By H. J. Harris, author of “Solving The Race Issue In America”

My dad once told me that liars may figure, but figures don’t lie. When events and actions by public officials don’t make sense from a medical, economic, scientific, moral, or spiritual perspective, we must consider all possibilities – even the uncomfortable ones that are contrary to the truth, justice and morality that should be the foundation of America.

With America being so deeply divided along racial, economic and cultural lines – especially with the upcoming elections – we must be aware that those in power may do whatever it takes to maintain that power. 

This present reality that is America is a very revealing evolution of information and concepts contained in our book, “Solving The Race Issue In America.” (www.solvingtheraceissue.com)

It seems that in American politics, especially today, winning is everything – no matter what the cost.

H. J. Harris, author of “Solving The Race Issue In America”

Morality, justice, fairness, propriety – even the golden rule – are trumped by the desire to win and the hunger for power.

Some may think I am being cynical, but we should not be naive either. 

Let us look at how we got where we are.

In the last week of April 2020, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp reopened the state of Georgia for business as usual as though the covid-19 pandemic was over. 

In May 2020, the President and the CDC (Center for Disease Control) issued certain guidelines for reopening the economy after the national shut down. The state of Georgia, under the Governor’s directions, did not rigidly follow those guidelines.

By the first week in June 2020, after Governor Kemp reopened the Georgia economy, covid-19 cases began to rise. Hospitalizations and deaths were soon to follow.

As the number of testing, hospitalizations and deaths consistently rose, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the City Council took decisive steps – in accord with the science and recommendations by trusted health professionals –  to reduce the spread of the virus and the resulting hospitalizations and deaths.

If we as Americans care about each other – attend our churches and profess belief in the Golden Rule, why wouldn’t it be a good thing that the Mayor of Atlanta and City Council cared about people – the citizens of Atlanta? Why wouldn’t it be a good thing to prevent the virus in the short term that can help everyone, including the businesses in the long term? 

That is the question only Governor Brian Kemp can answer as he brings a law suit again the Atlanta Mayor and City Council members. The Governor is attempting to force the City of Atlanta to withdraw its mandatory order for wearing a mask.  Governor Kemp’s law suit is also challenging  Mayor Bottoms’ July 10 decision to roll Atlanta back from “Phase 2” of reopening to “Phase 1,” asking residents to stay home except for essential trips. “Phase 1” also requires restaurants and businesses to serve only to-go and curbside meals.

Consider this: With the city of Atlanta accounting for over one-third (1,100) of the (3,100) new covid-19 virus cases occurring each day in the state of Georgia, leaders guided by science and reason should welcome the decisive actions of Mayor Bottoms in an attempt to slow down the virus.

Is this a black and white issue? Is the action by Governor Kemp a thinly veiled attempt to reduce the number of black voters in the city of Atlanta?

 According to the APM Research Lab, the mortality rate for the covid-19 virus in the state of Georgia is 64 black citizens per 100,000 population. The mortality rate for white citizens in Georgia is 21 white citizens per 100,000 population.

In other words, 3 times as many black people die from covid-19 per 100,000 citizens as white people.

Since the city of Atlanta, according to recent census data, is approximately 51% black, this discrepancy in mortality between black and white citizens of Atlanta is even more impactful.

What does this have to do with Governor Kemp’s lawsuit and attack on the Mayor of the City of Atlanta?

It has everything to do with it. The thin margin by which Brian Kemp, a republican, won the Governor’s race in 2018 over the black democratic candidate Stacey Abrams showed the importance of each vote. At the time of the election, Kemp was the Georgia Secretary of State. There were calls  by democrats for Kemp to recuse himself from his duties as the sitting Secretary of State, since he was in effect overseeing an election in which he was also a candidate. 

This situation is like being the umpire in a world series baseball game while being the star player on the other team. There is no way that the umpire would call himself out at the plate. Claims of voter suppression in this Georgia Governor’s race were so blatant that a congressional investigation was initiated.

In this environment, is it really far-fetched to believe that Governor Kemp’s attack on the Mayor and City of Atlanta is politically motivated – more concerned about controlling the voting power of its black citizens than with the safety, welfare and lives of the people of Atlanta.

Let us dig a little deeper.

  1. Most of the black citizens of Atlanta are Democrats. It is very resonable to conclude that black Atlanta citizens who die of the covid-19 virus can reduce the number of democrats voting in upcoming elections. White voters die also, but the 3 to 1 mortality proportion has greater impact on black voters.
  2. According to the Nation Magazine, Atlanta is ground zero for voter suppression. The voting debacle of the last primary election in Atlanta was clear evidence of a failing, prejudicial voting system.
  3. There is a national trend to reduce the voting impact of black Americans throughout the country. The recent Supreme Court Decision, restricting the right to vote of convicted felons in Florida who had served their time but had not paid any fines associated with their convictions, is an example of this trend. Opponents claim that this decision by the Supreme Court is in fact a reincarnation of the “poll tax” used to keep black Americans from voting in the past. 

Suppressing the vote of black Americans, by any means necessary, must be considered as we strive to make sense of the actions of the Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and other officials throughout the nation in dealing with the covid-19 pandemic.

H. J. Harris is author of “Solving The Race Issue In America” – a historical and spiritual approach to resolving racism in America. More information at: www.solvingtheraceissue.com Contact: info@solvingtheraceissue.com