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Mayor Shirley Franklin race baiting?


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#1 Andrea

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 08:54 PM

Most people responding to the Atlanta Business Chronicle poll believe Ms. Franklin crossed the line into race baiting in a campaign ad for John Eaves.

http://atlanta.bizjo...ml?poll_id=2206


A rough transcript of the ad in favor of John Eaves by Mayor Franklin, Andrew Young and John Lewis:

(Sound of kettle drums, followed by pulsing strings)

LEWIS: This is Congressman John Lewis.

FRANKLIN: And I’m Mayor Shirley Franklin.

YOUNG: And I am Andy Young.

LEWIS: On Nov. 7, we face the most dangerous situation we ever have. You think fighting off dogs and water hoses in the ‘60s was bad. [Now we] sit idly by, and let the right-wing Republicans take control of the Fulton County County Commission.

FRANKLIN: The efforts of Martin and Coretta King, Hosea Williams, Maynard Jackson and many others will be lost. That’s why we must stand up, and we must turn out the vote for the Democrats on Election Day.

YOUNG: And especially for John Eaves for Fulton County Commission chairman. Unless you want them to turn back the clock on equal rights, and human rights and economic opportunity for all of us, vote for John Eaves as Fulton County chairman.

LEWIS: Your very life may depend on it.


http://www.ajc.com/m..._on_fulton.html

 

#2 AubieTurtle

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 09:06 PM

The difficult thing is that she spoke two sentences that were then grafted into a larger commercial. We don't know if she knew what context her comments were going to be put in other than a campaign commercial. I'm more concerned about John Lewis' comments which are just over the top.

I'd like to know the full text of what she said during the interview the sentences were taken from. Was she speaking in larger terms of what a complete Republican take over of Fulton County government or just about John Eaves. If she was talking about the former, though I think she was being overly dramatic, I can understand where she is coming from. If she was talking only about Eaves, it is dumb to make such a strong statement.

I don't think it is beyond Shirley Franklin to play the race card when it helps her get what she wants. She is a politician afterall. I've heard other such statements attributed to her before but this is the first time I've ever seen proof of them.

I've seen some comments on the AJC saying that she's a new Bill Campbell or Cynthia McKinney and that her political career is over because of this. That's almost as dumb as the statements in the commercial. She does need to address the issue because I doubt it is going to go away. Even though they made gains in the state, the Republicans are feeling beat up from the national election results and you can expect that making a huge issue of anything they can with any Democratic mistake is going make them feel better.

Edited by AubieTurtle, 08 November 2006 - 09:09 PM.


#3 Andrea

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 10:37 PM

Good points, Aubie. I think it's unfortunate for two reasons:

(1) Eaves' opponent, Lee Morris, although running as a Republican, is known as a highly competent and progressive thinking Atlantan. He was endorsed by everyone from Creative Loafing and the AJC to state Sen. Sam Zamarippa. Lee served for years (as a Democrat) on City Council and was on the GRTA board. He's about as far from a Birmingham police dog and fire hose guy as you can get. It's utterly outlandish to suggest that he would turn back the clock on equal rights and economic opportunity, and undo the work of Martin Luther King.

(2) The Franklin ad will only further stoke the fires for splitting off the northern portion of Fulton County into a new Milton County. I can appreciate the aggravation some of us (including me) feel about that, but it can't be a positive thing to peel off nearly half of Fulton's tax base and increase the Balkanization of the core county of the metro area. How much harder will it be, for instance, to generate a regional transportation plan if that happens? How much more difficult will it be to make our city schools competitive again? How much more friction will we see over water and air management? How much more will the city be isolated from state politics and the Georgia DOT?

Maybe the mayor got duped into participating in this. It's interesting that the ad was almost immediately cleaned up after the polls closed and now exists on Eaves' website only in its sanitized version. I'd really like to think that our city was moving beyond this sort of thing, but I suppose that's naive.

#4 LizellaJacket

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 10:49 PM

It certainly was race baiting. It's kind of depressing because I thought that she was better than that. She seems like a smart person who would be above that type of behavior.

#5 teshadoh

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 11:13 PM

I too thought Mayor Shirl was better than that. If she has dreams of statewide office - she better think again.

#6 ryanmckibben

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 11:27 PM

I am (was) a supporter of Mayor Franklin. This ad is unconscionable and is clearly race baiting if not outright racism. To imply that republicans (in this ad code word for white people) want to return to a time before the civil rights act is the most, and I mean THE most absurd thing I heard all election season. Could you imagine if the Republicans had run an ad saying that if the Dems win the government will no longer require anyone to work, but will simply hand out wellfare checks to single moms that are hooked on crack? The racial steroetypes this ad portrayes are just as damaging as the typical racial stereotypes of black people. I expected more from her. Frankly Andy Young and John Lewis don't suprise me one bit.

The part about this that really ticks me off is that we, the citizens of this city, are the ones that will suffer the consequences of their actions in the form of ever more strained relations with the predominantly GOP state government.

Edited by ryanmckibben, 08 November 2006 - 11:28 PM.


#7 AubieTurtle

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 11:51 PM

If there is a positive to come out of this it is that it exposes some of the feelings that are below the surface and not talked about in mixed company in this state. There are plenty of people, both black and white, who feel that only someone of their own race should represent them in government. And there are those who take advantage of those feelings but are careful how they craft their messages so they can pick up those votes without alienating those who would be offended by such race baiting. This commercial exposes one of those below the surface lines of thinking. I don't know if it will cause anyone who holds those feelings to change but I would hope that seeing it stated outloud helps show just how stupid that thinking is. When suggestions like those in the commercial are played only to those who are most receptive to the message, no decenting opinion on it is heard. Luckily in this case it got out to the general public who are making sure that it is known that this is not a reasonable argument.

I doubt this will have any real effect on north fulton trying to break away. If that is going to happen, it is going to happen without this adding fuel to the fire. Plenty of people felt that it might be possible to present alternatives to Sandy Springs last year but the margin of the vote makes it clear that there was nothing at that late point in time that could have changed the course of history. Milton is likely the same way. If there really is support out there for it, it will happen. This commercial may make people feel less anxious about their decision but I doubt it changes it any.

As far as statewide office goes, I don't think Shirley Franklin ever had a chance for that. Not only because she is a black woman but because she has Atlanta written all over her, which in some parts of the state is about the worst label you can get. Other than the Attorney General, I can't think of any other statewide partisan office that is held by an African-American. I'm willing to bet that if the state supreme court candidates were identified by party on the ballots that the makeup of the court would be different.

#8 Andrea

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 12:21 AM

Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court Leah Ward Sears is an African American, but you are right that she and the attorney general are among the very few.

While Shirley Franklin's comments are obviously not the only factor in the breakup of Fulton County, they do contribute to the broad feelings of antipathy and polarization that underlie it. We're only weeks away from the 2007 legislative session and it is likely that a bill to create Milton County will be introduced early on. I'd much rather have this issue considered in an atmosphere of cooperation and good will, rather than one marked by public accusations that "you right-wing Republicans are worse than the dogs and firehouses of Alabama, and all you want to do is turn back the clock to the days before Dr. King."

#9 Pillsbury

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 09:53 AM

I too thought Mayor Shirl was better than that. If she has dreams of statewide office - she better think again.


A lot of people in Georgia know and respect Shirley Franklin. You're right, she needs to keep that image up.

I was suprised at Andy Young as well, but it seems in his old age, he's made quite a few questionable comments, so I guess maybe I'm not.

#10 teshadoh

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 10:02 AM

Andy Young has plenty of controversial opinions, though certainly I still have respect for the man. Nonetheless, he learned his lesson when he ran for governor in the early 90's - the state wasn't ready for a Black governor or the state wasn't ready for him as governor.

#11 scoop

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 10:52 AM

She wasn't race bating, she just told the truth. I've heard the Repubs use the code word Liberal to energize its base for decades now.

That word has been used to describe anyone (white or black) who supported black initiatives since I was a child in the sixties.

#12 LizellaJacket

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 12:26 PM

She wasn't race bating, she just told the truth.



The truth? Thats absolutely insane. True civil rights leaders, those who may have died as a result of bringing equality, were probably turning over in their graves when they heard that. One of the above posters had it correct, if that had been a white person making similar claims about blacks, all hell would have broken loose and he would have been blackballed. It's appalling that there is such a double standard.

Let me guess, you think Georgia Bush himself made that nasty hurricane hit New Orleans and he planted the bomb that blew up the levy system?

#13 ryanmckibben

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 12:45 PM

She wasn't race bating, she just told the truth.


Well, your right. Us white people have tried to keep it under wraps for as long as we could, but I guess the cat is out of the bag. For years now all the white people of this country have ben meeting in secret about once a year to figure out a way to ressurect Bull Conner and bring back the days of Jim Crow.


Scoop if you honestly believe this (and I think you do) it is a perfect example of why race relations in this country will never improve.

#14 scoop

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 01:41 PM

The truth? Thats absolutely insane. True civil rights leaders, those who may have died as a result of bringing equality, were probably turning over in their graves when they heard that. One of the above posters had it correct, if that had been a white person making similar claims about blacks, all hell would have broken loose and he would have been blackballed. It's appalling that there is such a double standard.

Let me guess, you think Georgia Bush himself made that nasty hurricane hit New Orleans and he planted the bomb that blew up the levy system?


What's insane? Why don't you try to attack what she said and disprove it rather that ranting with your personal beliefs.


Let me guess, you think Georgia Bush himself made that nasty hurricane hit New Orleans and he planted the bomb that blew up the levy system?


There you go making assumptions. I do know that because of Bush policy, we're spending about 8 Billion a month in Iraq. We could really use that money to take care of things here at home.

#15 scoop

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 01:45 PM

Well, your right. Us white people have tried to keep it under wraps for as long as we could, but I guess the cat is out of the bag. For years now all the white people of this country have ben meeting in secret about once a year to figure out a way to ressurect Bull Conner and bring back the days of Jim Crow.
Scoop if you honestly believe this (and I think you do) it is a perfect example of why race relations in this country will never improve.


You too, huh?

I do know that everything isn't rosey between the races and blacks aren't the ones who want to keep it that way. We reach out, you snatch your hand back, we move in, you move out.

Bull Connor's not here but his grands sure are and they are in stealth mode.

#16 Pillsbury

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 01:58 PM

You too, huh?

I do know that everything isn't rosey between the races and blacks aren't the ones who want to keep it that way. We reach out, you snatch your hand back, we move in, you move out.

Bull Connor's not here but his grands sure are and they are in stealth mode.


But not all blacks are liberal and not all whites are conservative. I'm not conservative and I'm white. I think on this board you'll find plenty of people who are white and liberal. Most whites are not racist, nor are most blacks. Most people are trying to get by and live.

The ad suggests that if conservatives are elected to the Fulton County Commission, then things would revert back to the time of Jim Crow. I'm sorry, but that's not going to happen and I don't think any educated person would assume for a second that it would. Furthermore, don't judge me by the sins of my ancestors. I'm my own person.

Also, you accuse LizellaJacket of making assumptions---you don't see the faulty logic of your own argument considering that is exactly what your doing.

#17 ryanmckibben

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 02:23 PM

You too, huh?

I do know that everything isn't rosey between the races and blacks aren't the ones who want to keep it that way. We reach out, you snatch your hand back, we move in, you move out.

Bull Connor's not here but his grands sure are and they are in stealth mode.



I live in Midtown, where there are plenty of minorities and we all seem to get along with no problem. I also own a house in Kirkwood. I bought the house in June and already it has been broken into three times. Midtown is an upper middle class neighborhood, Kirkwood is a working class neighborhood. My point is that it is a class thing not a race thing, and I don' believe it has been soley about race in quite some time. Until you and people with your victim mindset realize that it is not your color we are running from it is your (and I don't necessarily mean you personally) lack of respect for those around you and what seems to be a complete lack of class. When someone dresses like a criminal and speaks like someone with a third grade education, I don't care what color you are you will be treated as if you are a criminal. The black community should start listening to Bill Cosby. If you are searchibng for a reason that the white community "snatches our hand back" you would do well to listen to him.

Edited by ryanmckibben, 09 November 2006 - 02:23 PM.


#18 scoop

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 03:45 PM

I live in Midtown, where there are plenty of minorities and we all seem to get along with no problem. I also own a house in Kirkwood. I bought the house in June and already it has been broken into three times. Midtown is an upper middle class neighborhood, Kirkwood is a working class neighborhood. My point is that it is a class thing not a race thing, and I don' believe it has been soley about race in quite some time. Until you and people with your victim mindset realize that it is not your color we are running from it is your (and I don't necessarily mean you personally) lack of respect for those around you and what seems to be a complete lack of class. When someone dresses like a criminal and speaks like someone with a third grade education, I don't care what color you are you will be treated as if you are a criminal. The black community should start listening to Bill Cosby. If you are searchibng for a reason that the white community "snatches our hand back" you would do well to listen to him.


I don't recall claiming that I'm a victim, you assumed again. The reason why crime is more prevelant in these neighborhoods is economic I agree. But what has created the economic disparity? What your comments seem to suggest is that access to jobs, business opportunities and certain levels of quality education (Yale, Harvard etc..) are equal.

We've made progress, but we have a long way to go.

BTW, we've reached out our hands since we were brought to this country. We didn't create this climate, some (not all) white folks did.

#19 Dale

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 03:52 PM

I don't recall claiming that I'm a victim, you assumed again. The reason why crime is more prevelant in these neighborhoods is economic I agree. But what has created the economic disparity? What your comments seem to suggest is that access to jobs, business opportunities and certain levels of quality education (Yale, Harvard etc..) are equal.

We've made progress, but we have a long way to go.

BTW, we've reached out our hands since we were brought to this country. We didn't create this climate, some (not all) white folks did.


Correct, and it's time to get past all that.

Shirley Franklin, are you listening ?

Edited by Dale, 09 November 2006 - 03:53 PM.


#20 scoop

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Posted 09 November 2006 - 03:56 PM

But not all blacks are liberal and not all whites are conservative. I'm not conservative and I'm white. I think on this board you'll find plenty of people who are white and liberal. Most whites are not racist, nor are most blacks. Most people are trying to get by and live.

The ad suggests that if conservatives are elected to the Fulton County Commission, then things would revert back to the time of Jim Crow. I'm sorry, but that's not going to happen and I don't think any educated person would assume for a second that it would. Furthermore, don't judge me by the sins of my ancestors. I'm my own person.

Also, you accuse LizellaJacket of making assumptions---you don't see the faulty logic of your own argument considering that is exactly what your doing.


I'm speaking to the term. It is used to get votes and divide the races. Have you been listening to the ads? I have been listening to them for over forty years now. Every Repub has used it effectively to energize their voters.

Do you remember Sonny's "Free at last" comment after he won his first term?

BTW, I only judge you by how your actions and positions.




Correct, and it's time to get past all that.

Shirley Franklin, are you listening ?


But we can't get past it until we stare it in the face and deal with it. Ignoring the problems won't fix them.

Edited by scoop, 09 November 2006 - 03:56 PM.