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Federal judge orders district voting in Fayette

Fayette County is about to get district voting for all five seats on both the Fayette County Commission and the Fayette County Board of Education.

County Commission Chairman Steve Brown, while expressing his astonishment that the federal judge brushed past a significant legal hurdle to find for the plaintiffs, said Tuesday afternoon that an appeal is not certain.

“We’ll meet with our attorney this week,” Brown said. “If she says she thinks we have a shot on appeal, then we’ll appeal. If she thinks we don’t, then we won’t.”

The net result of the judge’s ruling is almost certain to be that all Fayette residents will lose their right to vote for all five seats on both governing bodies. Instead they will be allowed to vote for only one county commissioner candidate and one board of education candidate.

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy C. Batten Sr. has ordered all parties in the case to submit “proposed remedial plans” for the next election cycle “on or before June 25, 2013.”
Batten’s Tuesday order grants summary judgment to the individual plaintiffs in the case along with the state conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, who had argued that the county’s district voting process precluded black candidates from winning a seat on the county commission and board of education.

The judge’s order grants the plaintiff’s wish to create a district voting scenario, which is markedly different than the current at-large voting process. Currently, all Fayette voters are allowed to vote on all five seats on the county commission and board of education.

Under district voting, voters will be limited to choosing just one person for each governing body, depending on where each voter lives.

In his order, Batten determined that the current at-large voting process “essentially guarantees that no African-American will be elected to either board.”

While minority candidates have run in recent years for office on both the county commission and board of education, they have been unable to win acceptance of many voters beyond the precincts dominated by African-American electors.

Opponents of district voting have argued that those minority candidates were inferior to the ones who ultimately won office. Opponents also pointed out that Fayette County voters elected and re-elected an African-American lawyer as Magistrate Court Judge: Charles R. Floyd Jr., who remained in office until his untimely death several years ago.

In the order, Batten determines that even though the district voting map presented by the NAACP and the Fayette County Board of Education did not create a single district with a majority population of African-American voters, there was enough for him to determine that district voting was necessary under the federal Voting Rights Act.

“Here, it is undisputed that no African-American has ever been elected to the BOC (board of commissioners or BOE (board of education) and that voting in Fayette County is racially polarized in BOC and BOE elections,” Batten wrote. The judge added that the other legal factors weighed in the plaintiffs’ favor, too. “Thus, the Court is satisfied that “under the totality of the circumstances, [African-Americans in Fayette County are] denied meaningful access to the political process on account of race or color.”

The board of education in February 2012 attempted to settle the lawsuit with the NAACP by proposing a new map and adopting district voting. Although the court initially approved that settlement, the approval was rescinded after the Fayette County Commission objected. Batten later indicated that he was unaware the commission had not agreed to that settlement.

While district voting will limit the number of candidates a Fayette voter will be able to cast a ballot for, it will also make it more difficult for all Fayette voters to attempt a recall vote of an elected official. That’s because to recall a candidate, Georgia law requires that the citizens signing the recall petition, and those who are allowed to vote on the matter, be a voter in that particular district.

Fayette has had county-wide voting for most of its history; the county was created by the state legislature in 1821. At-large voting for what were then known as the commissioners of roads and revenues soon followed.

One wild card: The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue a major voting rights law decision later this year. Some observers believe the court might invalidate parts of that law, including the part that became the basis for the lawsuit that the county just lost.

==========================

ADDED JUNE 3, 2013 —

Corrections

The NAACP has asked that two corrections be made to the May 22 story about district voting.

“First, you write: ‘In the order, Batten determines that even though the district voting map presented by the NAACP and the Fayette County Board of Education did not create a single district with a majority population of African-American voters, there was enough for him to determine that district voting was necessary under the federal Voting Rights Act.’

“On page 42 of the Court’s Order, Judge Batten refers to Plaintiffs’ expert ability to ‘achieve a district that has a voting-age African-American population of 50.22%.’ He goes on to conclude: ‘In sum, because Plaintiffs have shown that the African-American voting-age population is sufficiently large and geographically compact to constitute a majority-minority district in Fayette County, they have met the first prong of Gingles.’

“Second, you write: ‘One wild card: The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue a major voting rights law decision later this year. Some observers believe the court might invalidate parts of that law, including the part that became the basis for the lawsuit that the county just lost.’

“You are referring to Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, a pending case that challenges Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, http://www.naacpldf.org/update/ldf-defends-section-5-voting-rights-act-u.... Section 5 is a distinct provision of the Voting Rights Act that is not at issue in this case.

“The Court’s Order relies on Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act to strike down Fayette County’s discriminatory at-large method of electing members to the County Board of Commissioners and Board of Education. Section 2 forbids the use of any electoral scheme, such as Fayette County’s at-large method, that “submerges” minority voters in a district — here, the County — that is controlled by the white majority. And Section 2 provides for the type of remedy that the Court’s ruling provides, i.e., a creation of single-member districts to replace an at-large method of election.” — Leah C. Aden, assistant counsel, Political Participation Group, NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (www.naacpldf.org).

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Comments

PTC Observer's picture

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is a race based organization that was founded in 1909 by three whites. All socialists, Mary White Ovington, journalist William English Walling and Henry Moskowitz believed that advancing rights for colored people (Blacks) could advance the Progressive movement in America. The catalysis for this movement, that had false starts by the same three whites beginning in 1905, was the 1908 Springfield, Ill race riots. These riots were brought about black workers taking white workers jobs at lower than prevailing wages. Several blacks were killed during these riots.

The NAACP has always been a black organization that advances black causes. The fact that district voting helps get blacks elected to Fayette County offices should be no surprise to anyone. How well a black can manage vs. a white depends on their talent, skills and capabilities. If you don't like district voting too bad the court has ruled and the NAACP has won.

Blacks will vote for a white candidate as long as that candidate panders to their needs and vice versa , that's democracy. So, in the end it doesn't matter. Politicians no matter what color, will line up to give away as much of your money as they can get their hands on, it just depends who gets the slop at the public trough.

It's crime that will change our county, not blacks or whites or Hispanics or Asians, it's crime. It's thuggery in our schools, homes and streets that will cause people to move. If you want a safe place to live in diversity you had better enforce laws and get a whole lot of police, equipment, jails, and judges to process cases. Ignore crime as the cause of community decline if you want, or you can just move and isolate yourself in a new "bubble".

The Executive Secretary was Walter White:

See information on Mr. White.

http://www.gwu.edu/~erpapers/teachinger/glossary/white-walter.cfm

We in the 'black' community have always laughed at the belief that the NAACP was founded 'only' by three 'white' people. Do you know the lineage of all of the founders? In 2013, it is not an important discussion point - but many persons who assisted people of 'color' during the Jim Crow era - had a little bit of 'color' themselves . . .especially in the south and eastern part of our country. As I see proud grandparents lovingly caring for their American grandchildren, I realize that this craziness will soon be over.

Enjoy some pictures of NAACP supporters and activists:

http://www.google.com/search?q=walter+white+naacp&hl=en&tbm=isch&tbo=u&s...

PTC Observer's picture

for your insight, I suppose Mr. White was as black as Mr. Obama is white. You are correct, it doesn't matter either way.

RKS's picture

This bed wetting liberal agrees with Mr. Brown on this one and don't agree with the judge. I am sure that Mr. Kawfi will be all over me about it, calling me a few more expletives, etc, but I hope this can get overturned.

The NAACP is not the first or only organization to fight for equal voting rights / representation for all citizens of the United States. White males who owned property and some free Black men could vote in 1776.

<Cite>Free black men can vote in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. (The Progress Report adds -- in Maryland between 1776-1783 free black men could vote, but between 1783-1810 only those who were freed prior to 1783 were permitted to vote, and after 1810 no black men at all were allowed to vote.)</cite>

As you peruse the history of voting in our country, there are some obvious attempts to deny citizens their representation. It is obvious that District Voting is viewed differently by participants in the discussion. Of the 20% minority residents of Fayette County, 16% are business owners. Fayette County does not have a proliferation of low rent apartments or residential areas. The citizens who live in Fayette County are not trash nor thugs. Does one really believe that the 16% minorities who are business owners want to see the quality of life change; schools deteriorate; unsafe shopping areas? There are a number of minorities who live in many areas of the county, and join their neighbors in wanting a representative who voices their concerns about county issues. The color of that person is not tantamount. It is assumed that all minorities in FC have a different purpose for selecting this as 'home' than a 'white person'. There are Black conservatives who live in Fayette County. . . yet some here have assumed that all minority residents of this county are liberal in their political ideology. The generalizations stated here about Black people, followed by the statement 'I'm not racist' is interesting. We're not talking about the criminals who come from other counties. They will not be able to vote in Fayette County. Are we really afraid of District Voting or minorities having voting power?

TAKE A LOOK AT THE HISTORY OF VOTING RIGHTS IN OUR COUNTRY

http://archive.fairvote.org/righttovote/timeline.htm

of all the people involved the only ones who think "that the color of a person is tantamount," or "have assumed that all minority residents of this county are liberal in their political ideology," work for the NAACP. As a point of fact, IT MUST BE the position of the NACP that all minorities vote in a monolitihic block and only for other minorities, or the NAACP's suit is pointless. In other words, unless it is assumed that all minorities only vote for other minorities, then creating a minority majority district would still not gurantee a minority get elected to the various boards, which is their sole goal. The NAACP are the ones assuming minorities are inherently racisit, not the rest of us.
But since you've seemingly come to their defense I'll ask you the same question myself and other have repeatedly asked those who support district voting but continue to recieve no answer. You state categorically that minorities (blacks) in the county are the same as whites, they, like whites dont want to see a "quality of life change; schools deteriorate; unsafe shopping areas." But then you seem to contradict yourself by stating that minorities "want a representative who voices their concerns about county issues." If you agree that skin color is not important, then why the need to gurantee a minority gets elected? What issues do minorities face in this county that whites do not, if they want good schools, safe shopping and nice neighborhoods just like white people? If skin color is not important as you say, why cant a lawfully elected white, or asian or latino represent balck intrests? Why do you defend the position that only blacks can represent black intrests, but if someone says that someone of any color shuld be able to represent someone esle of a different color, you imply that opinion is somehow tinged with racisim? Please tell me you can see why this appears to be contradictory and confusing.

[Quote]of all the people involved the only ones who think "that the color of a person is tantamount," or "have assumed that all minority residents of this county are liberal in their political ideology," work for the NAACP. As a point of fact, IT MUST BE the position of the NACP that all minorities vote in a monolitihic block and only for other minorities, or the NAACP's suit is pointless. In other words, unless it is assumed that all minorities only vote for other minorities, then creating a minority majority district would still not gurantee a minority get elected to the various boards, which is their sole goal. The NAACP are the ones assuming minorities are inherently racisit, not the rest of us.[/quote]

You see it from your point of view. The NAACP suit, if pointless, would have been thrown out, for it would not have any merit.
I have not read the accusations in the suit. If the claims of Districtwide voting as practiced in Fayette County are not based on racial discrimination, based on current and past practices - I don't think the ruling would be as announced.

[quote]" But then you seem to contradict yourself by stating that minorities "want a representative who voices their concerns about county issues." If you agree that skin color is not important, then why the need to gurantee a minority gets elected? What issues do minorities face in this county that whites do not, if they want good schools, safe shopping and nice neighborhoods just like white people? If skin color is not important as you say, why cant a lawfully elected white, or asian or latino represent balck intrests? Why do you defend the position that only blacks can represent black intrests, but if someone says that someone of any color shuld be able to represent someone esle of a different color, you imply that opinion is somehow tinged with racisim?[/quote]

The racism is 'tinged' when one feels that Whites will not vote for a Black person and Blacks will not vote for a White person.
There are issues in every area of Fayette County that are unique to that area. But if there is no one on a governing board who feels 'beholden' to that area, it is possible that those concerns will not be addressed. If the minority community in FC felt that their concerns were fairly dealt with, we probably wouldn't even be involved in this discussion. I was worried that my concerns about my property value and the redistricting of the school attendance area would not be fairly dealt with.. We had strong support from integrated families/home owners who fought for our concerns and were successful. Is it possible that a segment of a predominently minority area feels they don't have this power?
Maybe I'll take the time to read the NAACP's case. Right now I'm enjoying this beautiful weather.

I took the time to read the lawsuit:

[Quote]Although Black residents comprise twenty percent of Fayette County, are geographically concentrated in the northeastern part of the County, and consistently vote together for Board of Commissioners and Board of Education candidates, no Black candidate has ever been elected to either of these boards.

Plaintiffs seek to create five equally-populated election districts in Fayette County, each of which would elect one candidate to each board. By replacing at-large voting with district voting, Black residents would constitute the majority of the voting age population in one district, and would finally be able to elect candidates of their choosing to each board.[/quote]

If this is a true representation of the lawsuit, it states a candidate of their choosing - not a 'Black' candidate. Where does Mr. Presberg live? I'm really not familiar with FC politics except for the complaints shared by residents of PTC. I'm sure the residents of all districts would meet with prospective candidates and make their choice on who would best represent them.

Hasn't that been a past practice? I am not a resident of the northeastern part of FC - but I would have a concern about law enforcement and black on black crime. I would have concerns about the 'football' recruitment - which is a nationwide concern.
Has this been investigated? By the way - all 20% of minorities don't live in the northeastern part of FC . This is a complex issue, but the law has guidelines which are used to monitor the actvities of a community to see if those actvities are following the intent of the law. Evidently the judge agreed with the Georgian Conference of the NAACP on this one. The Supreme Court will be looking at this issue when deciding if certain states have complied with the law of the Voting Rights Act.

RKS's picture

[quote=Davids mom]The NAACP is not the first or only organization to fight for equal voting rights / representation for all citizens of the United States. White males who owned property and some free Black men could vote in 1776. [/quote]

Question for you, DM: If you agree that skin color is not important, then why the need to change the voting? As it is now, everyone in this County who is registered, can vote, so the people of color have the right to vote! When I go to my polling station, I am in the minority, the majority of workers and the people in line voting are not white. I don't get the feeling that my vote won't count because I am the only white person in line. Is the need to change the voting a way to to guarantee a minority gets elected? That certain isn't a fair way of doing things.

It's not the 'Right To Vote' issue. What will be telling is how the 'party' in power gerrymanders the District in order to maintain the power they felt they had under the other system. It is obvious from some of the comments that not all are of the same opinion. Some comments made in this forum would appear that there are still persons who fear a minority vote in this county.
I am not familiar with the race relations history in FC, but some have made it clear that they agree with the Judges finding. It's a shame that this issue came up in FC, when the state is hoping to be relieved of the monitoring of the Right To Vote activities in Georgia. I am very happy with the representation that I have in Fayetteville. (There is a Black man on City Council).My neighbors and I are very pleased in how we have been represented as citizens of Fayetteville. (White and minority) I voted for him because he was articulate; aware of the issues; offered common sense solutions to proposed problems. I have not personally experienced any race related discrimination since arriving in FC to live in 2003. (Accept unfortunately in this forum) My experiences as a child and a young adult were totally the opposite, even tho I was protected by relatives and friends who lived here. I celebrate the progress, and will be vigilant to make sure we don't return to the 'old days'.

Good question. The residents in my community (diversified) - and really representative of the 70/20 ratio of FC would like District voting because of the school attendance situation. It really has nothing to do with race. However, the perception of FC in the rest of the state is that District-wide voting was maintained to keep minorities from having power at the voting booth. You of course are well aware that the right to vote does not necessarily mean anything if you live in an area that does not have your interest/issues as a matter of concern. (That is why the gerrymandering - which assures political parties that the majority of the residents in an area will vote to keep that particular party - and the ideology of that party - in power.) I'm referring this to 'local politics'. Nationally, regardless of where you live, your vote counts. Are those citizens who are so against District voting aware that the District may elect Mr. Presberg? There are many 'closet' Democrats in this county. The 47% Georgians who voted for Obama were not all represented by the 12% blacks in Georgia. The younger generation is tired of this attempt to cover abject, but well learned racism as a way of life. It's over! I have no idea of your political ideology. But you are right, the color of your skin has nothing to do with your vote - it is how your vote is counted and if your vote is for someone who represents your concerns. Under Districtwide voting - which has its advantages and disadvantages, at least a minority viewpoint can be represented at the table. (Minority does not always refer to 'race' but sometimes a minority point of view of an issue)

I guess having that much power just bothers some. It is not like Fayette is all that big....

That said, I don't see this as a big issue at all. Fayette will continue to be as good as we make it.

ginga1414's picture

"Fayette will continue to be as good as we make it!"

Whether we are able to vote for a candidate or not, we should educate ourselves as to the qualifications of all candidates and work for the candidates we feel would do the best job.

NUK_1's picture

Sometimes they don't make the best leaders. You don't ever know how they will perform once in office after getting elected. It's all an educated guess at best and throwing darts at worst at the local level.

There has been a series of really poor various FC politicians that were easy to vote against; it gets a little tougher when it comes down to voting FOR someone instead of "he/she can't be any worse than the current office holding $#%^$" or the least "worst."

The infusion of candidates vying for the position of PTC Mayor and a guy like Josh Bloom running for Council in PTC gives me some hope. I voted for Ognio and Oddo and I'm still optimistic they won't let me down. Barlow isn't going off the deep-end of the fundie diving pool now and seems to be a better elected official than candidate right now.

People like Maxwell, Horgan, Jack Smith, Hearn, Bearden, Krakeal,Smola, Smith, et al are mercifully gone. While their replacements may/may not be worse, it's a lot better going down this path instead of one of proven incompetence.

Blacks have been given everything they have demanded since the mid-20th century. An end to de jure and de facto segregation, voting rights laws, a war on poverty, open housing, forced busing, every manner of government commission enforcing Equal Opportunity, MLK holidays and black history months, endless dollars to "close the education gap," every handout imaginable, positive role models on the television, hatecrime laws, the control of the governments of several major American cities, their man in the White House, and so on.

This is nothing but a power grab by anti-white, overzealous community organizers with the full force of the federal government on their side. Every conceivable aspect of this is a loss. Can't elect a black candidate based on merit? Cry "racism" and go to the courts.

We can already see how diversity is enriching this county. The future is going to be awful, and all of us here know it.

PTC Observer's picture

It's working out about as well as any other government program I suppose.

This is the country we live in and the county we live in. There are always other options open to you, it's a free country.

[quote]Blacks have been given everything they have demanded since the mid-20th century. An end to de jure and de facto segregation, voting rights laws, a war on poverty, open housing, forced busing, every manner of government commission enforcing Equal Opportunity, MLK holidays and black history months, endless dollars to "close the education gap," every handout imaginable, positive role models on the television, hatecrime laws, the control of the governments of several major American cities, their man in the White House, and so on.[/quote]

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree with PTCO! It's too bad that you don't consider Blacks as human beings in this country with the same 'rights' as guaranteed under the Constitution. It's should not be viewed as a 'positive' that anyone in this country has to 'demand' an end to segregation; the right to vote; the right to attend a community school; a right to an equal educational opportunity; a right to see themselves portrayed honestly in the media; a right to receive the same assistance that the majority community receives. When are you leaving? Please don't come near Fayetteville.

"The future is going to be awful, and all of us here know it." Maybe for people like you, I suppose. No more all white juries. No more all white presidents. No more all white boards of education. When will the tyranny of "diversity" end? Your children will be forced to be under the leadership of people who are not the same color as you. How truly awful for you and for them.

The African-American community perceives a long history of discriminatory treatment by the ethnic majority and cites case after case of historical aggrievements to bolster these claims. The African-American community considers legal redress of this discrimination a matter of fairness. Reading this blog, opponents of this particular legal redress offer multiple objections to this remedy: It’s ancient history that isn’t our fault; the correction administered merely inflicts unfairness to the other side; African-Americans have already received enough reparations; Blacks have achieved the White House and numerous elective offices, so further “leveling” in unnecessary.

Political conservatives endlessly recount their unfair treatment by the mainstream media. On this website, multiple citations of discrimination against conservative causes appear daily with strong sentiments accompanying each recounting. Indeed, Cal regularly publishes political cartoons emphasizing the mainstream media’s neglect of criticism of liberal excesses. Obviously, this is a serious affront to the conservative community.

Most Americans appear unimpressed with the conservatives' claims of discrimination. They tend to deny discrimination altogether or minimize its extent. Further, they attack conservatives for being vocal about their unfair treatment and remind conservatives that they have strident voices to prosecute their causes on TV (Fox), the radio (Limbaugh), print (Krauthammer), and the internet (Matt Drudge), etc. Conservatives are also reminded that politicians of their persuasion represent them in all branches of local, state, and national government.

It is interesting that two constituencies so dissimilar in ideology share such a strong sense of feeling victimized by the majority. And, sadly for each, by and large, the majority doesn't really care.

The Wedge's picture

In the 1920's, the Jewish people were fully integrated in German society; there was no limit to the office that they held or profession that they could serve. By 1933, Germany began to pass a series of laws designed to restrict the Jewish peoples rights to hold a job or have citizenship. By 1938, the anti-Semitic fires culminated in Kristallnacht, or the night where paramilitary forces of Germany attacked Jewish homes and businesses. After property and wealth was seized, WW2 was started and the Jewish people began the final assault to eliminate them. And during all this time, "sadly for them, by and large, the majority [didn't] really care.". Yes. The majority apathy or indifference is the true test of whether an action is appropriate or not, I suppose

S. Lindsey's picture

...or at least the perceived reaction. One must always remember that Polls have shown over and over that they only gauge the reaction of those "Polled" and not really the rest of the Country.

Facts be damned it is what they perceive or what the poll that reflects their belief is all that is important.

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

G35 Dude's picture

The way I see it is if I can only vote for one member of which ever commission represents my district then my tax dollars should also stay in my district. To force me to pay taxes that support another district that I have no vote in would be a form of taxation without representation.

You can't use logic with an illogical person.

mudcat's picture

Good thought, but how can you justify federal taxes and Congress? Same thing, isn't it?

G35 Dude's picture

[quote]Good thought, but how can you justify federal taxes and Congress? Same thing, isn't it?[/quote]

For the most part, I don't justify federal taxes and Congress. I don't think they can be justified. And yes it is pretty much the same and it's still wrong.

You can't use logic with an illogical person.

mudcat's picture

Draw the line here and use our tax dollars to fight a losing cause with Steve Brown as our titless leader? Knuckle under and let the district thing proceed and see if we get a nice, articulate and well groomed black commissioner? (Joe Biden said that long before I did, David's Mom - don't get on my case). Fight Congress and unseat the bad apples? Repeal whatever amendment is was that took away the States power to appoint Senators? Push for the Fair Tax?

Going to have some tough decisions coming up. But of course as we always do, we will choose none of the above and go watch Entertainment Tonight. The younger ones will watch Jon and Steven on the Comedy Channel.

G35 Dude's picture

Personally I prefer TMZ to Entertainment Tonight but that's just me.

You can't use logic with an illogical person.

Personally I like Jon Stewart and I'm not young by any stretch of the imagination but that's just me.

No need to get on your case - you are expressing yourself honestly - as did Biden. It is difficult for me, here in this part of the country, to deal with all of this honesty about fear/distrust/ disrespect of black people. For so long it apparently has been discussed only with those who agree with/understand it. What is interesting is when these statements are made - the 'maker' doesn't seem to feel it is racist. I'm learning. Thanks for the honesty. No - I don't think you are a 'racist' who would hurt me or my children - I happen to believe we are all suspect of the unfamiliar or 'different'. Am I wrong to suspect that some people think that there are not any nice, articulate, well groomed blacks in Fayette County that would be acceptable to the nice, articulate, well groomed 'white citizens' of Fayette County? (And even if there is - he/she would not be particularly 'acceptable' under these 'forced' circumstances?) I've heard that before - when schools were integrated after Brown vs. Bd. of Education - in the NORTH. (Communities were segregated in parts of the north - and children were bussed for integration) I also found it interesting that one poster was uncomfortable because citizens who weren't 'white' DEMANDED their rights as citizens - the poster was referring to 'black' people. Wow - I guess we all ponder <cite>Do unto others</cite> on Sunday - and then forget all about it on Monday. I understand that some neighborhoods in the south were integrated, and children played together until it was time to attend school. Then came the distrust, suspicion, etc. when some felt that others were not good enough or too good to join in the school experience - and black children became 'inferior playmates'.<cite> I'm referring to us 'old' folks now - for I see very little trace of this in today's schools around our country - kids seem to relate to one another based on kindred tastes, interests and background experiences)</cite> I don't deny that I have 'racist' thoughts - but I am grateful that I had the opportunity to live in integrated neighborhoods, attend integrated schools and never, during my childhood, had the lesson 'taught' that one was superior or inferior because of the color of their skin. These lessons came later. <cite> (You have to be carefully taught to hate) </cite> Words from a famous song. Again, I'm grateful for MLK's leadership at a critical time in our history - for implementing non-violent protests - where blacks and whites joined together and were taught to turn the other cheek during the Civil Rights movement which fostered a change in most parts of our country. . .and more citizens obtained rights as guaranteed under our Constitution. There are still two counties in Georgia that have Districtwide voting. I have a feeling that the Supreme Court will look at this carefully before granting freedom from the monitoring implemented under the Voting Rights Act for certain states in our country - and the states practices regarding equal representation. These are interesting times that we live in.

[quote]Fight Congress and unseat the bad apples? Repeal whatever amendment is was that took away the States power to appoint Senators? Push for the Fair Tax?[/quote]

As you know - there are a great many people working on some of these actions. This is not a time to 'turn the Channel) LOL.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

All are qualified to run for office and some did. i think the lady running for school board simply lost because more people voted for he opponent - hey, it happens. But the group of blacks - 3 or 4 that ran for county commission several years ago did not do a good job of vetting themselves and then thinning their ranks. Robert Horgan then won because the majority of voters in the county knew absolutely nothing about any of the candidates and they saw one white face and a group of black faces and they elected Horgan. Elected him without a runoff. Pretty amazing and that is the kind of thing that could have prompted the NAACP lawsuit. Everything was legal, but the black community didn't like the result - so change the law.

Now if the black group had supported one strong candidate who had a chance to establish an identity and a political philosophy, it may may have turned out differently. Or if there was a runoff - same thing. But none of that happened and I can honestly see where some in the black community actually believe a black candidate will never win. I don't agree, but it doesn't matter - we will have district voting unless the Supremes get the Feds off our backs. Either way, it won't hurt the county anywhere near as much as some of the other commissioners - all male, all white.

Live free or die!

Thanks for taking the time to respond. [quote] Now if the black group had supported one strong candidate who had a chance to establish an identity and a political philosophy[/quote]

I totally agree - if the goal is to have a 'black' candidate. It's difficult to get honestly concerned/committed citizens to run for political office in the current political climate anywhere in our country. I appreciate your bringing me up to date on history of some politics in FC. Enjoy the rest of the day!!

color, religious belief or whatever can live in any district they choose, why does there have to be any restrictions on any kind of voting? I know there are those that will say some are restricted from living in certain areas because of their finances--well, that applies to all races and nationalities. If you are non-white and move into a mostly white area then most of your candidates will be white, same if you move into a predominately black or latino neighborhood. If I moved into predominately black neighborhood, would it not be naive of me to complain that I do not have a white politician to represent me in my area?

Do you think it's unusual for persons who live in a 'black' area not to expect to have a 'black' - or someone from their area to represent them? I don't live in a 'black' area - but my neighbors and I (all colors) would like to have someone who is cognizant of our issues at the table. We did attend the BOE meetings and had persons present our issues to the Commissioners when needed - our issues were listened to - and heard. North Fayette does not feel they have that kind of input under Districtwide voting, It's called 'gerrymandering' etc. You know what, it may not make one bit of difference, but I think the rest of Georgia wants to get from under the monitoring demanded by the Voting Rights Act due to past practices. With only two counties still using Districtwide voting - it <strong>.appears</strong> that it is being used to maintain 'white' supremacy at the voting booth. The Supreme Court will decide - soon. and FC will continue to be a role model for life in Georgia. I don't think you're naive at all.
Continue to enjoy this perfect weather!!

What are the issues that the residents of the northern part of the county have? Where is the demarcation line for the northern part of the county? Please name some roads so I will know if it is the entire northern section or the NE or NW. Why do the BOE and FC commissioners listen to all the other residents in the county but not those in the northern part? Thanks.

I do not know the answer to the questions asked. I am not a resident of north Fayette County. I am not a member of the local NAACP. The lawsuit was brought by the Georgian Conference of the NAACP. ‘BLACKS’ are not the only residents who would prefer District Voting. Districtwide voting and creative gerrymandering are strategies that have been identified with past ploys to limit the power of ‘minority’ votes. I've shared some interesting information about the demographics and growth of Fayette County. The Citizen had a graphic that may answer some of your questions.

http://www.fayettega.org/workforce/profile

http://www.fayettecountyga.gov/information/county_profile.htm

viable black person to run they will have as much chance as anyone else in being elected. I think too many people say they have moved on until it suits them not to move on. We will never be assimilated until everyone gets over this and until the past is put in the past. I am not saying forget everything that has happened in the past but to not let it color every action and reaction. I know my history--I know all about slavery, also that in some instances blacks had indians for slaves. Slavery of any kind is wrong and will always be wrong and should not be forgotten but it also should not be a crutch. I know there are still injustices and there always will be but some people find them where none truly exixts .
I, for one think asking people to show proof of their residency and citizenship to vote is valid--there is no reason in this day and age for anyone to not have some form of acceptable identification. I can hardly buy a postage stamp without giving out all kinds of identification. If people can get others to the polls to vote it stands to reason that they can also get them to the proper places to procure identification in the odd chance that they have lived to date without having acquired it. I find it specious that there are those who claim that asking voters to have proper identificaton is a means of keeping legitimate residents from casting a ballot. Just my opinion--one that the many brave men and women of this country have fought and died for many years to protect. You enjoy the lovely weather also.

[quote]If people can get others to the polls to vote it stands to reason that they can also get them to the proper places to procure identification in the odd chance that they have lived to date without having acquired it[/quote]

This was accomplished in the 2012 election. And again, slavery is not the issue - or looking at it as it relates to history - it is the remnants of Jim Crow thinking and practices that has been overcome in many places. . .but still, evidently is an issue in 'race-relations'. The 'proper identification' ploy has been dealt with. It is the fear of the browning of America - and the radicals on all sides of this 'race' issue in our country that has to be dealt with and solved. WE ARE AMERICANS, Black/white citizens of France are French. Black/white citizens of Canada are Canadians. As I perceive from your words - black/white citizens of the United States are Americans - but as you have read in this 'blog' - there are those who still resent either one (black/white/brown/yellow/red) for past and present practices - and feel it necessary to continue the division that was legal less than 60 years ago, Citizens of this country have allowed the hurt/mistrust felt by all concerned to simmer too long. The youth are dealing with human character and actions - and really feel it's history; interesting; sometimes nonsensical - and they are truly moving on as Americans. My hope is in the youth. (I think we are on the same page here.)

S. Lindsey's picture

...Eventually everything gets replaced.

Race pimps, race hustlers and race baiters will too.

The only way we can be a homogeneous people will be when we can put aside all of the special interest I've been wronged and I'm offended over this or that people...

Live and let live... Don't mess with your neighbor and they won't mess with you. So they hate you, who cares, hate them back it works for me... Just because they hate you, as long as they don't interfere with your rights, then their bigotry is theirs to own...

We cannot police thoughts nor can we legislate Justice.

Instead of trying to be separate but equal...Why don't we try just being equal for change... Really equal.

That means NO benefits for some aggrieved party over this or that... Equal Justice not Social Justice.

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

suggarfoot's picture

It is long been acknowledged that Orientals as a whole, have a higher IQ. But whites don't try to stack the deck against them and give ourselves unfair advantages over them to equal things out. (Demand that our kids grades me marked up a whole grade as was done in the past for Blacks for college entrance)

I'm in wonder of this concept. I know many of our ancestors came here poor and disadvantaged, but they were proud. They wouldn't take handouts and it made them stronger.

Is the NAACP saying that they KNOW they are INCAPABLE of making it any other way than to FORCE restrictions on other groups? I think so.

Could it be we shouldn't feed the bears and let nature take the right course as it has for thousands of years?

The word ‘oriental’ does not describe ethnic origin, background or even race; in fact, it has deep and demeaning historical roots

suggarfoot's picture

Really? Then can you tell me why ALL my friends in California that ARE Orientals refer to themselves as such?

Someone is a nickel short of a dollar.

"Oriental" is considered to be an antiquated, pejorative, and disparaging term in the United States.

If all your "friends" in Cali say this, it is akin to an African American calling one another the not so nice word.

You show your ignorance stereotyping people stating that the "Orientals as a whole, have a higher IQ". Do you actually believe the garbage you spew?

My father and I were born and raised in California. My grandfather came to California when he was 13. Our family has always had close friends who were Japanese, Chinese, and Filipino. My grandfather stored much of the belongings of the Japanese-Americans when they were sent to 'camp' - so that they would have their belongings when they returned. It was around the late 50's that the term Oriental was considered pejorative by those friends my age. (At least they made me aware of their feelings regarding the term) All government forms today have the words Asian-American as a selection for those who care to identify themselves as part of the Eastern cultures. My friends would often say - "they think we all look alike - and to them, we do". The Asian cultures are so gracious - that out of respect for your age, you were not corrected. (Or they figured you wouldn't understand their feelings)

suggarfoot's picture

I never called them Orientals till they told me the term and told me to call them that as a group. They never asked me to call them Asian.

The Orientals don't look for slights. They live their lives in a way that makes them respected.

They were, and still are, some of by best friends...and yes, they think this is funny to drag up WWII, they have moved on from that...DM you might take a lesson from them.

It's a waste of time to try to correct them. Enjoy suggarfoot! - I'm sure you have so many other endearing qualities - that your friends have just accepted this IGNORANCE that you continue to display regarding Americans of different races. Honey - I have moved on -I'm a black California girl who has moved to Georgia. Before my family traveled to visit relatives in the 50's who resided in the south, we had to be carefully taught how to act around southern white folks - because their laws were different from ours. Man, it was like going to a foreign country!! But you knew that something was different when you were escorted to another car on the train once you crossed the Mason/Dixie line! (Whatever that was!) I celebrate Georgia today because we have come so far as Americans since the days of Jim Crow - and then we read words like you and some others express - words from yesteryear - and we realize the hope is in the youth of our country. Suggarfoot, I'm not the only one who realizes how clueless you are.

[quote]and yes, they think this is funny to drag up WWII, they have moved on from that...DM you might take a lesson from them.[/quote]

Maybe you'll join us (my Asian- American friends) this year when we make the annual pilgrimage to Manzanar in California. My Japanese American friends whom I have known since elementary school, have moved on and are very, very successful - but they have not forgotten what they and their parents endured during WWII. (Some of their relatives did receive reparations) And I have not forgotten what I and my parents endured under Jim Crow/segregation. . . and suggarfoot, I am now a proud citizen of Georgia - with no fear whatsoever. But all <strong>Americans</strong> are vigilant that the ugliness of the past regarding racism will not rear up its ugly head ever again in these United States! Suggarfoot, there were others who questioned you. Were they black? Should they 'move on'? Actually everyone has - except you. Welcome to 2013, the correct nomenclature in Asian- American. For Pete's sake suggarfoot - what were you calling them that they 'asked you to call them Oriental?'

MajorMike's picture

You continue to cast Pearls (of wisdom) before (racist) swine. I would respectfully remind you you that almost everything in life is defined by the "Bell Shaped Curve". The Orientals in American society have long since established their position on that curve and you can see the evidence of that achievement in daily life in Fayette County. Always keep in mind that there is that curve within the curve for individual groups.

Ditto for our Resident Racist and her small band of race apologists.

suggarfoot's picture

You are right about the curve within the curve.

PTC Observer's picture

The refuge of the American experience has lifted most Asians out of the threat of poverty, real poverty, this is why they seek to drive their children to excellence. A strong family, is the core of this success,and nothing else.

It is not a myth that Asian families work hard, save and invest in their children. Children and their success is a matter of pride with Asians worldwide.

This is something that a government dependent society can learn from our Asian citizens.

suggarfoot's picture

"This is something that a government dependent society can learn from our Asian citizens"

tgarlock's picture

. . . issue is largely a stereotype. My two daughters adopted from China will call themselves Americans without hyphenation and without any disrespect to their culture of birth, and my guess is they will agree when they are older that the history of Asian students outperforming the dickens out of their non-Asian peers has more to do with immigrant family culture and hard work, by comparison to a lazy and entitled American culture, than anything else.

It will be a great irony if, one day, one of my China-born daughters comes home with a "B," having missed the A in a class, complaining about how easy it is for those Asian kids with the high IQs to get A's. And it will be up to me to explain that those other kids' Dad might have done a better job of instilling discipline and hard work while I tried the same but not nearly as intense and injecting some balance and enjoyment of life. Therein, I believe, lies the difference.

BTW, to avoid insulting Asian people, the term "oriental" should be used for objects and things, not people.

Terry Garlock

Terry Garlock

suggarfoot's picture

BTW, to avoid insulting Asian people, the term "oriental" should be used for objects and things, not people

When I lived in LA I found the "correct term" was Hispanic for a Mexican to someone from South America. Something I never heard before.

From my "Oriental" friends, I also found the Chinese didn't want to be confused with the Japanese etc...I asked several what they liked being called as a group so as not to offend anyone because it was hard for me to tell the difference between someone from Japan and someone from China. I was honest about it and they understood and helped me figure the facial differences. Now I know and call tell right off. All of them said Oriental. I guess they would be quite amused by this now.

As to why they are smarter...I have no idea if it is nature or nurture...it just is. I've seen arguments for both.

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