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Wilson's Chapel UMC Rural Setting

Us vs. Them and this side vs. that side has me weary.  I am on the side of right.  But, we should consider the plight of the southside today…southside of town, of the state and of the nation.  Oh, it’s an issue because the governor wants to control schools on the southside, Atlanta feels it’s carrying South Georgia at times, and the America South doesn’t get the respect it deserves.

Traditionally, southern towns were divided by railroad tracks and my community was on the southside.  Some of us wax nostalgic for Black businesses, Black schools, and Black neighborhoods.  Was integration a two edged-sword?  The November ballot includes a constitutional amendment to create a so-called Opportunity School District.  The OSD would be a statewide district and the governor’s appointee could closed an underperforming school or privatize it.

In many cases, the schools on the list are the last neighborhood schools on the southside of their towns.  Schools, hospitals and governmental buildings often serve as institutional anchors of an area.

In many Georgia towns, the battle isn’t northside vs. southside; it’s city vs. county.  Let’s be real, southern White people love owning land; I like that myself.  If you have several acres in the country, it seems like your own kingdom or estate.  Fox News and conservative talk radio have those people retreating to their forts…guns in hand.

If you notice, the new schools are in the county or on the outskirts of town because the White exodus left a Black center.  “Wait a minute I might live in the county but my tax dollars pay for too much…federal, state and local. I should still control the city.”  If you are a millionaire in the county, Kesha who works at the plant has more pull in town than you…if she would only vote.  The money-having White minority who live in town controlling everything would be American apartheid.

On the state level, Georgia’s governmental power struggle is between Metro Atlanta and North Georgia.  The governor and a disproportionate number of leaders are from North Georgia. The reason why is simple…they vote every time up there.  South Georgia seems like an afterthought.  Newsflash, every dadgum body can’t live in the Atlanta….and that statement comes from people living in Atlanta.

Nationally, the South has it’s own vibe/favor.  I am going to scream if I continue to hear and read “urban” as a synonym for “Black” in the news and on BET.  Blacks who live in the country want to be in the country.  We should be approached differently than our cousins in the city.  If not for racism and lack of employment, many of those city Blacks would love being back in the piney woods.  If they sold their ATL McMansions and got acres in the county, where would current county folks flee to next?

There is a growing sentiment that the Democrat establishment cares more about the LBGTQ community and the undocumented Latino community than southern Blacks.  Bernie Sanders would have beaten Hillary Clinton if not for Blacks in the South.  I don’t agree with my friends that think all Blacks wanted from the election of Obama was for him to be Black….that’s bull.  We appreciate President Obama’s service…period.

In summary, we must vote, speak up and stay vocal because the squeaky wheel gets the grease. If you don’t vote, you have zero right to complain about President Trump’s view of the southside…typing President Trump was difficult.

trojanhousee

If Georgia’s Governor wants to pass a constitutional amendment to create an “Opportunity School District,” what is his ultimate goal?  This OSD would be a statewide school district operated by the governor’s office or his appointee and would be comprised of under preforming schools.  Those schools would have zero to do with the local school system.

I view the OSD as a Trojan Horse and once a Trojan Horse gets into your kingdom or your computer it destroys.  The ultimate scenario could be:

  1. Take failing schools into the Opportunity School District and turn them over to a private company with no accountability to the local taxpayers or local school board.
  2. Close some of the schools and therefore move those students into other area schools.
  3. Parents who don’t want their kids attending school with children from a failed school would push for vouchers so they can send their kids to private school or keep the money and homeschool them.

In summary, the ultimate objective might be creating a climate for vouchers.  The school choice debate can be had because vouchers sound good to some but come in the front door…don’t be sneaky.   The ultimate goal for supporters of the horrible OSD amendment is to keep some kids from going to school with certain kids.

Also, the cause and effect relationship surrounding failing schools isn’t as simple as the governor’s office might think.  What is a failing school anyway?  You can’t measure all factors based on test scores.  We should appreciate the educators who take assignments with challenged kids from challenged environments.  It’s not the kid’s fault that he or she wasn’t born into a more ideal situation.

Some educators go into teaching because they want to help kids from rough situations because they were once that kid.  Oh, as quiet as it is kept, those kids unfortunately have a “seasoning” that some kids don’t have because they faced adversity too early in life.  Hell, every Black kid in the South born before say 1976 have that seasoning because we faced constant racism as well as the crabs in the barrel Blacks.  Good teachers know how to bring out the best in kids rather than stigmatizing them as the OSB would.

State officials should be working with the local school systems to improve failing schools rather than using them to push a secret agenda.  If we don’t vote against the Opportunity School Board amendment, our overall education system will be at risk.

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Recently, I wrote a blog post about voting against the constitutional amendment called “Opportunity School District.” I considered it a Trojan horse to take over certain schools with option to privatize or closed them.  https://projectlogicga.com/2016/06/30/trojan-horse-vote-no-on-opportunity-school-district-constitutional-amendment/

The Atlanta Constitution newspaper actually has a link with schools that the Governor’s office would takeover in the Fall 2017.  The list includes beloved Monroe High School in Albany, Georgia. Yes, Monroe…green and gold Monroe…the school which has produced, in my opinion, more Black lawyers and doctors than any school in Albany if not more than the other three public high schools combined.

Monroe recently had an all-class reunion and the love made non-Monroe people green with envy; the events were massive.  It’s time to use that same enthusiasm to stop the takeover and possible closure of Monroe and other schools.  Wait a second; Dougherty High is on the list also.

If I am reading this list correctly, following schools would be included:

Monroe High School

Dougherty High School

Alice Coachman Elementary

Southside Middle School

http://m.ajc.com/map-ga-schools-failing/

http://m.ajc.com/news/news/local-education/5-things-know-about-gov-deals-opportunity-school-d/npn6p/

 

trojan-horse-in-troy-city

The November election in Georgia is important because the Governor is trying to slip an education Trojan horse into every school system.   The Opportunity School District constitutional amendment sounds harmless or helpful: “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow the state to intervene in chronically failing public schools in order to improve student performance?”

Intervene.  Intervene how?  The Governor’s Office, not the state department of education, would take over certain schools with the option to declare them charter schools and privatize these schools.  “Oh, you went to a school so bad that the state took it over…what a stigma…do you know what stigma means?”

First, my concerns aren’t about Democrats and Republicans.  When Governor Deal was a congressman from the northern section of Georgia, he did a fine job representing the people of that region.  However, Georgia is a big and diverse state with different regions.  Muhammed Ali once said that the problem with Atlanta is that it is surrounded by Georgia.  Come on, champ, some of us prefer the rest of Georgia.

My point is that the conservative region above Atlanta doesn’t understand that schools fail for various reasons and only bloggers will admit that the primary reasons might be home life—little Johnny can’t focus at school if home is rough.  Of course, we all want kids to be ready to learn, focused and prepared to concentrate like we were…and we were because we grew up focusing from the front pew of church.

Wait a second, my conservative friends have been fighting against federal or state control of local governmental matters for 40 years.  Generally, they would hate a state officer telling them what to do with their local schools.

History

Some ultra conservatives have been trying to resegregate schools since Brown vs. the Board of Education.  Paying property taxes to fund a school full of kids whose parents don’t pay property taxes burns them up.  The situation is exacerbated by the notion that “those kids” at times are the discipline problems that make the public schools unacceptable.  So, Mr. Property Owner must go deeper into his pockets to pay for private school.  For the record, everyone should cheer for the academic success of every child because you want to have an intelligent labor force to attract well-paying industries.  If you don’t pay for school, you will pay in time in prison cost…Georgia State University or Georgia State Penitentiary.

Ultimate Real Deal

The Opportunity School District is a Trojan horse that would open the door to privatizing public schools and taking control of schools from local leaders and citizens.  I bet you will find some corporations that run schools at the center of this idea.  Remember, they tried the same thing with privatizing prisons—built the prisons and they got rich off mass incarceration.  Orange is the New Black is based on facts.

This deal is even cuter. This plan goes down like this: Rather than cherry-picking the best students and putting them into charter schools or magnet schools, you open the door to cherry-picking the worst schools or students, turn them over to private companies and the remaining students will be better off.

Yes, something must be done about under-preforming schools and the effort will require an honest analysis of all factors…including students, parents and environment.  But, the governor’s office taking over schools is not the answer.

Hillary Clinton Smiling

You know that Democrat voters in Georgia are experiencing an enthusiasm problem.  They aren’t necessarily hyped about voting for president because the national media keeps saying that Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida are the only swing states this side of the Mississippi River.  Clinton will win those states and with the help of Republicans running from Donald Trump, Georgia and North Carolina are on the toss-up list.

Clinton should be smiling because this crazy Opportunity School Board mess would light a fire under unlikely registered voters.  If presented to the people correctly, OSB could be a game changer.  Wait, it gets better.  Real money is flowing around the state to stop this ill-conceived amendment.  Traditionally, Dems raise money in Atlanta to spend in say Florida but this year, Hillary and maybe the U.S. Senate candidate Jim Barksdale might win by riding the coattails of the anti-Opportunity  School Board movement.

Bloggers are ready to stop OSB with rallies, cookouts, tailgates, receptions and radio spots.  Georgia Dems can be elitists at times—elbowing each other for glory.  We don’t have time for that crap this time because the stakes are too high…what’s in the balance is the future of our kids.  We won’t let them recreate a second class school system based on race, region, or income. I think they want rural school systems to have a city kids school and county kids school but that is really county kids getting new schools and town kids keeping the old, current schools.

Plan

The plan to stop OSB centers on early voting and educating voters about voting the total ballot.  President Obama recently said at Howard University’s graduation that he would have had a different congress if voters who voted for him would have voted for congress and other ballot items. We must get the word out and it needs to come from trusted members of the community…like me.  They need to put that money on the street…old school style, Maze and Motown playing at rallies, family reunion style.  Oh, I would put a Trojan horse with OSB on him on 3,000 t-shirts in one month.

Citizens should consider their use of time in support of the communities’ youth.  So, you can sit in a high school football game for three hours to support the players, cheerleaders and band but you won’t take 10 minutes to early vote for good candidates and against junk like OSB.  You use your smartphone to play Angry Birds but won’t get angry about conservative politicians trying to quietly take over our schools; we are talking about the same conservatives who constantly called for the end of the state and federal departments of education.  As projectlogicaga.com’s Best Interest Initiative states, everyone has an agenda.

My agenda is to use social media to mobilize and energize every voter this year.

The 2016 presidential race will be decided by who is taken for granted.  Five groups are in the political arena: the traditional Democrats, the Bernie Sanders liberals, the traditional Republicans, the Trump revolutionaries, and registered voters who might stay home.  If you check history, the side that gets out it’s base while securing the center/moderates wins, i.e. Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan.

“For granted” could be a pun of “for granite” because the foundation of a political party should be etched in stone…rock solid.  In 2016, nothing is rock solid. First of all, Hillary Clinton better not forget that Blacks in Dixie won the nomination for her; Sanders was winning all over New England, the Rust Belt and with the liberals of the Pacific Northwest.

When it’s time to set the Democratic platform, we better see some southern pine planks.  The fear is that Sanders and his people will demand some socialism that pulls Hillary too far left.  The Democrats shouldn’t be surprised that Sanders isn’t a team player because he isn’t really a Democrat.

Of course, the traditional Republicans are pulling out what remains of their hair because Trump is a loose cannon.  They risk permanently damaging their brand if he is the leader of their party but his folks might bounce like Sander’s people if he is disrespected.

The voters who might stay home are primarily Obama supporters who registered to make history in 2008.  About history, Obamacrats need to know that his historic gains would be reverse quick, fast and in a hurry by Trump.

Trump and Sanders created successful national agendas from the bottom up while the two major parties normally sit in D.C. offices and create the agendas—top down. Well, the people have spoken and they like the unconventionality of Trump and Sanders.  Newsflash: you can tell voters you would do this and that if in office but actually doing that stuff is impossible or improbable.

The Trump and the Sanders folks need to consider the hip hop axiom “be where you are celebrated..not tolerated.”

The Bible says in Psalm 118:22 “the stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.”  The side that takes granite for granted will watch their political house fall in the Fall. Black folks have been granite for the southern Democrats but who calls the shots…who is at the table when the money is counted…who gets crumbs after the big dogs feast.

Finally, I want to explore what happens to Black people if Trump becomes president.  Democrats give Blacks a false sense of hope; “the government is going to fix your life.”  We know Trump isn’t “studying” us and that’s the reason our community might be compelled to improve on our own if he was in the White House.  In a strange twist, that man in the Oval Office could bring out our best by necessity.

So, Trump has Newt Gingrich and Hillary has Bill Clinton.  That is a really good deal because (as quiet as it is kept) leaders got along after hours for the good of the nation back in the day.  If you notice Bill Clinton is like Bush 41’s play son.  President Clinton and Speaker Gingrich met privately late at night  and supposedly saved Social Security.

It seems most of the players in the political arena are actually acting most of the time.  On the Democrat side, most members of the Congressional Black Caucus care more about keeping their positions of power by promising free this and that than telling the truth about improving our communities.  The truth starts with folks taking an honest look in the mirror.

On the Republican side, a little article in the Capitol Hill newspaper from the Clinton/Gingrich era sums it up for me.  When the Contract With America Republican revolutionaries went on a retreat to Maryland’s Eastern Shore, a cover band that night played Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker” and a surprising number of freshmen put their fingers to their lips on the part about “I am a midnight toker.”  Basically, the reporter felt these high-minded conservatives were no strangers to being literally high.

You know a brother played bass on “The Joker” and that first line about “some people call me the space cowboy…some people call me the doctor of love” got me thinking about the movie Space Cowboys.  In that film four Air Force test pilots hoped to be the first Americans in space but the government in their wisdom replaced the Air Force with NASA and the first in space was a chimp named Mary Ann.  Well, dam.

Four decades later, NASA sought the help of those old fellows because a Russian communication satellite needed to be control and the systems were similar to American old technology.  After taking the space shuttle to the Soviet craft, they discovered four nuclear warheads that would target America if they fall out of orbit.  Tommy Lee Jones’ character decided to use his jet pack to push the weapons into deep space before finally getting to the moon and dying.  Hey, Jones was Vice President Gore’s roommate at Harvard.

Thank you for reading that long movie recap because I needed that foundation to make a point.  The point is that those of us who were around the Congress and White House during the Clinton era seems like those space cowboys.  Remember, Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich and House Budget Committee chair John Kasich crafted an economic plan (after fighting like cats and dogs) that left America with a budget surplus and a strong, healthy economy.

After riding his coattails, the nasty Republicans figured out a way to toss homeboy Newt.  More surprising, Al Gore loss to George Bush because the same people that the Clinton/Gore White House helped failed to vote.  I am not pissed at the Republicans for winning; I am pissed at our community for not voting.

As in the movie Space Cowboys, it’s time for the old school Clinton Dems or the Blue Dog Democrats to rescue the world from pending disaster.  To me, there are five sections to the electorate right now.  On the Republican side, you have the “traditional establishment, less taxes, pro-business conservatives” and you have the “far Right, listen to talk radio until a blood vessel is going to pop in their forheads, I want my country back” folks.   On the Dem side, you have the Clintonites/Obamacrats who are the Dem establishment and you have the new socialists of Bernie Sanders with their give me, give me, give me mentality.

The 5th section would be the millions of people who will sit at home and not vote this year.  Mind you, these same people might be living in government-assisted housing and eating food….I better stop there but you get the point.

If the Sanders supporters don’t vote for Clinton, Trump is president.  I have friends who argue that Trump being president would be better for our community than Sanders because we will know once and for all that the White House can’t help us and it is therefore vital that we help ourselves by changing our personal actions.

Real talk, Trump’s message of making goods in America sounds similar to the “Look for the Union label” movement of my childhood.  Hell yes, we use to have four factories in every south Georgia town and of course we had agriculture.  Today, stuff is cheap in the dollar store because it’s made by cheap labor overseas.  But, the homies don’t have a dollar because the community is unemployed.  Wall Street did that to increase their profit margins.  I would pay a little more for American made goods and products if that put people back to work.

We can’t fall for Trump’s excellent acting job; he is more P.T. Barnum than F.D.R.  There is a sucker born every minute and you can’t blame Trump for trying to pull off the greatest ruse in history.  Being president is harder than it looks and some folks simply aren’t presidential material.  In the political arena, you have activists and governors.

Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Newt Gingrich, John Kasich and Ronald Reagan are governors while Sarah Palin, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are activists.  Activists serve an important purpose but to govern requires tact and diplomacy.  There is a big difference between Wall Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.

Winning the White House in 2016 might come down to which side listens to their old school space cowboys.

hillary-clinton-hosts-african-americans-for-hillary-rally-in-atlanta

Hillary Clinton wouldn’t be the Democrat nominee without Blacks in the South. Bernie Sanders has been whupping her almost everywhere else because he promises free this and free that.  Young Blacks are eating his candy by the spoonful but oldheads know the path to success doesn’t run through government offices and that wishing for governmental free stuff makes Americans soft.

The nerds from the Ivy League that run the DNC think Clinton wins the White House without winning much between Virginia and Texas but I think she needs to win two of four certain states: Florida, Georgia, Virginia and North Carolina. She wins Georgia and/or Florida by keeping it close in the rural areas and going over the top in the cities.  Rep. Sanford Bishop can deliver three of Georgia’s non-Atlanta cities and therefore counterbalance a quarter of rural Georgia.

The Sanders factor should have Dems worried because his voters might stay home if progressive elements aren’t in the Democrat platform.

Hillary Clinton can’t do it alone.  A certain number of people will vote for Hillary Clinton while a large number of Black voters will be voting against Donald Trump.  Hillary, gratefully take those votes.  Another large number of Black voters will be folks voting to protect President Obama’s legacy from Trump and his minions.  Again, Mrs. Senator/Secretary, Merry Christmas from the Obamas.

So, this election will involve having billions on the table.  The Democrat elite are planning on spending money raised in Atlanta on T.V. ads in swing states.  A quarter of that money should be used as Get Out the Vote in the best Black state in the union….the peach.  Nationally, we don’t need ads of Clinton in a hard hat, Clinton reading to school kids or Clinton watching a production line.  We know the Clintons are good people.  That money should be spent getting infrequent voters to the polls.  Who is good at that?  Me.

I am calling it the way Babe Ruth called that home run or the way Curry tosses up a 3 point shot and walks toward the other basket.  Hillary Clinton will be president and we will hand her Georgia on a platter.  It’s not about her winning our state; it’s about us lighting a fire under infrequent voters.  Next year, we want to see one Georgian in her cabinet…Ag Sec, Labor Sec, HUD Sec…a few names come to mind.

 

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