CODE

Posted in Rants on June 21st, 2011 by Ed

Looks like our old pal Neal Boortz is in some hot water after letting his mask slip off for a few minutes on air the other day:

(Atlanta) is starting to look like a garbage heap. And we got too damn many urban thugs, yo, ruining the quality of life for everybody. And I'll tell you what it's gonna take. You people, you are – you need to have a gun. You need to have training. You need to know how to use that gun. You need to get a permit to carry that gun. And you do in fact need to carry that gun and we need to see some dead thugs littering the landscape in Atlanta. We need to see the next guy that tries to carjack you shot dead right where he stands. We need more dead thugs in this city.

And:

This city harbors an urban culture of violence. And I want you to look around. You drive into the city. The railroad overpass is on the downtown connector covered with graffiti. And that– That is just an advertisement for everybody coming into this town that we really don't give a damn about those who would screw up our quality of life around here. We really just don't care. We don't care enough to paint over graffiti on the overpasses that come into our city, advertising welcome to Atlanta, here's some of our finest graffiti, from some of our finest urban thugs and their little gang signs.

The technique of using coded language to make racial appeals only works if sufficiently subtle. Unfortunately Boortz isn't bright enough to pull that off, instead ham-fistedly using terms like "urban" and "thugs" in place of "black". On the plus side, he gets his point across very effectively: his listeners should shoot some black people next time they leave the suburbs and venture into Atlanta.

Unsubtle racism aside, note the argument he is making here. Big cities like Atlanta are hellholes because there is too much crime (implicitly read: too many black people). But if "crime" is a key determinant of quality of life in a given place, small town 'murica certainly isn't the answer; since the 1970s a number of social forces – the meth epidemic, deregulation, supply side economics, Evangelical political militancy – have conspired to make the average small, rural town as much of a pit of despair as any big city. Among the boarded up storefronts, randomly exploding meth labs, third world teen pregnancy rates, and elderly, deranged population of fundamentalists, I'd take my chances with "urban thugs" in Atlanta over Pigsknuckle, Georgia.

What kind of community isn't a hellhole, Neal? Implicitly – and unsurprisingly given his audience – he is arguing that The Big City is wicked in comparison to its suburbs. In other words, Atlanta should be more like East Cobb and Sandy Springs…you know, where everyone has tons of money.

So Atlanta should be more like its suburbs, where the high financial bar for entry creates some of the wealthiest communities in the nation (GA-06 is one of the 10 wealthiest districts).

But income inequality is not a problem and income redistribution is the great Satan.

My butt itches.

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