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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

Robert W. Morgan's picture

The Citizen picked the wrong quote from Chairman Brown. While it was certainly a relief to see he planned to follow the county attorney's advice regarding an appeal, that was not the most important thing he said. This is:

"At best, a district would yield 47 percent minority voting power, Brown said.
“He (Batten) literally admitted in the opinion that he could not come up with a majority-minority district. It was kind of odd because it’s very clear what you need to prove to show that you have any kind of discriminatory activity. That was never proven.”

That may be the basis for an appeal right there - the judge is ordering us to do something that can't be done. Won't stand up, but if we are determined to appeal just to say we did - that's the way to go. And in reality a district can be created using good old fashioned gerrymandering techniques. Just consult with the Dems in Mass. that created Barney Frank's Congressional District. Or maybe in GA those that created a district for Cynthia McKinney or Hank Johnson.
By the way, is that the purpose of this lawsuit from the NAACP - to get someone on the Board of Commissioners with the intellect of Cynthia or Hank? Or is it strictly skin color, in which case we (or they) get to choose from the many qualified black candidates that live in that district.

Either way, I'm fine with it. Just go through the motions of an appeal so you don't get backlash from the bigoted rednecks next election and move on. I wonder which of the existing commissioners live in that majority-minority district - he's probably toast.

Live free or die!

OK, can we devise a way to only allow those elected to only vote on issues that affect their District and not the whole county? NO? Then I want to be able to vote for all 5 BOE members or Commissioners!

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Sure enough, it certainly makes sense that if these commissioners are elected to run the whole county then they should be elected by the whole county. That's logical and obvious, but not good enough for the NAACP. The very obvious hybrid solution - candidates must live in the district but entire county votes for them - is also logical, but even that's not good enough for the NAACP or this activist, liberal judge so we are now being forced into Plan C.

Logic has no place in today's world. Everything is upside down and for some unknown reason the NAACP is still allowed to spew its racist hatred of all things whitey in order to prove some point about slavery or Jim Crow. Sure, those things were bad but is it not time to stop beating that drum and move on with some semblance of tolerance since the pendulum has certainly swung way to the other side.

So I say sure, Fayette County - unlevel the playing field a little bit more. Do everything we can to get a black face in the next commissioner's official photo op. No problem at all. Then let's judge him on the content of his character or the way he governs or how much trouble he causes or what he does to embarrass the community same as we do our whitebread pols and then reelect or reject. That seem fair enough, does it not? Then when the black face gets replaced by a brown face or a yellow face or God forbid a white face, then no one has the right to complain. Or do one?

Meanwhile which of our current commissioners has to step aside to allow this overreach of racial tolerance to occur? Who lives in that new district?

Live free or die!

albion's picture

Massachusetts notwithstanding, the 2011 redrawn districts in GA are as clear an example of gerrymandering as has been seen anywhere. Not disputing your points re Democratic map redraws, just saying both sides do the same thing to either hold or increase power.

"All generalizations are false, including this one." - Mark Twain

Fayette County is constantly lauded for having one of the best school districts in the state. One could argue that it is in no small part due to our at-large voting process that allows intelligent voters to vote only for the best candidates.

One only has to look to the counties to the north to see what happens when district voting is introduced. Little, dysfunctional fiefdoms are built and before you know it, the schools have lost their accredidation.

Let's see if the people that pushed for this change truly "embrace the diversity of the county" and vote in perhaps a hispanic, asian, or white board member. If they don't, then they are just a bunch of hypocritical racists.

normeradams's picture

As a Fayette County resident of 30 years, I have always felt that the county wide elections for the Board of Commissioners and the School Board was unfair to minorities. Federal Judge Batten made the right decision to rule that county wide elections were unconstitutional. Using the logic that the Fayette County Commissioners used for years to defend their actions would have meant that we should have state-wide elections for our Congressmen and nation-wide elections for our Senators. Everyone can see the faulty logic in those propositions.

When 20% of our population is minority and most challenges to at-large voting in the past two decades have been ruled unconstitutional, it is time that we move on to allow everyone to have representation by their vote.

SPQR's picture

So what would be the downside for statewide congressional voting?

normeradams's picture

Do you want someone in Savannah Georgia voting for who represents me in North Georgia. I think not. The issues that we face in suburbia is different that those of rural agricultural Georgia. Representation is just that, representing my interests and values.

"Representation is just that, representing my interests and values".

So...what are the interests and values that Blacks in Fayette County have that are different from Whites? Seems to me the only real differences are in the cultures, not the races....most Blacks tend to vote for Liberals/Progressives, while most Whites tend to vote for Conservatives....so why are Black Liberals more apt to represent Blacks better than White Liberals?...seems that the PC crowd is at work here....again....and since most Liberal Whites do not have much common sense or judgement...I see on reason why Liberal Blacks would be any better...

[quote=normeradams] it is time that we move on to allow everyone to have representation by their vote.[/quote]

Dude, minorities have been allowed to vote for a long time. Try to keep up. If however, what you meant by that statement was that minorities deserve to only be represented by people of their color, you are an idiot, just like the judge. This entire suit brought by the NAACP is racist on its face. In order for the lawsuit to make ANY SENSE AT ALL, you have to assume from the outset that no minority would ever vote for a white candidate and that no white would ever vote for a minority. Hence the need to create a majority minority voting bloc. If you concede for just one second, that even in a majority minority voting bloc a white candidate could still be elected, by convincing the people in that district that they will represent their children well, then the whole point to district voting evaporates. It only exist to gurantee that a minority will get elected to the council every time, by assuming that minorities only vote for other minorities. I would never have thought this to be the case, but apparently the NAACP knows minorities better than I do, so who am I to say?

normeradams's picture

If the shoe was on the other foot, I would bet that the present majority if they were minority would be screaming to have representation by having a district vote.

No, because I don't care what the color of someone's skin is. If anyone supports excellent schools, honor the land use plan, fight crime, and attract positive development to the county I would vote for them.

See, I'm not a racist. I could care less what someone looks like. But apparently there are groups out there that pay more attention to one's skin color than content of their character.

Those people / groups are inherently racist. There is no other logical way to look at it.

[quote]If anyone supports excellent schools, honor the land use plan, fight crime, and attract positive development to the county I would vote for them.[/quote]

Are you saying that persons of color don't want the same thing? Of course those who reside in Fayette County do! They who live in an area where they are represented by almost 50% of the population just want to have a say in who represents them. I guess Fayetteville is different from some other areas in the county. No one seemed to have a problem voting for Mr. Johnson - and I haven't heard any complaints. If I lived in the area that he represented -(if the election required District residence) - I would vote for him. There are other community leaders of color that I have met that I would vote for if they decided to run - and my neighbors who may have a different skin color - would vote for them too. We would have a choice. I'm sorry, but this, to me, is a last gasp at 'white' supremacy. And adding one person of color (or a Democrat) will not drastically change FC in 2013.

It's too easy to say "I'm not a racist" - but refuse to see the others desire for meaningful representation. And I bet if Mr. Presberg decides to run for the District seat - he will be elected. Why not? He has withstood attacks on his religious beliefs, his political beliefs, and still has done a creditable job as leader of the BOE. IMO.

PTC Observer's picture

Mr. Presberg has been running since he was appointed.

Care to elaborate on the "creditable job" assertion? I would just like to hear your thoughts on this. What specifically has he accomplished that has been so creditable as a leader? He must give some fine speeches I guess?

If we have District voting - an individual's opinion of anyones qualifications really doesn't matter - that person will be elected by the citizens of that District. I have a feeling that Mr. Presberg has support in that District. Personally, I feel Mr. Presberg has been able to accomplish what previous leaders could not: Sell Rivers;
I've never heard him 'speak'. Actually, with the arrival of the 'movie studio' and the college - we will probably have to build another school in the future. . .hope we elect people with vision.

Really? You feel that Leo has done what previous leaders couldn't? He sold Rivers? He? By himself? Wow. I guess he is pretty awesome!

PTC Observer's picture

I guess he's a good salesman, the sold Rivers and DM too!

Personally, I just don't see the leadership with Mr. Presberg.

What leadership do you see in:

Marchman:

Bacallao:

Todd:

Key:

Is see Ms. Key doing an outstanding job along working with Mr. Colwell. A good leader, leads, and she is doing just that. Discussing issues behind the scences and obtaining a consensus without finger pointing or sticking it to the past members.

suggarfoot's picture

Was the one that had been pushing to sell it for sometime and prob the one that found someone. He is the one I asked from time to time about it.

Pressburg was appointed and I've never heard that he tried to sell Rivers,

Pressburg was/is? a Smolite.

G35 Dude's picture

Nobody sold Rivers. When Pinewood came to Fayette looking for a place to build a new studio and settled on that location Rivers was just swept up in the frenzy.

You can't use logic with an illogical person.

kcchiefandy's picture

He dumped a property at a 50% loss by taking advantage of a convenient business deal across the street! Yea! He's a genius! As you said, if Pinewood prompts a building spree in that area then he just cost the county another $10 million to re-build what was just given away. I guess that was one of the incentives to get them here - 1 cheap building for offices, etc...probably a day care for their employees, too...

I guess hopefully property taxes will go up w/ the infusion of these 'Pinewooders' to make up the difference...

it looks like I was wrong about Presberg selling Rivers. They'll just have to blame that transaction/event on some other 'leader'. Thanks.

[quote]I guess hopefully property taxes will go up w/ the infusion of these 'Pinewooders' to make up the difference...[/quote]

You're not alone on that one!!!! (Property values + more income from property owners)

[quote=normeradams]

When 20% of our population is minority and most challenges to at-large voting in the past two decades have been ruled unconstitutional, it is time that we move on to allow everyone to have representation by their vote.[/quote]

That is what has rubbed me wrong from day one. For some reason, due to skin color, black folks have completely different needs and desires from the rest of the county?

WHAT IS THE NEED FOR SPECIAL REPRESENTATION FOR BLACK CITIZENS? This concept is racist to an extreme. Its 2013 folks, we are all equal. The time has long passed to pay attention to the color of a person's skin. Fayette county has taken on so many new great citizens that happen to be black. I have always assumed they came here for the same reason my family did. What is the need for special representation then?

This stuff makes me sick. In a progressive and enlightened world, skin color doesn't mean a thing. This is a step back in time when your skin color means you are different.

John Mrosek's picture

The question of whether or not Fayette County could succeed in an appeal is an interesting one. Of the 12 Circuit Courts of Appeal, approximately 1/3 of their cases are federal criminal prisoners filing sentence review requests, prison condition complaints, standard appeals, etc. Overall, the 12 circuits affirm 91.4% of the cases below. The 11th Circuit is right there--- the 11th Circuit reverses cases only 8.9% of the time. That means that on average you have a 90% chance of losing on appeal. This same Judge Batten dismissed our Clean Water Act suit against Peachtree City stating that our pre-suit notice was insufficient, inviting us to send another notice and file suit again. Despite the 90% chance of losing on appeal we are going to go for it and have appealed. In response to our suit, the City has done a scant amount of the work required but insists on more foot dragging.

Back to the Voting Rights Act case. Commission Chair Steve Brown said he will consult with the lawyers to see what they think our chances are of winning on appeal. I would imagine that Steve will hear what he wants to hear. I am reminded of the scene in "Dumb and Dumber" when Jim Carey asks an attractive young lady "Is there a chance you could ever love me ?". She smirks back with "Yeah, there's a chance--- one in a billion." With this, Jim Carey is enthused. Steve Brown may be enthused with being told that there is only a 1 in 10 chance on appeal. Besides the Judge, it will be interesting to see who and what Steve criticizes.

Finally, the 11th Circuit will probably wait for the Supreme Court to rule on its Voting Rights Act case. The argument advanced in the Supreme Court is that the Voting Rights Act should be ended. The argument is that the historical goal of race equalization has been met and that the Voting Rights Act has, in essence, outdated its purpose. The 11th Circuit is the second busiest circuit, averaging over one case a day per judge. An opportunity to avoid ruling at all would be appealing.

wildfire's picture

As I have said for MANY years, Fayette is doomed to turn into another Clayton County, South Fulton County and Atlanta. LONG gone are the days when our once beautiful community, great schools and wonderful residents were able to live in a small utopia. We use to have very little crime and top Corporations would suggest our little County as a place to live and enjoy.

I saw this coming and so have many others. Most of us chose to move our families before the downfall began. Others like myself stayed long enough for our Children to grow up and move on before we moved ourselves. My family roots go back over 160 years in Fayette County and it hurts deeply for me to see Fayette becoming just like the areas I mentioned above.

For sure I will be labeled a racist or bigot (most assuredly called so by the huge wave of liberals who are making there way into Fayette) but those who know me know there is not a racist bone or bigot thought in my mind or body. I let the numbers do the talking. Because of my family roots Fayette will always be my home but alas it will be my home from afar as I too took the bull by the horns and moved.

I could say let us all meet here in 10 years or even in 5 years and see if my prediction does not bloom. We don't have to do that though because the numbers for the last 10 years speak volumes attesting to the change that is overwhelming Fayette County today. Crime is higher than it has ever been, land values are lower than they have ever been, graffiti is in place all over buildings and signs throughout the County. People no longer feel as safe as they use to feel and it is getting worse every day.

I still have a lot of family in Fayette County and I pray for their safety and future as well. When I visit them, I look around and I am saddened by all that I see and now with the District Voting to begin taking place the last small pockets of beauty, low crime and real safety in Fayette will soon disappear too.

PS: Just take a look at the names as well as the residences listed on the Fayette County arrest reports page each week. Like I said the numbers speak for themselves.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

I think you are reaching a bit, wildfire. Most of our crime is relatively minor and the serious crimes seem to be committed by out of county criminals. I think all that is a separate issue from district voting.

The worst thing that can happen with district voting is having one or more commissioners pandering to the voters in just their district by forcing through "bring home the bacon" projects enabled by tit for tat votes supporting the other commissioner's special projects. So, no one is focused on the big picture - just grandstanding and increased spending. Just like us Congress - what could go wrong?

Now you do have a good point about liberals moving in. We certainly do not need to let them get in power and change this very Republican county into something less. No liberal ideas were instrumental in the building of this county and now is not the time to allow any of those whacky ideas to even be considered for Fayette County. That has nothing to do with race, by the way.

Live free or die!

wont bring devastating change to the county. But if you set the precedent that even though it can't be proven, it is assumed that whites in FayCo are racist and the only way to fix this is to assume that blacks are racisit too, where will it end? This must be the assumption, that blacks will only vote for other blacks, or the whole reason behind district voting collapses. I dispense with the PC term 'minorities' because the NAACP doesnt give a hoot as to how many latinos or asians have been elected to the school board. Nevermind the fact that the NAACP cannot describe what a black rep will do that a white one cant or vice versa. They dont explain what needs of the black school children in this county are not being met or how a black rep will meet those needs, they just aledge that everyone is racist and the only way to fix it is for blacks to be racist as well. It boggles the mind.

SPQR's picture

only if you have a mind to boggle.

?

This is not good, but it certainly isn't the end.

Enough of the doom and gloom crap. There are so many things looking up for this county right now.

Despite my opposition to this ruling and racist concept, the black citizens of this county are as a good people as everybody else, its not like everything is going to change.

The difference between Clayton and Fayette from day one has been the County land use plan. Thank that for us not having any significant amount of tract housing and apartments. Both of which are wholly responsible for the crap hole that is Clayton County.

Lots of good going on here.

The Board of Commissioners and Board of Education should do the right thing and not appeal the Court's ruling . Fayette County citizens have worked for decades to create real representative democracy through district voting.

Our elected officials must do the right thing and end the nearly two-year fight to preserve a discriminatory voting system that
has cost the County nearly $300,000 (and counting) to defend.

Commissioner Brown recognizes the value of district-based voting, which is why he was a staunch supporter of district
voting when he served as the Mayor of Peachtree City. Given the authority of the Court’s ruling, and our County's dire fiscal
constraints, we can not afford to spend another penny defending what has been declared to be an illegal practice by a federal court in this case, specifically by a judge who, by the way, was appointed to the Federal bench by President George W. Bush.

Richardson

NUK_1's picture

Otherwise, this means nothing. Of course, it also assumes that blacks vote only for blacks(uh, OK, fairly true) and whites only vote for whites(pretty untrue), which is pathetically stupid as evidenced by the fact that a mixed-race president has been elected twice recently.

[quote=lrichardson]
Commissioner Brown recognizes the value of district-based voting, which is why he was a staunch supporter of district
voting when he served as the Mayor of Peachtree City. [/quote]

Oh man, you just stepped into it there. NONE of Steve Brown's current drooling supporters will ever acknowledge this fact and try as hard as possible to pretend he never held that position or chastised everyone opposed as neanderthals. They don't want to comment on that because they have no spine whatsoever, not surprisingly.

This case is about fundamental fairness and accountability. Plaintiffs want all communities in Fayette County to be able to elect candidates of their choice who are responsive to their needs. For far too long, Fayette County’s Black community, in particular, has lacked the representation on the Board of Commissioners and Board of Education to address many of the important issues that they face.

Richardson

What the key issues are that the black children (in all districts of the county, not just the proposed minority majority district) face? Please explain why a white person cant help with those key issues? Please explain who will help the black kids who live in districts outside the minority majority district if they dont have black reps also? Please explain how a single black student has ever managed to pass high school in this county without a black rep up to this point? Please explain who will help the white children who live in the new majority minority district? Dont we care about them anymore? Please explain what we are supposed to do about the latino and asian kids since nobody (including the NAACP) seems to give a rip about making a microdistrict just for them so they can have their own officials represent their unique issues that they face, or dont they struggle as much as black kids in your eyes? Also, please explain what exactly is wrong with the FayCo education system that this farce of a lawsuit is supposed to fix? We're all waiting with baited breath I assure you.

The lawsuit states: Representative of their choosing. What is the hangup if they CHOOSE a black/Asian/Hispanic/ person? Georgia wants to get from under the Voting RIghts Act monitoring - but with only 2 counties in Georgia hanging on to Districtwide voting - they may be able to demonstrate that the monitoring is no longer necessary. Adults are not stupid. Just having the 'right to vote' does not mean in local areas your right to vote or your vote will be implemented as the law intended. The operative word here is POWER. And race is not the only segment that is considered in maintaining power - so gerrymandering will be carefully looked at. It was almost laughable that in the designing of an additional District - they couldn't quite come up with a boundary that had 50% minorities. Well, when the college comes in and the movie studio - things may change. Believe me, part of the attraction of Fayette County was the diversity that is seen here. . .and the atmosphere of success and safety. We must elect leaders who have a vision of inclusion - not the maintenance of separation. . . and everyone, regardless of his ideology or political party, having a seat at the table.

You must think we are all as stupid as the people that voted obama into office again. We know what this is about. It's not about representation, it's purely an 'affirmative action' ploy to elect a black person into office. If the black community had any integrity, they would elect a hispanic or asian into office.

But the NAACP doesn't represent all colors. They only represent black people. Just look at their leadership- Where is the diversity that they claim to hold dear? The NAACP, much like obama, is divisive, hypocritical, and racist.

The mere fact that they believe that they cannot be represented by a white person is the most telling fact that they are racist and too good to be able to be represented by an asian, hispanic, or white person. It is currently understood that all of the elected representatives represent all of the people of Fayette county. Once a black person is elected to office, it will be understood that they are there to only represent black people. If you think otherwise, you are fooling yourself.

RKS's picture

[quote=lrichardson]This case is about fundamental fairness and accountability. Plaintiffs want all communities in Fayette County to be able to elect candidates of their choice who are responsive to their needs. For far too long, Fayette County’s Black community, in particular, has lacked the representation on the Board of Commissioners and Board of Education to address many of the important issues that they face.[/quote]

What needs have the black community had that have not been met? What issues are not being addressed?

1. Cheap residential developments in the northwest area

2. Deployment of law enforcement in the area

I doubt that those who live in the area read The Citizen. I do know that many 'middle class' minorities that have lived in the neighboring area have left - regardless of color. Fayette County appears to have conquered the ugliness of racism - but classism may be another issue. I guess it is necessary to express complaints and fears - but to those of us who remember Fayette County in the 50's through the 80's, there is much to celebrate regarding the treatment of people of color.

S. Lindsey's picture

[quote=Davids mom]1. Cheap residential developments in the northwest area[/quote]

Should not the Community decide if they want "CHEAP" housing aka Projects or Section 8 housing in their communities?

[quote=Davids mom]2. Deployment of law enforcement in the area[/quote]

Do you know of any Law-Enforcement mandates that state LEOs will not go into these "areas" as you claim? Are LEOs all white? If not then are the black Officers racist?

[quote=Davids mom]I doubt that those who live in the area read The Citizen. I do know that many 'middle class' minorities that have lived in the neighboring area have left - regardless of color. Fayette County appears to have conquered the ugliness of racism - but classism may be another issue. I guess it is necessary to express complaints and fears - but to those of us who remember Fayette County in the 50's through the 80's, there is much to celebrate regarding the treatment of people of color.[/quote]

Yes many things have changed. That is a fact. However what is also a fact is certain people have a vested interest in keeping racism alive and well.

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

-Ayn Rand

This case is about fundamental fairness and accountability. Plaintiffs want all communities in Fayette County to be able to elect candidates of their choice who are responsive to their needs. For far too long, Fayette County’s Black community, in particular, has lacked the representation on the Board of Commissioners and Board of Education to address many of the important issues that they face.

Richardson

The concept seems reasonable. District voting so that the community is fairly represented in the elected boards. BOE and BOC. That is the idea right ?

If the county elected officals do not have the courage or fortitude to act, then the judiciary steps in. IS that not the way it works?

A court challaenge will bring unwanted attention and put the county in a negative light wouldn't it ? What would prospective employers think.

As it is , it may end up on the evening news anyway.

The trick is to get into the news for good reason and not bad reasons, right ?

Funny how commentators jumped from this to the demise of the county.

C55

When relocating voluntarily, people will choose a new area because it is perceived as BETTER than the one from which they are moving. This is true on both a macro level (e.g., Mexico to U.S.A.) and a micro level (e.g., Fulton/Dekalb/Clayton to Fayette). "Better" can be quantified in many ways: better schools, lower crime, better economic opportunities, etc.

What I have never understood is this: people will move to a new area because it is BETTER than that from which they came; and then they will work unceasingly to make the new community EXACTLY like the one from which they fled. They accomplish this through lawsuits, gerrymandering, and ultimately electing the same kind of politicians who presided over the less desirable area's failure.

Then, as the schools crumble and the crime rate climbs in the new area, the residents who had worked and sacrificed to build a better community will choose to leave and start over elsewhere. Then the folks who voted to change things will scratch their heads and wonder why their new home is just as bad as the one they left. Somehow they will fail to grasp that THEY are responsible, that THEIR EFFORTS to change the community led to its decline.

And then the cycle will begin anew. Like a swarm of locusts, ignorant people move from one lush area to the next, making the same poor choices over and over, and leaving desolation in their wake.

And so my point is this - Fayette County became one of the best in the state under the current election system. Clearly, this benefitted ALL the county's residents and attracted many new ones. As such, why would anyone wish to replace the current system with one that has failed elsewhere?? To quote Major Clipton, "Madness! Madness! Madness!" I imagine that there will be a lot of head scratching in 10 years time.

Once I understand this desire to abandon a proven system, I'll have to work on comprehending why - according to the NAACP - a black person can only be adequately represented by another black person...

Robert W. Morgan's picture

I think it is the whole thing about fairness - the basis for what passes liberal or progressive thought since the early 1900's. In fact, that brings up another version of your macro example - Europeans migrating to the United States who then lust after all things European, but I digress.

The real goal of these people is for everyone to have the same amount of stuff. Same house, same car, same income. This is called fairness. If you are poor and you want to change that, there is no better place than America where everyone has an opportunity to excel far greater than any other country. In fact, in America you have 2 entirely different ways to achieve fairness.
1. You can educate yourself, work hard, stay out of trouble, save money, maybe create your own business - basically work your way up from poor to middle class to wealthy. Millions of legal immigrants and their descendants have done exactly that. OR,
2. You can envy and even hate the rich and demand that things be taken away from them and given to you in order to achieve fairness. This is less trouble than working hard and there is no shortage of politicians/enablers willing to help. And even if you don't drag the rich people down to your level, you get enough stuff that even though you are still poor you are much more comfortable than those that are poor in other countries.

In either case, these people can move into a nicer area. the #1's do it the traditional way. The #2's needed a boost from the Community Reinvestment Act and Barney Frank and Bill Clinton's AG, but they got there - bad habits and all.

For more on this and related subjects read my post at the bottom of the page "District voting not logical....." and today's Ann Coulter column "When did we become Mexico".

The reason the NAACP can adopt the stunningly racist position that only a black person can represent another black person is because of slavery. Those people who were enslaved were brought to this country legally (at the time) but against their will. They were treated harshly by their owners who are always depicted as white (although factually there were plenty of black slaveowners) so the theory is that only those descended from the slaves have a unique right to be compensated for their ancestors' suffering. The representation idea grows out of that and no white person has the right to suggest that anything about this is unfair since it was our ancestors' who enslaved these people. And no white person is allowed to point out that there are millions of black people not descended from slaves that get on this bandwagon when convenient.

I have plenty of white friends and some black, Asian and hispanic friends that live in the districts represented by Hank Johnson or John Lewis. None are thrilled about the representation. None cite skin color. None have produced a lawsuit or formed an organization that has as it's goal "We want a white representative". As you say - Madness! twice.

Live free or die!

Stop referring to 'slavery' as a cause for today's concern about racism. It's the remnantts of Jim Crow practices and the fear of losing 'white supremacy' that some see as the cause of today's racist attitudes . My mother's generation were the grandchildren of slaves - here in the south some coukd have been the children.of share croppers. That is history. Yes, it has an effect on the present, but Jim Crow practices were part of my generations experience. To be a recipient of those practices was ugly and denigrating. My children and grandchildren have been exposed to this ignorance. I have three greatgrandchildren. They should not have to go through this craziness. There are American citizens in this country on both the left and the right and moderates who are working to end this madness of racism in the United States. If it was history, we would not be having this discussion; the derogatory portrayal of our current president as a monkey would not be tolerated, - and instead of FC getting negative press, the county would be celebrated for it!'s progress.

[quote=Davids mom] There are American citizens in this country on both the left and the right and moderates who are working to end this madness of racism in the United States. If it was history, we would not be having this discussion; the derogatory portrayal of our current president as a monkey would not be tolerated, - and instead of FC getting negative press, the county would be celebrated for it!'s progress.[/quote]

Who are the people on the left, right, and middle that are working to end racism? What is their plan to end racism? How will we know when racism has officially ended? Please be specific in your responses.

Where were you when our President was being portrayed as a monkey, over and over and over again?
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-cesca/bush-looks-an-awful-lot-l_b_1426... as Monkey</a>

You were silent. That makes you a hypocrite and therefore anything you state from now on is completely irrelevant.

To coin a phrase, slavery happened a <a href="http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/carney-benghazi-happened-long-time-a... time ago</a>. It is irrelevant today, so you should just move on. (Move On is a Democrat organization)

FACTUALIZE IT!!

You could have looked this up - but thanks for giving me the opportunity to share FACTS:

The organization below has done much in cooperating with media and corporations to present the United States to the world as a diverse nation with opportunity for everyone. My grandchildren are exposed to a media that represents all Americans. When I was growing up – there were no ‘blacks’ on television – and then came Amos and Andy (which was seen in the south) and Julia – which weren’t seen in the south in the beginning. The Nat King Cole Show was not shown in the south – and because of pressure from certain groups in our country – the show lost sponsors and was cancelled even though Mr. Cole’s records were sold to millions of Americans and his music is still considered an American legacy.

The state song of Georgia is <strong>Georgia On My Mind,</strong> written by Hoagy Carmichael and sung by Ray Charles, a man of color.

http://www.noacentral.org/page.php?id=270

The page below gives other organizations throughout the world that sponsors anti-racism activities.

http://www.google.com/webhp?hl=en&tab=cw#hl=en&output=search&sclient=psy...

Malcom X left the Black Muslim organization when after visiting Mecca, he realized that Muslims come in all colors. . . as do Christians and members of other faith organizations. In our country, the majority of faith organizations are actively involved in correcting the negative affects of racism/segregation. Most faith organizations and many Atheist organizations work to eradicate racist practices in our country. If the racist attitude could be silenced, more people of color would be Republicans today – for the faith community in the ‘black’ community is very, very conservative.

[quote]You were silent. That makes you a hypocrite and therefore anything you state from now on is completely irrelevant.[/quote]

You don't know me - but those who do know me can attest that I have never in my life been silent about a concern that I have about my country. You make statements without actually validating if what you say has any basis in truth. Thanks.

Your commentary is irrelevant because you are a hypocrite.

RKS's picture

[quote=Joe Kawfi]Your commentary is irrelevant because you are a hypocrite.[/quote]

If you consider to be irrelevant, then why did you ask her to answer your questions? duh I gotta wonder if you are this annoying and childish in real life.

They were rhetorical questions. I knew full well that DM would not answer them, and she did not.

Pull your head out, jaggoff!!

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