During the slavery era in the U.S. the affluent white population was naturally of two minds about the black population, being as how a large one brought high profits but also a certain vulnerability. The dictum, We are many, they are few applied no less then than now, and then, as now, the 1% gets uncomfortable when the more numerous segment gets restless, starts questioning the 1%-ordained order of things and begins to realize the latent power in its numbers.
So, Quitman, Georgia: 67% black and 40% in the greater Brooks County area, on the Georgia/Florida border. Public funds in Brooks County are primarily controlled by the school board, mostly white good ol’ boys. Along come uppity Quitman black citizens running for school board. Frustrated by their repeated failure they decide that absentee ballots stand a better chance of actually being counted so they organize a campaign of getting folks to vote absentee. They win. Now the school board is majority black. The board has turned over a new leaf so-to-speak and in so doing the budget is now balanced and without the lay-offs, tax increases and down-sizing planned by the previous board. Apparently this is unacceptable. The GBI and local law enforcement raid and arrest the newly elected board members and descend on those citizens who voted absentee, entering their homes and intimidating with aggressive interrogation aimed at ferreting out (or perhaps inventing) voter fraud. “Why did you vote the way you did?” “Who helped you vote?” Where were these folks while Bush was stealing the Florida vote? Since the board members are now under “indictment” good ol’ boy Governor Nathan Deal demonstrates what he meant when he promised us that “new deal” by using a questionable Georgia law to suspend the new board members and return the board to its former complexion.
The Quitman 10+2 (twelve citizens were indicted in the alleged fraud) adopted three strategies in response:
Challenge the criminal charges in court (which have been reduced by the way);
Challenge the law Governor Deal used to suspend as a violation of the voting rights act;
Run again in the up-coming election.
The first strategy seems a slam-dunk since the charges are ridiculous and wafer thin. The second doesn’t seem to be getting much traction since Obama’s Socialist Muslim administration has been rubber-stamping changes Georgia has made which require federal approval. The third entails the difficulty of over-coming a smear campaign by the good ol’ boy network that has labeled the candidates criminals and played, of course, the racial card. It is however no longer 1950 in Georgia. Voters are less likely to support corrupt leadership based simply on racial manipulation – proof being that the candidates won in a white majority county before they were disenfranchised. The local district attorney has disqualified his office from the trial since the School Board chair works in his office but it was that office that made the original charges – charges that, as mentioned, have been reduced. The appointed lawyer conducting the prosecution has made public statements violating the presumption of innocence that all defendants are entitled to. In the opinion forums accompanying articles about this controversy you can see the polarization around race, the stereotyping of “blacks marching to avoid justice”, and a presumption of guilt and a defense of the indicted persons based on presumptions of white racism and domination. This essay obviously is sympathetic to the latter camp. We shall see what happens as the legal process inches its way along. Arraignment is scheduled for May 29.