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Small Town Georgia Travels, Racism & Politics

Small Town Georgia Travels, Racism & Politics
Friends,
I always check-in on social media whenever I travel within Georgia, or out of state for work, to help me log my travel hours accurately. When I do, a few people always message me if it’s a small town in southern Georgia, or most recently, up in the North Georgia mountains. They ask about the reception from southern whites in small towns because I am a black woman & they’ve heard of ugly racism in these places. I make these trips EVERY month for work & I can honestly tell you that I’ve never experienced any racism on a single trip. I’ve found the whites (and blacks, Hispanics, Asians) in these towns to be VERY friendly, helpful & inquisitive sometimes about the “big city” (Atlanta, Lord knows what they’d think of NY or LA lol). Some have never taken a flight in a commercial airplane. Many are farmers, or at least gardeners & you can buy whatever’s in season right from their land/trees. There are some of the best, home cooked, fresh food in restaurants run by some of these same farms. I connected with them because my Mom grew up on a farm in a small southern town in Alabama, where she and her 17 siblings worked extremely hard growing up, sometimes missing school to work on the farm. Meals were mostly what was raised, caught, made or grown on their land. Most of the people I’ve met don’t know who they’ll vote for this time around & have problems with both. I’ll actually be working with a local writer in Macon on a political newsletter for people in these areas. People wanted to know what I was writing. I’ve found that they care more about issues directly affecting them locally – the bigger stuff they tend to feel either apathetic about or powerless against. The former being mostly a result of the latter.
The only discussion of race (which was indirect) was with a few farmers who lamented changes in immigration laws in recent years, because the stricter changes ran off hard-working Hispanics who were here illegally, causing the farmers to lose lots of money in crops. The Hispanics who left were replaced by former convicted felons who needed work. The farmers get a tax incentive to hire them & the former convicts get much needed (and required) work. Most were black but a good number of them were white too. They complained about how the former convicts, no matter their race, worked less, harvested far less pounds of crops, took frequent cell phone & cigarette breaks and were generally lazy. They wanted their illegal immigrant workers back because they got way more work done in less time & were far more reliable. They also needed far less supervision. I got the distinct feeling that they’d vote for whichever political party had the best plans for managing illegal immigrants, allowing them to stay & work. I’ve sort of built relationships with some of these black & white small town southerners. Now, I’m in no way saying racism doesn’t exist in any of these places, I’m just saying that I haven’t experienced one drop of it & I’m not going to lie to make anyone feel good about a stereotype they hold. Sometimes racism is the persistence with which a stereotype is held, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, and on some level we all do (or have done) this.
Until next time or travels,
TM
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Posted by on August 5, 2016 in Politics, Society, Uncategorized

 

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6 Reasons To Say NO to the T-SPLOST Tax in Georgia

6 Reasons To Say NO to the T-SPLOST Tax in Georgia

Listen up Georgia voters! Tomorrow is a big day for us as we have to vote on the 1% TSPLOST tax which has been very controversial because it is the largest tax increase this state has ever seen. Despite all of the commercials which promote the tax (which fail to inform us of the pitfalls), here are six reasons I will be voting NO (and so should you) to the TSPLOST!

1. Family Tax: T-SPLOST is an $18 billion tax on groceries and medications making this proposal hardest hitting on all family budgets from lower income to senior citizens – without relieving traffic congestion.

2. Since we were promised that the toll on highway Ga 400 would end as soon as it was paid for & years later we still pay toll, I have no reason to believe this will end after 10 years as promised. Yes Gov. Deal (R) just promised to end it 4 years earlier than expected but this is too little, too late. We have already been hoodwinked & lied to long enough.

3. The state taxes we pay already are supposed to cover transportation upgrades. Georgia needs to spend within it’s means & stop taxing us to compensate for a lack of fiscal responsibility.

4. The projects list is the result of political back room deals between republicans & democrats alike, not traffic engineering efforts to alleviate traffic congestion. Millions of dollars contributed to tax proponent organizations such as Citizens for Transportation Mobility by road contractors and engineers who stand to gain millions more from state contracts.

5. Unsustainable Costs: Over 50% of funds ($3.2B) earmarked for transit that today carries less than 2% of regional commuters at a substantial financial loss. The Atlanta Regional Commission cannot explain long term operating & maintenance after 10 years for many projects.

6. It’s not fair to make other cities outside of the perimeter & rural areas of Georgia pay for metro Atlanta’s transportation issues when they will never use our transportation & this tax will in no way benefit them. Let metro Atlanta pay for their own transportation problems (bottom line).

My fellow Georgian & conservative blogger Greg Williams also shed light on the T-SPLOST & gives us some expert opinions in a recent blog:

“The T-SPLOST seeks to raise around $18 Billion statewide over the next 10 years for the stated purpose of traffic improvement and economic development. The chosen vehicle to collect this revenue is through a regressive sales tax applied to virtually all purchases in the state of Georgia with the exception of gasoline and jet fuel, an inescapable irony to many T-SPLOST detractors.”

Please read the entire blog HERE

In an economy which already has many Georgia families on the edge, barely making ends meet, another tax which will increase household costs is not the answer. It places a greater burden on already stressed budgets in the name of “transportation upgrades”. Let’s vote NO to the T-SPLOST tax and show our legislators that political legerdemain based taxes will not be tolerated as this will only drain our pockets while failing to fix metropolitan Atlanta’s traffic problem.

 

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