hate to see the calls to "unify" against her, and I hate the idea that she's only winning because of some sort of racist animus on the part of whites. Things seem to be getting worse on that score; I thought we were supposed to have put all that behind us.

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