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Say No to Hate: Frank Glass

"The most important problem facing Americans today" is that we have so many problems that rotate in and out of first place that we cannot choose and therefore cannot answer the question. The second part of the question is easier (for me). Atlanta's most important problem is a subset of a national problem. 

Frank Glass is a retired Atlanta businessperson.

Say No To Hate 1

Frank Glass: When I asked this question of a very close friend, she immediately responded with the single word answer, "Trump." The problem with that answer is that it raises the further question of what conditions led to Trump.

Had I asked the questions of some other friends, I suspect they might answer "Satan." But it seems likely that the word "today" in the question was meant to refer to a shorter time period than eternity. Besides, those answers are too easy.

The latter answer (Satan) led me to the need to disambiguate the term "today." If "today" is meant to mean something like "nowadays," then I can create a long list of problems, each of whose importance-rank might change many times over some period of time. One day the top problem might be climate change denial, the next it might be the moral collapse manifest by caging the children of foreign detainees. The list could go on for chapters and it seems useless to start. It's even worse. The top-ranked problem of the day does not get displaced on the next day because its importance is diminished, but rather because another problem becomes more newsworthy or more novel.

So what if we constrain "today" to the current day when we answer the question? In considering this it becomes apparent that the top ranking might change several times during any given day. It's as if outrages, real or imaginary, are created to distract us from the previous outrage. So is the question unanswerable? Yes and no. The fact that there is no defensible answer actually is the answer: "The most important problem facing Americans today" is that we have so many problems that rotate in and out of first place that we cannot choose and therefore cannot answer the question.

The second part of the question is easier (for me). Atlanta's most important problem is a subset of a national problem. It is that Atlanta is enjoying growth and prosperity that is increasing economic disparity.

Say No To Hate 2

Frank Glass: For starters we have to care. We have to care about our legacy and our neighbors. We have to prove that we care. I know very few people (including myself) who welcome higher taxes to help educate other's children or who will move into a tiny house to reduce our environmental impact. I fear that future generations facing environmental shortcomings will look upon our generation the way we view the slaveholders of earlier centuries.

Say No To Hate 3

Frank Glass: I wouldn't use the term "popular" to describe the 60's protests. Nevertheless ... As an ex military intelligence officer I joined Vietnam Veterans Against the War and the McGovern campaign in 1972. I saw firsthand that the protests had no effect. On the other hand, the civil rights protests of the ’60s had a great effect but only as a result of bloodshed. The events in Selma got the nation's attention. The attack by deputized citizens on black striking garbage collectors in my hometown changed the minds of a lot my friends and neighbors. It seems that if protesters are to bring about change, they have to be willing to take a beating or worse.

Say No To Hate 4

Frank Glass: Neither. I believe that the question is a false dichotomy. Social media has a signal-to-noise ratio approaching zero. Unfortunately, the mainstream media now spends a significant amount of effort covering social media, often without fact-checking. Even if all of the bogus information were to be refuted, there would remain a lot of people who would miss the refutation and be left with the bogus "alternative facts." Fiction is often more interesting than truth.

Say No To Hate 5

Frank Glass: Friends and neighbors.

Say No To Hate 6

Frank Glass: We must continue to care about how the rest of the country and the world sees us. The coalition of the business community, minorities, and other economic interests have enabled the city to resist everything from Lester Maddox to stupid state laws like North Carolina's that caused significant economic damage.




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Sunday August 26, 2018 03:18 pm EDT
One of the most important problems facing Americans today is our loss of focus on living together as one nation. Because we are more divided in many ways, we are losing ground in the global landscape and will not be able to compete on a global scale if we don't figure out how to work in accordance with one another. | more...

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Sunday August 26, 2018 03:30 pm EDT
There are so many problems we’re facing, it’s overwhelming: systemic racism, sexism, ageism, inequity, homelessness, marginalization, immigration policy, school shootings/gun violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, climate change … this is an incomplete list, and I feel sick to my stomach thinking about it. Much of it stems from hatred and fear of “the other.” It feels like we’ve lost a basic sense of human decency. | more...

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Monday August 27, 2018 04:37 pm EDT
I want very badly to name the issues of poverty, wealth inequality, and class oppression, but all of these are intertwined with, and compounded by, the problem of race, difference, and grappling honestly with America’s history and identity. I have a metaphor for this process, it is a cracked egg with the yoke running long. | more...

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Monday August 27, 2018 05:43 pm EDT
Healthcare is a human right.  That means ensuring that every person doesn’t just have access to health care, but has the ability to afford health care. | more...

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Monday August 27, 2018 06:10 pm EDT
Apathy towards injustice is toxic. We have become so entangled in conversational clouds on social media that we honestly feel that ‘shares’ and ‘likes’ are making a direct impact. This helps to a certain degree, but it does not solve the problems plaguing our nation today. | more...

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Tuesday August 28, 2018 08:27 am EDT
The biggest problem facing Americans today is the stark difference between where we have made progress in this country under the Obama Administration and where the Trump Administration is going. With regards to the Trump Administration right now on immigration and voting rights, we believe they are moving in a direction against the values of most Americans. | more...

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Tuesday August 28, 2018 08:38 am EDT
I believe that racial discord remains the most divisive issue facing Americans. It continues to suppress wages for all and promotes anger that leads to violence within the oppressed communities. Remove racist symbolism and implement long-term remedies to counter the long-term legacies of discrimination. | more...

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Tuesday August 28, 2018 08:54 am EDT
Of all the global issues facing us, including biggies like climate change and nuclear war, what troubles me currently is the rise of fascism in governments around the world. This is what also troubles me about America. People are emboldened to openly discriminate and hate because our elected officials represent values of hate. | more...

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Tuesday August 28, 2018 02:38 pm EDT
The most important problem facing Americans today is partisan politics that removes empathy from the conversation toward compromise on the real issues that are affecting everyday Americans. Everything is viewed through the lens of tribal political division, when the solutions to most problems facing the nation can be solved through bipartisan collaboration. | more...

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Tuesday August 28, 2018 02:50 pm EDT
There are so many things that need to be fixed but somehow we need to stop the OTHER mentality. Trying to embrace difference — and understanding that our differences are what make us stronger — will lead to a better unity within our populations. We spend so much time hating and singling out those that are different. If we used that energy to come together we could make a better life for all of us. | more...

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Tuesday August 28, 2018 03:53 pm EDT
The continued oppression of marginalized people. | more...

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Tuesday August 28, 2018 04:50 pm EDT
Atlanta and America have never participated in reparations for its genocide, land theft, and displacement of indigenous peoples, its kidnapping and enslavement of African peoples, or its destabilization, colonization and assassinations in other nations. So, in 2018, what we are still faced with is the displacement, incarceration, and murder of black and brown people in this city, this country, and this globe. | more...

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Tuesday August 28, 2018 05:06 pm EDT
The most important problem facing all of us is our increasing inability to work with and get along with those who don't share our views. I know it's a cliché, but "United we stand, divided we fall." | more...

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Tuesday August 28, 2018 05:24 pm EDT
The most serious issue for all Americans is the very real risk of our democracy being taken away, which is happening on a daily basis. There are so many issues: racism, human rights, climate change denial, guns, income equality, lack of a universal heathcare system, police brutality, tearing refugee families apart and putting them in interment camps, our status in the world and how we interact with other nations, and a government party in charge that refuses to act in the best interest of the American people. | more...

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Wednesday August 29, 2018 08:05 am EDT
The greatest problem facing USA citizens today, is how to become a global citizen without having an imperialist or colonial mentality. The greatest problem facing Atlanta today is how to move from the white and black mentality to become a multicultural city in action and not in words only. | more...

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Wednesday August 29, 2018 08:25 am EDT
Greed. The only consistent measure of success is wealth. If you’re so good, so smart, so talented, why aren’t you rich? Why should anybody listen to you? You’re accomplished, but if you’re poor, you haven’t “succeeded.” Rich, therefore smart. Rich, therefore good. There’s a paucity of everything, so you’d better have dough. If you’re needy, it’s because that’s what you deserve. Loss of wealth is loss of power, loss of status. | more...

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Wednesday August 29, 2018 08:40 am EDT
The most important problem is the denial of the problem. Most white people have been lulled into the myth of a “post-racial” America. Research on implicit bias and the persistence of numerous forms of institutional racism, including in the criminal justice system, demonstrate the reality of racism in 2018. A much greater threat than hate crimes and organized white supremacists is our inability to address core issues like white privilege and internalized white supremacy. We cannot progress until we have that honest reckoning. Atlanta paints itself as the city “too busy to hate,” but it’s been too busy to do the real work to begin to heal the very old wounds of its racist history. | more...

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Wednesday August 29, 2018 08:53 am EDT
The most important problem facing Americans today is the pervasive ideology of white settler colonialism. By this I mean that we live with a way of thinking brought over to America that goes back as far as the English Reformation in the 16th century — the belief that God has ordained a select group of white people to claim land — regardless of who might already have been on it — as a God-given right. | more...

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Wednesday August 29, 2018 09:21 am EDT
"The most important problem facing Americans today" is that we have so many problems that rotate in and out of first place that we cannot choose and therefore cannot answer the question. The second part of the question is easier (for me). Atlanta's most important problem is a subset of a national problem.  | more...

Article

Wednesday August 29, 2018 02:45 pm EDT
A decline in trust. We're losing opportunities to get to know each other. We spend all kinds of time and money creating our own private, secluded spaces, both in the physical world and online, where we don't have to encounter people who look or think differently than we do. | more...

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Wednesday August 29, 2018 03:12 pm EDT
The most urgent problem facing not just Atlanta, but all of humanity, is the fact the U.S. is now ruled by a fascist regime (Trump/Pence) set on reshaping society in a way that will be catastrophic for humanity and the planet. | more...

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Wednesday August 29, 2018 03:23 pm EDT
The rise of white supremacy. | more...

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Wednesday August 29, 2018 03:52 pm EDT
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Wednesday August 29, 2018 04:14 pm EDT
One of the most important problems facing America is the widening income inequality/economic mobility gap. For many, the “American Dream” is just that, a dream they will never realize. Many of the social and political challenges we are dealing with today stem from this problem. | more...

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Wednesday August 29, 2018 04:40 pm EDT
The list is long and it’s all really important. But most of the things on that list have a root cause, and I think it’s greed. People’s desire for power and wealth outweighs their humanity and their ability to see humanity in others. | more...
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