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Smearing the South: Group Attacks Georgia Governor for ‘Segregated Proms’

Of course, the state had nothing to do with them. But the narrative succeeded.

by
Mary Grabar

Bio

May 8, 2013 - 12:00 am
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At Democracy Now! on April 26, Amy Goodman introduced the story with a reference to students “making history … nearly sixty years after Brown v. Board of Education.” One of the Little Rock Nine, Carlotta Walls LaNier, was brought on to revisit 1957.

Goodman posed a question to Wilcox high school student Brandon Davis in order to flog Governor Deal:

Your governor, the Georgia governor, Republican Nathan Deal, was asked by a group called Better Georgia to publicly support your integrated prom, as some Republican and Democratic state officials have already done. Governor Deal’s spokesman, Brian Robinson, responded by attacking the group rather than addressing the question. He wrote, quote: “This is a leftist front group for the state Democratic party, and we’re not going to lend a hand to their silly publicity stunt.”

The statement forced Governor Deal to clarify his position. He later told a reporter at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, quote: “I believe that anything that’s associated with a school should not have the distinction or discrimination made based on race or gender or any other separation, but it appears to me that the parents and students have worked that out on their own, as they should.”

The founder of Better Georgia, Bryan Long, admits that the students themselves — without any help from school or government officials (other than voluntary donations) — put on the prom this year.

There has been no change in school policy; the high school still does not sponsor the prom.

Long says that he found out about the issue about two months before the April 27 prom through a news story. Their efforts began on April 10, however — five days after the money was raised. He says his organization never contacted the students, but that Better Georgia wanted to make sure that elected officials knew about the issue.

When I asked him what had changed between this year and last, he said that it was a matter of four teenagers displaying “courageous leadership skills” and “taking a stand.”

No one gave Everson, working in the governor’s office, credit. Instead, they used a non-issue to tar the governor and all Republicans in Georgia.

The negative publicity about Governor Deal did raise traffic to Better Georgia’s website, according to Long. He estimates that their email subscriber list is up to 75,000. He says the site had “record traffic numbers in the days leading up to the prom.”

On their website, Better Georgia says they are “thrilled” by a glowing Atlanta Journal-Constitution profile that admits they were “mining social media” to find gaffes to pounce on. One minor point: Better Georgia wants to clarify the reporter’s conclusion that Long sees a “coming Democratic tide.” “Better Georgia is strictly nonpartisan” and hoping for a “progressive tide in Georgia,” wrote Bryan Long.

Yet, a solicitation email sent on April 5, 2013, announced: “You have the power to change Georgia politics.” It featured a video of MSNBC host Rachel Maddow at Atlanta’s Symphony Hall, with a quotation from her: “I think there’s a future for liberal politicians, for progressive politicians, in your state.”

Better Georgia boasts on its website about exposing politicians, like (Republican) Representative Terry England’s “shockingly insensitive comments about pregnant women,” turning (Republican) Senator Bill Jackson’s speech about gun violence into a “national embarrassment,” and “taking down” (Republican) Senator Majority Leader Chip Rogers.

This won’t be the first time Democratic operatives have exploited race issues and children for gain. In the 1960s radicals recruited in high schools, and segregationist Democratic politicians suddenly did an about-face and supported civil rights legislation.

Today, they have more than the nightly news with reporters like Bill Moyers. They can add “social media” to their 50 years of experience in stirring up racial issues. Better Georgia appears to be a bunch of white guys in a high-rent area of Atlanta (Midtown) generating stories of racial tension for their own benefit. If they really cared about the kids, they would have donated money and done honest work.

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Mary Grabar earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Georgia and teaches in Atlanta. She is organizing the Resistance to the Re-Education of America at www.dissidentprof.com. Her writing can be found at www.marygrabar.com. Subscribe to dispatches here.

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Top Rated Comments   
Ironic. When I was at University of MD there was a black group lobbying the school to build a Black Student Union, they wanted "seperate but equal" and I thought that flew in the face of everyhthing the Civil Rights movement stood for.

The other part is that this group engaged in intimidation of other black students to further their goals. One day I was walking through the Student Union and observed some members of this group handing out flyers for their cause. One member approached another black student who was carrying food purchased at the Student Union and knocked the food from his hands onto the floor ruining his meal. He then proceeded to call the black student a sell out, Oreo, Uncle Tom, and a host of other names while ranting at this poor guy. The student was obviously intimidated by the demonstrater and ran off. This was my first intorduction to how blacks who go "off the Plantation" are treated the Leftist establishment. This was 22 years ago.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (34)
All Comments   (34)
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One piece of history the Southern Poverty Law Center tends to ignore, is the rampant racism in the north. I am a proud EX yankee - proud to live in and celebrate the South with all its Goods and Bads. The "N" word and anti-Semitic sentiments were a daily fact of life in New York. There were people arming themselves to kill all the"N". Jews were deeply hated by many. You had big segregation in towns, schools, and churches. After 11 years here in GA, I fail to see the deep hatred and level of distrust in blacks and Jews that I personally saw in New York. My conclusion is that there are elements in power that want to crush the South because it's one of the last battlegrounds for liberty in the US. By the way, do a search on www.newsday.com. A very interesting story was published there a decade ago about how black people were leaving NY in droves for - where?- Why GA of course! Anyone who believes the pure unadulterated lies from the communist SPLC deserves their chains.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Racism does exist in Georgia. Thats a fact that should be excepted and dealt with in reality. There is black racism and white racism. A race segregated prom is racism no matter ones excuse(s) to the contrary. Like any Southern state, there is racism in geographical areas and especially those areas in which has seen a population increase from the Northern and Eastern states. The native blacks are far less racist though a bit more inclined since the first term election of Obama. In the Atlanta area there is the New Black Pnathers and white supremists organization. In the Southeatern coastal area there are white supremist organizations. Like most Southern states the churches are highly segregated which by the way there are far more black segreated churches in most communities than there are white churches.

Bottomline? There is racism and segregation in the world of reality in the South and in Georgia and to fabricate some denial is a disconnect from reality or........

Savannah, GA
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Oh please...the most racist people I've ever met were from the NORTH!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You become more and more disappointing given your degree of self professed superior intellect. You failed to read my comment that stated in part: "...there is racism in geographical areas and especially those areas in which has seen a population increase from the Northern and Eastern states."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Nice try at changing the tone of what you asserted - here is what you stated in closing:

"Bottomline? There is racism and segregation in the world of reality in the South and in Georgia and to fabricate some denial is a disconnect from reality or........ "

Had you indeed made the point that racism is not something inherent to a particular geographic region, as you claimed in your response to me, you'd have had more validity in your protestation.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You're getting pretty good at that double speak thing. Only a blind fool would try to make the argument that theres not racism and segregation in every state -- North, East, South and West. You should maybe consider putting some windows in that cave you live in buy an a$s to journey around the country on so you can speak with some authority.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Had you been trying to make a point about racism all across the country then you would not have ended your comment with this:

"Bottomline? There is racism and segregation in the world of reality in the South and in Georgia and to fabricate some denial is a disconnect from reality or........ "

You were indeed focusing your comments on the South - and such narrow minded focus more accurately reflects your own living in a bubble of likeminded views - or to paraphrase you,in a cave.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
SPLC NEEDS racial tension or they would have to fold. If they don't get it, they will create it This IS the MO of the left.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"If they really cared about the kids, they would have donated money and done honest work."
That right there is why we will always win when the chips are down. The other side does not wish to spend their own money, and labor is beneath them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"wretched excuse foer a columnist Mary Grabar is."

naturner apparently does not understand that "ad hominem attacks" refer to personal attacks. I have to wonder about about anyone who discusses any topic or position without manners.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What a wretched excuse for a column this is and what a wretched excuse foer a columnist Mary Grabar is. Fully half of this tripe is unsubstantiated ad hominem attacks on Better Georgia and the SPLC. Have Wilcox High's proms been segregated? Grabar doesn't say but tries to change the subject to whether or not they were officially sponsored. So what? Why is that important? Nobody said they were. The question is why the governor refused to condemn the obvious racism until it blew up in his face. Grabar is so disinterested in the facts of the case she doesn't even bother to question the town's white parents have financed segregated proms since 1971. Why Ms. Grabar, if not for their racism? Why did a good many Georgia high schools discontinue official proms at the time they were being forced to desegregate thei classroom, if not to prevent inter-racial socializing? She quotes the new principal of Montgomery High saying he doesn't know about segregated proms as evidence the NY Times had it wrong. But the Atlanta Journal Constitution did what Grabar couldn't be bothered to do - check - and confirmed it. Same with her wholly dishonest dismissal of an unrelated charge by Better Georgia that the governor's political appointments were racially discriminatory. They are. Just 7 percent of his appointments have been of African Americans in a state that is 1/3rd Black. But our blithe Ms. Grabar can't be bothered with the facts. She cites - bizarrely - the African American population of metropolitan Atlanta and, - really bizarrely - Better Georgia's alleged racial make-up as proof they're wrong. Never let mere numbers get in the way of a good lie, eh Ms. Grabar? In the end we learn much more about Mary Grabar's ugly ethics and racial politics than we do about the important issues raised by this case. It says nothing good about PJ Media's journalism stardards that they would run such trash.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The real Nat Turner hung and so should you. This isn't about government action; this is about private, individual action. Why in Hell should a governor be expected to interfere or comment on individual action. This Country hasn't a prayer until some idiot lefties are eliminated. You're too stupid to live.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Perhaps you've never heard of the concept of "fredom of association". The Proms are privately funded, thus the school has 0 input. If the kids choose to segregate then that is what they've chosen right or wrong.

If you're so concerned with segregation why not looby for the dissolution of the NAACP? Black Congressional Caucus? How about a host of other organizations, awards, etc. that are linked to skin color?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And the proms which used to be many, are private sponsored for what reason? If you live in Goergia you'd know the answer to that question. That said, there are far fewer of them today than in the recent past years.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's easier to dehumanize and make people hate and discount your opponents as invalid than it is to actually win an argument on the merits of your position. This is one lesson the left has learned all too well.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Ironic. When I was at University of MD there was a black group lobbying the school to build a Black Student Union, they wanted "seperate but equal" and I thought that flew in the face of everyhthing the Civil Rights movement stood for.

The other part is that this group engaged in intimidation of other black students to further their goals. One day I was walking through the Student Union and observed some members of this group handing out flyers for their cause. One member approached another black student who was carrying food purchased at the Student Union and knocked the food from his hands onto the floor ruining his meal. He then proceeded to call the black student a sell out, Oreo, Uncle Tom, and a host of other names while ranting at this poor guy. The student was obviously intimidated by the demonstrater and ran off. This was my first intorduction to how blacks who go "off the Plantation" are treated the Leftist establishment. This was 22 years ago.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Before I read the article; Let me guess:
It was an all white group being called out because they were all white.
White people better start standing up for themselves, or they're dooming themselves to indentured servitude.
Racism and discrimination is not owned by any race that claims it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Actually, the people pointing the fingers were all white.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Haven't I read recently about blacks demanding and getting segregated dorms at some of our institutions of "higher learning"? What has been the left's response to this phenomena?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That's different!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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