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Volume 2 Issue 44…. Dedicated to the Dialogue on Race…. November 12, 1999
by John Burl Smith
Willie Lynch's theory forms the socioeconomic and political foundation of America's institutionalized racism. Governor Roy Barnes is a modern practitioner of Lynch's strategy. By keeping slaves fighting over a meager subsistence, the master controlled group dynamics. Like most reformed segregationists, Barnes refuses to address issues of equal justice, economic development and educational access for African Americans. Dismissing Georgia's slave history and the legal segregation, which followed it, Roy feels Georgia does not owe African Americans any consideration. More than 40% of the state's population, African Americans are treated as second class citizens.
Sunday's AJC (11-7-99) announced a series of town hall meetings arranged by Gov. Barnes. Designed to "recommend changes to state law and to address issues affecting Hispanics in Georgia," Roy is seeking opinions from Hispanics working in carpet factories, migrants on South Georgia farms and metro Atlanta day laborers. Growing to 2.3% of Georgia's population, the Governor plans to use executive orders to advance Hispanic interests.
Hispanics are analogous to African Americans in many ways. However, the Governor is not talking about increasing revenues to serve Hispanics, rather, he is shifting resources from one group of poor to another. Pitting poor blacks against poor Hispanics is classic Willie Lynch strategy, which keeps "minorities" fighting over crumbs like slaves. The irony is blacks have worked in carpet mills for below minimum wages, and on farms picking cotton, tobacco, fruit and vegetables for two dollars a day since slavery, and no governor has created programs to address African American issues. Other Essays by Mr. Smith This Issue
Comments from the Bat Cave
To all his fans who are wondering about his continued hiatus, the Dark Knight-Batman/White Ninja/Zorro wants them to know that he needs "more time to think up something important to tell us." The DISH would like to thank you for your patience, while the Dark One/Ninja/Zorro completes his latest metamorphous. Other Bat Cave Comments
The Atlanta Vibe
Following growth, there is always a subsequent period of consolidation. This ebb and flow rejuvenate and revitalize a building process. Experiencing this dynamics, The Atlanta Vibe witnessed the Patti Hut's departure from the scene, as did Level Two Art Gallery. The oldest spoken word spot, its closing reduces an already dwindling number of venues. Viewed as consolidation, the Atlanta Vibe has experienced phenomenal growth and produced some outstanding spoken word artists.
Beginning at the Pattie Hut, Yohannes showed phenomenal growth, raising his performance from open mic to plays (You're Tripping by We One), featured shows (Infinite Currents of Birmingham, Alabama), slams (The Grand Marnier Speak Eazy Poetry Slam), as well as special guest appearances (Les Nubians Concert, ATL.) He appears next in Quest 4Nowledge's production Gemini Rising at Seven Stages November 19th- 28th 1999. A part of the consolidation process, losing the Pattie Hut, will limit opportunities for young sisters and brothers beginning as Yohannes did in 1997. However, for those who grow and survive, greater possibilities exist, thanks to The Patti Hut. More on the Atlanta Vibe
Intuit's Weekly Vibe
This Thing Called Life
by Yohannes Sharriff Smith
10, 9,... 3, 2, 1... Happy New Year!
Welcome to the New Millennium!(Static) (Beep!)
This is a test. This is only a test.
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today
To get thru this thing called life..."
Quarantined behind electrified fences
During this nuclear winter, we exist,
Mutants, surviving the fallout of economic revolution.
Raisins in the sun screaming --"Retribution!"
Ancient drums play the sound track of my life.
While malnourished dreams become
Clay sculptures in the rain,
...Our Blues Distorted (Beep!) This is a test.
Robbed of her drum,
When the city breathes, she speaks in tongues...
While my GA peach Atlantis red light lady wines me,
The city weeps beneath the dawn of Y2K.
Electric blue raindrops fall thru saxophone gray sky
Scraper/Rapers of the original womb
Red clay aching after-noon, clear-cutting on 2nd Avenue.
No leaves! No trees! No roots! Our blues distorted.
Our lives aborted like sunken slave ships
Lie at the bottom of the ocean never recorded! (Beep!)
This is a test. This is only a test!
In my neighborhood, shelters close,
While residential developers build $100,000 homes
On unlined landfills, which spill toxic chemicals
Into the soil, and thru cheap PVC water pipes.
Stereotyped "learning disabled"
Children high on Ritalin are missing in action.
Behind abandoned businesses and condemned buildings
Too many dead babies litter the landscape
Like trash in the streets that never come clean.
The beast enters the scene ready to feed.
Prophetic ghetto philosophers pose as winos and junkies
Faithfully dispensing the daily gospel.
"Christ is here! Free Mumia! Free Mumia" (Pow!)
Thru the fluorescent streets of this mysterious city,
Sleep beneath the eyes of God. Dearly beloved...
Gathered at five points bathed in the shadows
Of Olympic progress and re-gentrification.
Fine jazz lost on the art of Woodruff Park.
Captivated by this blazing thought,
A mosaic of park bench players and wise sages
Concentrate over a game of chess.
A man races for his faith,
Proudly waving a giant yellow Jesus flag.
Wrapped tight in a rainbow of graffiti
Patchwork beautiful and lovingly stitched together
To weather the cold,
The black family boldly stands at the bus stop and does the Electric Slide.
At the reunion on the corner of Renaissance and Peachtree
The city breathes a prayer...
"Dearly beloved we are gathered here today
To pay tribute to the ancestors."
My ghetto neighborhood hopes
Planting seeds for the rebirth of soul.
The sun burns for salvation and the earth answers.
She turns sunlight into life.
I am a furiously ferocious dandelion,
Growing wild and green thru the cracked concrete of Atlantis.
Your every wish has been granted.
For seeds to grow, they must be planted.
To see beauty, you must seek balance.
You must know
Heaven is ............right now, right here
If you will build a new future
Think beautiful, see beautiful; speak beautiful!
Be beautiful...Black be beautiful.
"Dearly beloved we are gathered here today
To get thru this thing called life."Intuit's Weekly Vibe
Disgruntled says:Though G.W. Bush does not aspire to the role of Jeopardy contestant, his lack of knowledge and take on foreign policy are worrisome. Brushing off his ignorance in scripted sound bites may appease the mentally challenged, but it won't fly with those of average intelligence who go to the polls to vote. Leader of the free world, our President must possess more intelligence than class the dunce.
Disgruntled wants to know:Now that October is over, where is that health study for the Seminole Landfill area?
Disgruntled feels: stuck in scroll lock! More Disgruntled
Bits of Black History
Alvah C. Roebuck
Born during the turbulent 1860's, Alvah Roebuck was an African American. He is the Roebuck in Sears, Roebuck & Company, which lead to modern-day Sears, the huge retail business. Few know Roebuck's heritage or his contribution to the establishment of this gigantic enterprise. He is mentioned in the company's website, though neither his contribution nor heritage is mentioned. According to Sears' website, "An Indiana lad, Alvah C. Roebuck answered the ad. '1887: WANTED: Watchmaker with reference who can furnish tools. State age, experience and salary required. ADDRESS T39, Daily News.' He told Sears he knew watches and brought a sample of his work to prove it. Sears hired him. Here began the association of two young men, both still in their twenties, that was to make their names famous. For it was in 1893 that the corporate name of the firm became Sears, Roebuck & Co."
Roebuck's name does not appear in my copy American Heritage Encyclopedia, unlike his partner, Richard W. Sears, who is considered the father of the mail order business. Alvah C. Roebuck is another oversight in the annals of American history.
What is the Saltville Massacre? Rheta Grimsley Johnson (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, October 31 and November 1, 1999) did a two-part series on the little known historical event. Saltville is a small town located in Smyth County, VA. In October 1864, Brig. Gens. Stephen Burbridge and Alfred E. Jackson led Federal forces in a attempt to destroy the saltworks near the town of Saltville. The effort failed when Confederate reinforcements poured into the area. In their hasty retreat, some Federal soldiers were captured; the wounded were left behind on the battlefield. Captured black soldiers were then executed by their Confederate captors, an act considered a war crime, punishable in the International Court of Justice. None was brought to trial for these deaths; the massacre is not mentioned in our history books. Other Bits of Black History
Open Letter to: Mr. Jim Croy, Transportation Director
Georgia Regional Transportation Authority
"Sir: South DeKalb's concern grows with each statement from GRTA (Georgia Regional Transportation Authority) regarding future transportation needs. DeKalb is vital to the transportation mix determining air quality solutions in metro Atlanta. Retrospectively, beginning about 1970, state and local governments began directing development funds away from Atlanta and south DeKalb. Although citizens south of Tenth Street pay taxes, as those on the north side, they are not provided the same services, economic considerations and transportation resources.
GRTA's current plan (AJC 9-21-99) continues this trend. Your disclaimer denying a decision has been made on the Northern Arc does not wash. Existing plans earmark all transportation and development money over the next twenty years for North Georgia. State government does not put such efforts into projects it does not plan to fund. Like the F-22 fighter plane, if those in power want something, it cannot be killed or taken off the table, so money flows. Working its way over all objections until one day, Georgians are driving along the Northern Arc.
No one disputes, state and local governments directed development money away from Atlanta into Cobb and later Gwinnett Counties, which funded the creation of sprawl. Now, under the guise of air quality and smart growth, state and local governments want to direct all resources for the next twenty years away from Atlanta to eliminate the sprawl they caused. Even though air quality problems affect all, Atlanta and south DeKalb County are overlooked. If the formula for allocating funds by GRTA is followed, Cobb and Gwinnett cannot draw funds from other districts, where will they get funds?
On March 23, 1999, DeKalb citizens submitted a proposal for a rail line along I-20 east to MARTA. A route previously not considered, under-served DeKalb residents believe this line meets all needs in mutually beneficial ways. Watching other communities develop around them, while theirs deteriorate, over-taxed south DeKalb residents cannot accept another twenty years of second class citizenship. What is the transportation plan for Atlanta, Fulton and DeKalb Counties? Will citizens have input? I look forward to your timely response to these urgent matters. Sincerely, John Burl Smith" Essays by Mr. Smith This Issue
DISHing It Up Hot!
The DISHwould like to take this opportunity to thank its many readers for taking the time to write. Most have been supportive and real nice. Others needed more information on a particular topic, while still others just wanted to extend the dialogue on a special subject. The e-mail in this week's Mailbox, which accuses The DISH of being anti-Semitic, deserves special note.
We take exception to this characterization of the Phantom Scribbler's comments on Georgia's Holocaust Museum. This criticism appears to be a case of "seeing what one wants to see, rather than objectively reviewing what is said." The Scribbler's assertion that slavery, the genocide of native Americans and segregation should take priority over a foreign incident is cogent. To point up the Jewish experience to the exclusion of our own does us a disservice. Moreover, it is sheer hypocrisy. What makes this anti-Semitic? The Scribbler asked a relevant question, i.e., "when will Georgia or any state in the United States lavishly fund a museum and create state agencies dedicated to educating the public about slavery and segregation?"
The DISHis not into mindless hatred. Its readers cross all religious, racial and ethnic lines. When we throw off mindless hate, we can begin to discuss and heal. Mending the racial divide means studying our heritage and learning who and what we are. In her article on the Saltville massacre, Rheta Grimsley Johnson aptly cited William Faulkner; "the past is not dead, not even past." It influences the present; ignoring it imperils our future. Holocaust-type events are part of our past. Incidences, such as the Saltville massacre and the 1921 Tulsa, OK "Black Wall Street" race riot, may explain why African Americans are stuck at 13% of the U.S. population? Southern plantations had slave to white population ratios that exceeded 10 to 1. Why are we so few now, when we were bred like cattle then? Examining these massacres may provide some answers.
We know there were numerous lynchings. What about mass killings and racial cleansing? The DISH seeks answers to such questions in the dialogue on race. Our quest for answers is not anti-Semitic. It is about our heritage. In honor of that, The DISH is food for thought, designed to make you T.H.I.N.C. outside the fast food box. More Hot Dot DISHes
Mailbox: Letters and E-mails
Email: email@example.com refers to the Phantom Scribbler's Georgia's Holocaust Museum. "I am sick and tired of your black against Jewish propaganda, instead of building bridges of solidarity. Because you do not feel as though your history is properly recorded does not constitute permission for you to attack Jewish people. You and Louis Farrakhan are pathetic bigots who are blatantly and undeniably anti-Semitic. Why don't you try and work with Jewish people, instead of putting on an act for white Christians who are laughing their asses off at how easily you're playing into their game? I enjoyed your publication up until this point, but as someone who has dealt with anti-Semitism her entire life in some form or another, I find this unacceptable and truly distasteful. (See Phantom Scribbler The DISHv2no39).
Email: FREIDAJORDAN@webtv.net "Thank you, for the information that you sent us. It was very helpful with my Black History project; I received a B + . In the future, if I need any more information, I will call on your great wealth of knowledge. "
This news you can use has appeared in The DISH before, but it is worth repeating here in recognition of the approaching year in question. "If your VCR has a year setting on it, which most do, you will not be able to use the programmed recording feature after 12/31/99. Don't throw it away. Instead, set it for the year 1972, as the days are the same as the year 2000. The manufacturers won't tell you. They want you to buy a newY2K VCR. Pass this along to all your friends." Email: Sharise D. More from the Mailbox
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