Black Politico: We Must Keep Atlanta Mayorship Out of White Hands!

Apparently this is all part of the new era of post-racism brought about by the election of Barack Obama.

The person expressing racist sentiments here is black, and we all know that only white, non-liberal people can be racist. So this can’t possible be an example of racism, you silly right-wingers.

A memo arguing that African-Americans should unite behind a single black candidate in the race for mayor of Atlanta is about to become a prime topic of debate.

The material, which we include below, is said to be distributed by Aaron Turpeau, a long-time City Hall figure, on behalf of something called the Black Leadership Forum.

Turpeau argues that Council President Lisa Borders is the only candidate who can prevent the election of Councilwoman Mary Norwood as the first white mayor since Atlanta Mayor Sam Massell.

Both Borders and state Sen. Kasim Reed, also an African-American, have scheduled pressers this afternoon. AJC colleagues Eric Stirgus and Ernie Suggs will be there. We anticipate that Reed will demand that Borders renounce the memo.

Let’s imagine for a second that a white, Republican politico had issued a memo talking about keeping a mayorship out of black hands. Can you imagine the national, nay international, outrage that would follow? I can already see the CNN “Black in America” specials, Geraldo Rivera making a special trip to the town, and calls for resignation from as high up as the White House.

Instead we’re reading about this on a blog from the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Ace picks out the best parts of the memo.

1. There is a chance for the first time in 25 years that African Americans could lose the Mayoral seat in Atlanta, Georgia, especially if there is a run-off;

2. Time is of the essence because in order to defeat a Norwood (white) mayoral candidacy we have to get out now and work in a manner to defeat her without a runoff, and the key is a significant Black turnout in the general election;

3. The reasons support should be given to Lisa Borders is… she is the best black candidate in the race who has a chance to win the election because she can attract downtown white support…

What’s At Stake?

Determining what’s at stake depends on perspective:

1. The view that the times are too serious to stand on the sidelines is absolutely correct from the perspective of a black mayor at all cost. In fact, if a white candidate were to win the 2009 mayoral race, it would be just as significant in political terms as Maynard Jackson’s victory in 1973.

2. Therefore, the question becomes, if that were the case, how would African American interests be addressed… ?;

4. The changing demographics which show a more rapid growth in the city’s white population (faster and a higher percentage than anywhere else in the country) requires that we critically evaluate all candidates;

At the end of the day, “when the morning comes,” a black agenda would better enable us to have our interests respected by and our influence realized in any administration.

Again, imagine if the roles here had been reversed. This would’ve been an international scandal and we’d be suffering through memories of the pro-Civil Rights days and lectures from CNN/MSNBC about how we’re all still so racist.


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