When Pointing a Finger, Some Politicians Better Make Sure They Aren't Facing a Mirror
Here I am trying to ask the CEO how the Board of Education can go around the county commissioners and zone for cell towers.
I have lived in DeKalb County for 11 years now. I've met people from all walks of life and I've made a lot of very good friends. As a physical therapist, I often see people when they are at their worst. But, that makes it even more rewarding when they come through whatever injury or illness led them to seek physical therapy and walk away with a new energy to get their life back on track.
I've heard stories from people who lived here before and after the civil rights movement and I've been honored to call them a friend. There are so many stories here in DeKalb of survival and overcoming the odds. I wish I had the time and writing ability to tell them all to you because you would be amazed at what I have seen.
But, to be blunt about it for a moment, let's talk about racisim, elitism, and classism. These are also things I seen in this county and, quite frankly, it disgusts me. Worse than the ignorance and hatred that those stories or instances stem from is the way that I came to know about this backwards part of our county's subculture. How can one of the largest, most profitable urban cities in America be simultaneously fighting a battle that ended decades ago?
I've never been confronted with the backwards, distorted, outdated and downright fabricated views of our county until one event took place... my innocent three year old daughter won the lottery and was accepted into the pre-K program at our neighborhood school. Yup, that's right. The one place you would think that the adults would be teaching acceptance of diversity would be your local public school. And perhaps the schools themselves are not to blame, but I've heard a lot from the school board representatives about what we all think of each other.
It's nothing more than a political game to keep us at odds - North vs. South, Black vs. White, Poor vs. Rich. They do what they can to keep everyone separated and pointing fingers at each other so we don't look at the things they are doing with the money.
We did not look good in person or on paper, so we realize now that we were targeted by school officials and essentially pushed out the door or challenged with the very confrontational requests to join and be part of the PTA leadership.
So, to make sure we're straight... our choices (the way we understood them) were either A) erroneously complete (or leave blank) an application for free/reduced lunch that would allow the school to consider us "in poverty" and maintain their Title I status. B) transfer to the nearest charter, theme, magnet, etc. C) find the equivelent of another car payment each month in our to deflect to a private education while still paying our taxes or D) stick our own necks out by heading up every committee and running every advisory board in an attempt to turn things around and deflect other parents who might have the same questions we were having.
It does not really matter which choice we selected because the point remains the same... the choices we were given at our school were the same ones many of you were given. And, on top of all of that we had the bullies and the spread of germs, pink eye, etc. We had questions that no one would answer. And then Paul Womack took things one step futher - cell towers.
A cell tower would have closed our school. Who knows? It still might, but that's not because we did not care. We do. We cared enough to voice our opinion to the board at the time they were planning to vote. We voice our opinons after the vote as often and as loudly as possible so that we would alert as mnay other people as possible because stopping these towers has to be a group effort.
Were we successful? Well, the referendum was stopped. The zIncombant lost his seat. But is our system any better off as a result? Time will tell. But, as good as it felt to know that Womack was going to lose his position on the board, it felt just as bad to hear that Denise McGill did not win in District 6. She is someone who was in that race for all the right reasons, as far as I could tell. Instead, a known commody was voted in by a drizzle of voters who bothered to show up and probably only because they think the will be getting something if this man is elected, and so he was.
The politicians will start their finger pointing and game playing and we'll all go back to being angry or suspiciousl of one another, the way they want us to be. But, one interesting thing that has come out of all of this... the cell tower vote was going to point out to us which areas needed to be better informed and which areas were up to speed on the dangers and risks associated with placing a child next to a huge electromagnetic field all day.
And, any areas that voted yes, we suggested, could be corrupt and just voting how they are told to vote. We will post those detailed comparisons on our website in a few days: www. GETthe CELLoutATL.org but I can tell you one thing - the results are not what a lot of people would have guessed, but the corruption is definitely for real.