Monday, January 16, 2017

I have to get this one off my chest, and here's part of my reason for avoiding the so-called consensus reality.  As everyone's heard by now, over the weekend President-elect Trainwreck tweeted that "Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk - no action or results. Sad!"

Okay, he just made it personal.  I live in John Lewis' 5th Congressional District and it's not in horrible shape, falling apart, or crime infested.  Like all major cities, there are some challenged areas, but the 5th District includes Midtown and it's glitzy high-rise Miracle Mile, affluent Buckhead, Emory University and Georgia Tech, Hartsfield Airport (or whatever they're calling it nowadays), and much, much more.  Atlanta's biggest problem, to be honest, is people, attracted by the opportunities the city offers, are moving here faster than the housing and transportation infrastructure can accommodate. 

I think it says a lot about the Trainwreck that he sees a black congressman representing an urban district and just assumes that the district must be a ghetto, blighted and impoverished.  That, my friends, is racism, pure and simple.  Donald Trump is a racist, damning himself with his own tweeted words. 

For whatever it's worth, back in 2007, when Trump was looking to add a Trump Tower to the Atlanta skyline, he said "Atlanta is one of those cities that won’t be suffering the real estate foibles.  Atlanta is like New York," which was not only a direct contradiction of his recent characterization of Atlanta, but also hugely incorrect (wrong!), as Atlanta suffered greatly in the real estate crash of the very next year. Also, back in 2007, Atlanta's violent crime rate was about 45 percent higher than it was in 2015 (the most recent year for which statistics are available).

What's more, it's incredibly poor politics to attack a respected civil rights figure like John Lewis on the weekend before ML King Day.  Looking ahead at the calendar, I would advise Trump not to attack a noted Irish politician on St. Patrick's Day or any Italian-Americans on Columbus Day.  Just some free advice there for the Trainwreck.  Take it or leave it, I'm just putting it out there.

I've been proud to vote for John Lewis as my Congressman multiple times since moving into the 5th District in 2004, even going out to vote for him in years when he's run unopposed and there were no other races on the ballot, just to show him my support.  In addition to being an icon, a living legend, and the hero of a non-fiction (and since the tweets, best-selling) series of graphic novels, the man is still an agitator and provocateur. and exactly the kind of voice we need in DC right now to stand up to the power. 

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