Wednesday, May 03, 2017
Changing before our eyes
The political makeup of the Georgia 6th district has been changing recently the folks in charge of the parties are now noticing the shift and wondering how far it has gone.
It sits squarely in the congressional district once represented by Newt Gingrich, with excellent public schools and master-planned communities so pristine they could have been built by a model train aficionado. In 2015, the all-white City Council rejected the idea of expanding public transit out from majority-black Atlanta on the grounds that it “would increase high-density housing.”It would be nice to believe that the passing of Newticles Gingrich was also the passing of bigotry, but there is still a core of sheet wearing assholes and their running dogs in the GOP in the district. The special election may just show us how many are left..
But something has been happening in Johns Creek — and, indeed, across much of the vast archipelago of cul-de-sac communities north of Atlanta that served as the launchpad for Mr. Gingrich’s 1994 Republican revolution. The promise of a suburban idyll has been increasingly attracting all kinds of people — many of whom are not white, and not Republican.
Today, 24 percent of people in Johns Creek are of Asian heritage. Indian-Americans shop for saris at the Medlock Crossing strip mall and flock to the latest Bollywood hits at the multiplex. Chinese-Americans and food lovers of all stripes head to the Sichuan House, near the Target and Home Depot stores, for sliced pork ears in chili sauce and “tearfully spicy” mung bean noodles.
During integration the Klan presence was strong in Cobb County, and in later years, it was home to the former segregationist governor Lester Maddox and the white supremacist and convicted church bomber J. B. Stoner. But Cobb also became home to a large group of transplants decoupled from local history, many of them professionals transferred to metro Atlanta from elsewhere who were looking for good public schools.
Mr. Gingrich, who served as House speaker from 1995 to 1999, used language in his heyday that liberals saw as racially coded, railing against the “welfare state” of Atlanta. But for the most part he appealed to newcomers and old-timers alike, extolling free markets, technology and traditional values as a means of answering “the cries of the baby boom generation for a new politics responsive to the future’s needs.”
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