Complete text of my comments to FCBOC, August 20th

John Thompson wrote a fair and balanced article on the referenced meeting. Below is the full text of my prepared remarks.

Although I am Chair of the Fayette Democratic Committee, I spoke as a private citizen. My remarks do not in any way represent the official view of any part of the Democratic Party. In fact, many Democrats do not agree with my views.

I request that you pay particular attention to the last few paragraphs where I ask the Republicans to be good Republicans, the kind I remember from my childhood.

For the record, I grew up in East Point, GA.

My name is Judith Moore. I am a child of the South. All my people are Southerners as far back as I know. My husband and I have lived in North Fayette County for more than 20 years. Two of our children have made their homes here and are raising their families here.

Fayette County is a great place to live.

Today you are voting to ask for a much needed redistricting of our county. Your stated public motivation is to correct the current imbalance of the number of citizens in each county district. However, there is another motivation that you won’t be talking about today.

You hope that this initiative on your part will seduce the United States Department of Justice to overlook your failure to address the issue which has dogged the old South since the Civil Rights era. You hope that the agents of Justice will forget about the past when Jim Crow ruled the South and will not look closely at the motivations behind your continued commitment to at large voting for every member of the Fayette County Board of Commissioners.

You will say that you are not motivated by race or racism, but that is hard to believe when you read our local newspapers. “Don’t let us become like Clayton County,” they say. We know what that means. It means that if you let one African- American get elected to the Board of Commissioners, you will ruin this county.

The special election which put Bob Horgan in office proved that fear of a black face is the motivating factor in local elections. It’s not about being a Republican. The lone Republican in that special election was an African-American, a lawyer with a commitment to his party evidenced by many years of hard work. Yet, the only white candidate and the only candidate to put his face on his campaign signs, a white face, a man relatively unknown to his own party and without any qualifying credentials, was elected.

There are words you don’t want heard here today. This county was once all Democratic. Now, everybody knows you can’t win a race for dog catcher in this county if you run as a Democrat. You can say it is about tax and spend Democrats. You can say it is about abortion and gays. But we now what it is really about.

It is about what happened in the 1960’s. It is about a Democratic president and a Democratic party who finally had the courage to stand up and say that Jim Crow was wrong and to do something about it.

Then Southern Democrats started running like rats from a sinking ship to jump on the Republican bandwagon. Fayette County was once totally Democratic. Now it is totally Republican. We know how this happened. It is about race, pure and simple.

The old Confederacy was hanging on to a de facto slave system long after the civil war was over. Then the courage of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his followers inspired a president and a party to stand up to the old Confederacy and say, “No more.”

When Republican political operatives offered a safe haven to those who still cherished in their heart of hearts justification for racism, they talked about abortion and gays. But we all know that was just code for racism.

If you, as Republicans one and all, think everything I’ve said here is just playing the race card; if you are here as Republican elected officials who believe in the principals of the old Southern Republican Party before the Civil Rights era; if you believe in personal liberty, private property, free markets, efficient government, and the avoidance of foreign entanglements; then you need to pass a number of resolutions like the one you recently sent to Representative Westmoreland about your concern about the cost of ensuring the integrity of our voting system.

You might start with personal liberty. For instance, you might tell Westmoreland that Republicans have no business in the bedrooms of United States citizens. You could go onto reminding him that free markets should dictate the price of gasoline, not tax breaks and other special privileges that the oil companies enjoy.
You could remind him how President Eisenhower warned us against the Military-Industrial Complex and how we could lose our democracy to the profit imperatives of an economy driven by militarism. This is the Republican Party which won the allegiance of my parents and grandparents when I was a teenager.

Then came the Civil Rights movement, and the Republican Party was suddenly silent. Did they even then understand that a political opportunity was afoot? Did they know that if they played their cards right that they could win the South just because the Democrats would lose it by taking a stand which took moral courage? Did political expediency take the place of political principals? And now where is the Republican Party?

It is led by those who support doing everything they can to reduce the opportunities for minority voices to be heard, the voices of voters who just might take the reins of government away from the now dominant party in the South and until recently also in Washington. If that means a retreat from traditional Republican values, then that’s just the price of power. Forget balanced budgets; forget personal privacy; forget personal liberty; forget free markets; forget the sanctity of the Constitution and the Geneva Conventions. The only sacred ideal of the new Republican Party is to maintain power, whatever the cost.

I challenge you to prove me a liar. If you are not afraid of a face a bit darker than your own sitting beside you on the Board of Commissioners, then tell the Georgia General Assembly and the United States Department of Justice that district voting in Fayette County is long overdue. Go on record that you believe a Republican Board of Commissioners should do everything possible to ensure that every voice is heard within the hallowed walls of these chambers.

Thank you for your time and attention.

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Submitted by McDonoughDawg on Wed, 08/29/2007 - 11:27am.

You have still FAILED to answer my simple question. What is so wrong with NOT wanting to be like Clayton County?

You've posted your LONG letter at least 2 times, not counting the original article. I've asked my simple question 3 times. What's the problem with answering?

Submitted by onlyrealcat on Wed, 08/29/2007 - 2:13pm.

she a strong black woman and we aint going no place but up. get used to it and vote democratic.

The only real cat in town

Submitted by McDonoughDawg on Wed, 08/29/2007 - 3:12pm.

I do try and only use words I can spell.

She won't answer a simple question. Obviously, she's just spouting rhetoric.

Submitted by skyspy on Wed, 08/29/2007 - 2:24pm.

You will rise as far as your hard work takes you.

Help us keep Fayette nice. Fight Crime. Support our sheriff's dept. and help us vote out anyone in the DA's office who is soft on crime.

Submitted by majorityinfayette on Wed, 08/29/2007 - 10:52am.

Bob Horgan won his election. It was probably because he was white. However, the reason him being white was a factor, had nothing to do with racism, as you elude to in your comments. Fayette County, being a majority white county, need only to look to our neighbors to the north, Clayton county, to see the results of a minority controlled county commission and school board. Unchecked development and loss of school system accreditation are the two that stand out the most. Why is it in business we can use the obvious reasons for failures of other companies as a just reason not to venture into those same problems, yet as a people we are expected to completely ignore what is blatantly obvious when electing officials? Isn't this what you are asking the people of Fayette county to do?

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