Gov. Nathan Deal has now graduated from merely advocating for Opportunity School Districts (OSD) to using inflammatory, controversial and thinly-veiled racist statements to justify the implementation of the OSD.
This week Deal said in “many, many cases” people living in failing school districts “don’t have anything worth stealing.” Deal, according to WABE, warned attendees at an engineering association lunch at the Commerce Club in Atlanta that criminals living in those school districts “go where people have nice cars, nice homes, things that are worth a criminal’s attention.”
Deal’s message is that dropouts from so-called “failing” schools will invade wealthy neighborhoods.
This could be seen as a euphemistic statement meaning minorities and particularly blacks will soon terrorize wealthy, white neighborhoods and pillage their homes of their expensive wares — especially since he has made it known that most of the schools that would fall under the OSD are predominantly African American.
Deal’s statements defy statistics which state unequivocally that most crimes are committed within the neighborhoods and communities where the perpetrators reside.
“Criminals go where there are things worth stealing, homes worth breaking into. That’s the very nature of criminal activity,” Deal told WABE when asked to explain his remarks further. “If they are in poor neighborhoods that’s not going to be the place that they necessarily decide that they want to commit their criminal activity.”
Bryan Long, the executive director for Better Georgia, took umbrage at Deal tap-dancing around the race card in order to ingratiate himself and curry favor with the influential body.
“The governor’s race-coded scare tactics are shameful but are sadly expected given his support of Donald Trump, his past characterization of ‘ghetto grandmothers’ and his defense of birtherism,” Long said. “In a fit of desperation, Gov. Deal is trying to prop-up his failing school takeover plan that voters are already rejecting by telling Atlanta businessmen that dropouts from schools in poor neighborhoods will invade wealthy neighborhoods to look for things ‘worth stealing.’ In fact, we’re consistently seeing minority students advance at faster rates than white students, despite what pro-takeover advocates like Gov. Deal are trying to sell us. Gov. Deal should be ashamed of using this tired old trope, but we know he’s not.”
Another civic-minded individual also took exception to the scare tactic the governor employed to scare people into voting for the OSD in the November elections.
“It’s a sign of desperation. Clearly as people are being informed and learning the details of OSD, they are deciding overwhelmingly to vote against it,” said Reverend Timothy McDonald, III of the First Iconium Baptist Church. “It’s a desperate attempt on the part of the governor to use scare tactics to get people to vote for what we know is an action against students, against parents and against local municipalities.”
What do you think of Gov. Deal’s words to a predominantly white audience about the OSD?