Time to mix things up a bit.
I'm privileged to be invited to occasionally share my opinions on a couple of radio shows, including On Second Thought on Georgia Public Broadcasting. I'm also a pretty regular follower of the show. This week they broadcasted a story that I'd like to discuss because I think it's of particular importance to the type of communities that we celebrate at ABG. But before we begin, I want you to open your mind be willing to look through any bias or disagreement that you might have about the story I'm referring to. We're going to get in someone else's shoes and walk around. I'm going to connect with their story not because I agree with everything on their side of the argument but because if I look at my own life and my own struggles I can stand in their shoes and see our common humanity in their story.
The story I'm talking of is on a movement started after Killer Mike's proposal in the wake of Alton Sterling and Philando Castille in incidents involving police. Now, before you tune out, this is not an endorsement or condemnation of any group. It's not even really about the particular incidents that led to Killer Mike's proposal. It's about the power a community has. It's about the power of customers and neighbors.
Leading up to the proposal, Mike, who I have discovered to be a contemplative man of wisdom, was feeling powerless. He was looking for ways to get his concerns heard because destroying town was not an option he saw as constructive. His call to support the local bank was based on his identity with Atlanta's black community. That was a specific identification that he made. He was making the observation that these mega banks in Atlanta did not understand or care about his community.
And if you're honest with yourself,you have to admit that he's right, because these institutions don't understand or care about our communities either.And it isn't just the banks it that is what we're going to focus on right now. Citizens Trust Bank was opened on Atlanta's Auburn Avenue in 1921 as a response to black businessman Herman Perry being refused when he went to be sized for socks in a white owned clothing store. Perry knew that without access to banking services, black owned businesses would never be able to thrive in Atlanta. So he created access by the founding of CTB. The bank has become a piece of Georgia History and, more importantly, it became a part of the Atlanta community.
That is what we all need. We need banks, and other businesses, to be a part of our communities. We need them to understand us because they are us. We deserve to be more than a faceless account number. We deserve to have business transactions that don't have to be approved by some algorithm in Charlotte. We deserve to have a handshake that means something. We deserve to not have to do business with some mega corporation who vacuums dollars out of our community via fees and penalties making no contribution to the community.
So I applaud the campaign. We need to do business with companies who share our interests, who will thrive when our community thrives, who will suffer when our community suffers, and who understand us because they are us.
By Sam Burnham
No matter which side of the recent unpleasantness surrounding President Trump's recent executive order you find yourself on, there is no denying that there is a serious issue with refugees looking for a peaceful place to wait out various conflicts. Europe has been inundated for years now and there isn't much to suggest that the crisis is showing any signs of slowing.
Looking at the problem areas we find known trouble spots that are suffering in the wake of U.S. military intervention in the recent past, most notably in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. But there is nothing that is going to alleviate the current problem short of an actual cure. We must find a way to treat the illness, not just patch up symptoms.
You can't convince me that the vast majority of refugees would not prefer to be living peacefully in their home nations. I truly believe that they find their own homeland to be preferable to any other. But at present, there is just no way to provide a reasonable home in that land at present.
I am certain the U.S. needs a healthy system of legal immigration. And I also favor a guest worker program that would allow migrant workers to perform seasonal work, particularly in agriculture. Legal immigration can provide this nation with innovation and spark that can make invaluable contributions to our society. Unlimited immigration will overwhelm our resources and cause economic problems. At present our country is not in an economic condition to take much strain. That same economic condition leaves us with limited resources with which to apply the true cure to this problem. But but here is the cure, just the same.
Let's go back and read some of the words given out by our old friend, the Judge - Augustus Wright in his speech before Congress on this very day in 1859.
"To make a wall of fire round your country, inhabit it with owners of the soil. Man will defend his wife and children, though they be shelterless and in rags. Natural affection will triumph over the want lie sees for them in the future; but let the enemy he that he fights offer him a home for himself and family, and provision for the future in his own industry, and if he does not turn upon those who demand his services, his arm will be paralyzed."
The Judge goes on to discuss the way that a man who has ownership in the land will fight for his family, for his home. He will defend that patch of soil and the people who inhabit it at all costs. That's what we saw Americans do in the Revolution. It's what our boys did in World War II.
When people have a reason, a true home, they will fight. When they don't, they'll go looking for it - for somewhere they can find that hope of a future and the peace to live off the drive of their own industry.
For too long we have intervened in foreign countries and tried to offer them our system of government. That tends to benefit the wealthy and those in power. But when it comes to defending a nation like that, the average person on the street has little more to fight for than a detached philosophy of government. People don't see how any such fight benefits them. This enables foreign and domestic enemies of the state to create chaos, overturn governments, and establish tyranny. Then when a force like The United State or Russia gets involved
Historian, self-proclaimed gentleman, agrarian-at-heart, & curator extraordinaire