Thursday, April 18, 2013

Wilcox County Round 2

Creative Loafing's Gwynedd Stuart's open letter to the students of Wilcox County says all that needs to be said about the recent segregated prom controversy. But politics often does not care for resolution when there is still advantage to be gained.

Despite a poor response last week to calls for a statement on the situation, Governor Deal once again this morning attempted to clarify his position . He should have kept his mouth shut.
None of us condone things that would send the wrong message about where we are with regard to race relations.
That sounds an awful lot like the non-apologies we hear so often these days; usually in the form of "I'm sorry I made you feel that way".

Wrong message? How about just wrong? Is that so hard for the Governor to say?

My mind has not changed on Better Georgia's actions in this mess. They trolled, plain and simple, and exploited the situation for political gain. Some have called me naive for getting riled about something that is just part of politics these days. Don't care. These types of political games are repulsive no matter who pulls them.

However, it may be time to concede Better Georgia has a small point. Not by implying that Governor Deal (and Republicans by association are racists. Frankly, there's nothing worse you can do in politics than call someone racist and that was really Better Georgia's intent), but by exposing that when it comes to race, certain politicians, usually of a particular party, have a real problem facing up to racial issues with any real honesty.

I've seen it before with a former governor of another state who many on the outside believe is secretly prejudiced but those close to him, even the opposition, will tell you it's absolutely not true. But when it comes to confronting race in public, he frequently stumbles and couches. It becomes an easy caricature to target.

Given their similar positions in life, I can speculate Governor Deal suffers from a similar affliction. However, the cure is simple. 

Governor Deal is right about one thing when he says "We’ve come a long way in the state of Georgia." But we've got a ways to go and it would help if our politicians remove the mask of political equivocation and use the face of honesty to state when something is plainly wrong.

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