Dear Editor: As chair of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus and vice-chair of the Rockdale delegation, I abhor the divisive, vitriolic language of Rockdale Board of Elections member Jonny Brown. My initial thought was to ignore his blog titled “The Little White Plane” in which he uses a metaphor about a little white plane that eventually was covered with so much black paint that it became “slow and sluggish,” because of its potential to be a distraction to the county’s progress. The entire blog can be found in its entirety at edwardctracey.com/guesteditorial.htm.
But after pondering the negative effects that such a blog could have on the larger community, I felt compelled to respond. Brown artfully wraps his racism in the package of a story, but it is vitriolic racism all the same. Simply stated, he attempts to use words that thinly disguise his racial invective by packaging it in the form of a story. These were cowardly words, taken straight from Richard Nixon’s old tired “Southern strategy.” This political strategy utilized code language and symbols to whip up racial animosity to deliver political spoils to shady politicians. The language of white airplanes and black paint is designed to deliver a message of contention and fear, not unity and hope. Now is not the time for division. Our economy, our educational system, our health care, and our infrastructure are in crisis. Why must we continue to fight old battles when a new politics and a new spirit of service are struggling to be born amidst the ashes of partisan gridlock and infantile racist ideologies? The true Spirit of Rockdale lies in the heart of the men and women who work day in and day out to make this county a great place to call home. I recommend that Brown spend more time reading the words of Jesus in Matthew 12:25, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” We live in the house called Georgia and if any individual or group among us fails, all of Georgia fails.
Finally, I recommend political discourse and policymaking that is courageous and worthy of the people of Georgia, the citizens of Rockdale, and the God who we serve. The Board of Elections cannot serve as an nonpartisan entity to all the citizens of Rockdale when it is apparent that Brown does not display the true “Spirit” of Rockdale.
The Republican Party of Rockdale should rethink Brown as their appointee to the Board of Elections if the party wants an individual who is truly representative of the principles and ideals of the Republican Party, unless however, the Rockdale Republican Party is in agreement with the vitriolic rhetoric of Brown; in which case, the Republican Party of Georgia may need to inquire as to why inflammatory language and coded racism has become the order of the day.
State Rep. District 91