This week's Atlanta City Council Meeting and the statements of the outspoken African American constituents serve to show that racism is not just a "white" thing. Telling Black Councilmen to "do the right thing," and "remember who put you here," is blatant black racism. The idea of renaming Hartsfield Airport for Maynard Jackson should be an "in poor taste" racial joke, akin to the one about new national holidays that went around when another Jackson, Jesse, was running for President. Maynard Jackson presided over the building of a new terminal building, but Hartsfield's place as the world's busiest or second busiest airport was established when Maynard, as a current Fulton County Judge put it, was "up in Cleveland passin." The Delta and Eastern Hubs made Hartsfield the hub of air transportation in the Southeast, long before Maynard even entered politics. The expression, “even to die in the South, you have to change planes in Atlanta,” was coined when Ivan Allen was mayor. If we name the airport Jackson International, will that be for Bo, Michael, Reggie, Jesse, or Hizzoner (Maynard). What Maynard did for Hartsfield was make it the World's most corrupt airport, where people, unless they belonged to a certain minority group, were barred from doing business. As I was told back in 1989 when I tried to sell new Chryslers and Plymouths to the local rent a car franchises at absolutely dead cost, in order to appease Chrysler Corporation, "unless you are black, or have a black partner, we won't buy from you;" and so they didn't. They purchased all of their "Mopars" from a minority dealer in Charlotte, NC
Let us not forget the airport scandals of the late1980's, early 1990's, when Dan Paradies was sent to prison for paying bribes to Atlanta Airport officials and city council members for the “privilege” to have concessions in the airport. In that investigation, there were tapes showing Marvin Arrington, now a Fulton County Judge, accepting a bag of money. He is black and was not prosecuted. He claimed the money in the bag was a campaign contribution.
But the most repugnant thing about this sordid ordeal, is that Maynard’s widow is now claiming her late husband’s greatest desire was to have the name of the airport changed to his. What a crock!
Bill Hartsfield was progressive mayor who established Atlanta as a city, “too busy to hate.” When Bull Connor was turning fire hoses on blacks, Atlanta was peaceably integrating its restaurants, etc. Hartsfield was, as the AJC headlined upon Maynard’s death, “A LION OF
.” Maynard Jackson was a glutton, with food and with power. He turned a well run city into a cesspool of corrupt patronage.
Let’s name the Georgia Dome for Maynard. It’s shape reminds me of Maynard’s gut.
Better yet, a fitting tribute to Jackson would be to name the food court in Underground Atlanta for him, along with every food concession at Turner Field. Maynard never missed a trip to trough. And now his fellow pigs are following him there.