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Why stop with monuments to the Confederacy?

We need to remove the statues of Henry W. Grady and Richard B. Russell

Grady Russell Composite Rev1
Photo credit: Courtesy of the Library of Congress
MEN OF GOOD FORTUNE: Henry Grady (left) and Richard B. Russell Jr.

The events surrounding the death of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta, George Floyd in Minneapolis, and Ahmaud Arbery near Brunswick, Georgia, have brought the continued battle for civil rights into the national spotlight. Protests and riots over racial profiling, police brutality, and the inequality faced by Black Americans have reached a boiling point reminiscent of the early ’60s. While the efforts and struggles of men like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Congressman John Lewis, and others brought the problems of racial inequality to the forefront of the public perspective, it is clear we still wrestle with the same issue today, as exemplified by the Black Lives Matter movement, founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. It is also clear in the All Lives Matter movement that white America refuses to acknowledge the systemic racism in this country. Nowhere is this more apparent than in our public veneration of men who tirelessly worked against civil rights for people of color. If we want to adequately tackle the problem of racial inequality we have to first acknowledge that this is one of the most important issues we face today. And if we acknowledge the importance of ending racial inequality, no historical figure’s contributions to society can ever outweigh their actions on that issue. And it is for this reason we must remove the statues of Henry W. Grady and Richard B. Russell from the public sphere in downtown Atlanta.

In Georgia, the two men are the most culpable in their opposition to civil rights while among Georgia’s most honored leaders. Grady, born in Athens, Georgia, a decade prior to the start of the Civil War, experienced both the tragedy and aftermath of the conflict. He would become an influential journalist and renowned orator who made multiple contributions to Southern Reconstruction and helped integrate the South back into the Union. In remembrance of his influence over the postwar South, a statue of Grady is prominently displayed in downtown Atlanta. Additionally, a high school, a hospital, and even the school of journalism at the University of Georgia bear his name. Regardless of what his contributions were to rebuilding the white South, Grady was an unabashed, outspoken, fervent, white supremacist. He used his considerable power and prestige to ensure that the new postwar South was the same as the prewar South regarding Black citizens’ rights. In one of many examples of his perspective on equal rights, Grady delivered a famous speech in which he said, “…the supremacy of the white race of the South must be maintained forever, and the domination of the negro race resisted at all points and at all hazards, because the white race is the superior race.”

Born in Winder, Georgia, almost a decade after Grady’s death, Russell became a U.S. senator of the Southern Democratic Party and served as the 66th governor of Georgia. Russell is remembered as a political dynamo who shaped the environment of both the Democratic and Republican parties. He was twice a candidate for the presidency, served on the Warren Commission, and was one of the most powerful senators of his time. His statue stands on the lawn of the Georgia State Capitol. The federal courthouse in Atlanta bears his name as do various other structures across the country. Russell was an ardent opponent of the civil rights movement and co-authored the Southern Manifesto along with Senator Strom Thurmond. The Manifesto was written in direct opposition to Dr. King’s movement and, among other complaints, alleged that the federal government was overreaching in its desegregation efforts. It was also Russell who orchestrated and led the 60-day filibuster against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Though his efforts were not successful, he made the march to equality that much harder for Dr. King and his supporters.

The examples listed above are just a fraction of the efforts both men undertook against racial equality. We must ask ourselves why we continue to honor Grady and Russell when their lives were consumed by a position that no current politician would publicly endorse. Is it perhaps because they still privately endorse them? 

Though there have been calls for removing these public distinctions, those calls have been largely silenced by our leaders. When it was suggested that we rename the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., to honor the late Senator John McCain, Georgia Senator David Perdue commented: “This is a man [[[Russell] who made tremendous contributions. In hindsight, today we can say he was wrong on any issue, but I think you’ve got to measure that in the full picture of his contributions. ...” 

But what Perdue overlooks is that Russell was not wrong on just any issue. Like Grady he was wrong on THE issue. It is important to note that being flawed is not the same as dedicating your life to a wrong cause. And of course, any time the idea of removing certain statues comes up, people inevitably argue that perhaps then we should take down the Lincoln Memorial or the faces on Mount Rushmore. Perhaps we should. But that is another argument.  We can look at many, if not all, of our past leaders and see the sin of racism. That is something we must admit and address as a nation. But unlike Lincoln or Washington, men like Grady and Russell dedicated their lives to perpetuating racial inequality. 

Of course, one current obstacle to removing the actual statues of these two men is Senate Bill 77, which went into effect on April 26, 2019. The bill, which was passed largely along partisan lines with unanimous support from Republican lawmakers, provides protections for certain statues. According to the new law, if the monument is to be relocated it must be placed in a position of “similar prominence.” 

At a time when America is once again facing its demons of racial inequality, our lawmakers undertook the effort to ensure that two avowed white supremacists will remain safely honored in a public space. Lawmakers who allegedly represent Black voters in their respective districts have given a clear answer to the question of whether they believe Black voices that say this issue is the most important. 

Because Grady and Russell dedicated their time, energy, and resources to maintaining the status quo of an America for whites only, we must remove them. However, before we can do that, we must remove the law that protects them. And to do that we will need to remove the politicians who support that law and, coincidentally, support men like Grady and Russell. Which, of course, makes you question where these politicians stand on the issue of racial equality. Whether publicly or privately. —CL—

Will Smith is an Atlanta attorney in Midtown Atlanta with Schenk Smith. A former prosecutor in the Fulton County Solicitor General’s office, prior to attending law school Smith served as a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps where he was a member of the Marine Corps Anti-Terrorism Unit, F.A.S.T. Company. He hosts the Nursing Home Abuse podcast at https://www.schenksmith.com/nursing-home-abuse-podcast/''



More By This Writer

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  string(3217) "Nathaniel Smith is founder and CEO of the Atlanta-based Partnership for Southern Equity, presenting the Just Energy Summit 2018, Sept. 21-22 at Morehouse College with the Just Energy Circle.



Nathaniel Smith: 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. Unfortunately, as always, issues created by economic inequality are more pronounced in communities of color. Even in a majority black city like Atlanta the median annual family income for a black family is a little over 26K, for whites over 81k. Although Atlanta continues to be considered the “Black Mecca,” we remain the top city for income inequality and in the top five for the lack of economic mobility for our poor kids, who only have a 5 percent chance to rise out of poverty.



Nathaniel Smith: We’ve got to first acknowledge the exploitive nature of our local and national economy. We’ve got to begin to put people, not profit, at the center of how we define economic competitiveness. We’ve got to acknowledge the racial history of our economy; that in the South our economy was jumpstarted by the exploitation of free labor for centuries, and that the exploitation (and exclusion) of the poor and communities of color continue today. We’ve got to focus on creating more economies that grow local businesses and local talent owned by women and people of color. Lastly, we’ve got to develop housing, transportation, and energy policies/options that are more focused on creating economic opportunities for vulnerable consumers and communities of color.



Nathaniel Smith: Grassroots activism has always been and will continue to be a key component of any transformational movement in this country. When the people are mobilized, things change. Grassroots activism is one of the purest forms of our participatory democracy. It is the place where the people can organize their voices in ways they may not be able to organize money or information for positive change.




Nathaniel Smith: I believe it can be a viable platform for protesting. However, it cannot be the only tool we depend on for information. We saw in our last election how social media can be utilized to advance anti-justice agendas based on misinformation and fear. Social media also leaves little room for dialogue among individuals with opposing points of views. I think that in itself, social media encourages folks to gravitate towards people and information consistent with their current views about society versus people who may have alternative yet valid points of view.



Nathaniel Smith: That’s a good question, I’m not sure. A little bit of social and print media. Also, my personal network of community leaders and stakeholders.



Nathaniel Smith: Invest in good schools, housing, and infrastructure for all people. Care about the future of kids you may not be inclined to know. Use your privilege to create room for dialogue and the organization of “uncommon allies” for equity.


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__Nathaniel Smith:__ 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. Unfortunately, as always, issues created by economic inequality are more pronounced in communities of color. Even in a majority black city like Atlanta the median annual family income for a black family is a little over 26K, for whites over 81k. Although Atlanta continues to be considered the “Black Mecca,” we remain the top city for income inequality and in the top five for the lack of economic mobility for our poor kids, who only have a 5 percent chance to rise out of poverty.

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__Nathaniel Smith:__ We’ve got to first acknowledge the exploitive nature of our local and national economy. We’ve got to begin to put people, not profit, at the center of how we define economic competitiveness. We’ve got to acknowledge the racial history of our economy; that in the South our economy was jumpstarted by the exploitation of free labor for centuries, and that the exploitation (and exclusion) of the poor and communities of color continue today. We’ve got to focus on creating more economies that grow local businesses and local talent owned by women and people of color. Lastly, we’ve got to develop housing, transportation, and energy policies/options that are more focused on creating economic opportunities for vulnerable consumers and communities of color.

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__Nathaniel Smith:__ Grassroots activism has always been and will continue to be a key component of any transformational movement in this country. When the people are mobilized, things change. Grassroots activism is one of the purest forms of our participatory democracy. It is the place where the people can organize their voices in ways they may not be able to organize money or information for positive change.


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__Nathaniel Smith:__ I believe it can be a viable platform for protesting. However, it cannot be the only tool we depend on for information. We saw in our last election how social media can be utilized to advance anti-justice agendas based on misinformation and fear. Social media also leaves little room for dialogue among individuals with opposing points of views. I think that in itself, social media encourages folks to gravitate towards people and information consistent with their current views about society versus people who may have alternative yet valid points of view.

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__Nathaniel Smith:__ That’s a good question, I’m not sure. A little bit of social and print media. Also, my personal network of community leaders and stakeholders.

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__Nathaniel Smith:__ Invest in good schools, housing, and infrastructure for all people. Care about the future of kids you may not be inclined to know. Use your privilege to create room for dialogue and the organization of “uncommon allies” for equity.


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  string(3788) " Nathaniel Smith  2018-08-29T20:22:10+00:00 Nathaniel Smith.jpg     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. 8563  2018-08-29T20:14:20+00:00 Say No to Hate: Nathaniel Smith ben.eason@creativeloafing.com Ben Eason Nathaniel Smith  2018-08-29T20:14:20+00:00  Nathaniel Smith is founder and CEO of the Atlanta-based Partnership for Southern Equity, presenting the Just Energy Summit 2018, Sept. 21-22 at Morehouse College with the Just Energy Circle.



Nathaniel Smith: 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. Unfortunately, as always, issues created by economic inequality are more pronounced in communities of color. Even in a majority black city like Atlanta the median annual family income for a black family is a little over 26K, for whites over 81k. Although Atlanta continues to be considered the “Black Mecca,” we remain the top city for income inequality and in the top five for the lack of economic mobility for our poor kids, who only have a 5 percent chance to rise out of poverty.



Nathaniel Smith: We’ve got to first acknowledge the exploitive nature of our local and national economy. We’ve got to begin to put people, not profit, at the center of how we define economic competitiveness. We’ve got to acknowledge the racial history of our economy; that in the South our economy was jumpstarted by the exploitation of free labor for centuries, and that the exploitation (and exclusion) of the poor and communities of color continue today. We’ve got to focus on creating more economies that grow local businesses and local talent owned by women and people of color. Lastly, we’ve got to develop housing, transportation, and energy policies/options that are more focused on creating economic opportunities for vulnerable consumers and communities of color.



Nathaniel Smith: Grassroots activism has always been and will continue to be a key component of any transformational movement in this country. When the people are mobilized, things change. Grassroots activism is one of the purest forms of our participatory democracy. It is the place where the people can organize their voices in ways they may not be able to organize money or information for positive change.




Nathaniel Smith: I believe it can be a viable platform for protesting. However, it cannot be the only tool we depend on for information. We saw in our last election how social media can be utilized to advance anti-justice agendas based on misinformation and fear. Social media also leaves little room for dialogue among individuals with opposing points of views. I think that in itself, social media encourages folks to gravitate towards people and information consistent with their current views about society versus people who may have alternative yet valid points of view.



Nathaniel Smith: That’s a good question, I’m not sure. A little bit of social and print media. Also, my personal network of community leaders and stakeholders.



Nathaniel Smith: Invest in good schools, housing, and infrastructure for all people. Care about the future of kids you may not be inclined to know. Use your privilege to create room for dialogue and the organization of “uncommon allies” for equity.


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Article

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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  string(453) "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."
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  string(4797) "Priscilla Smith has performed regularly as an actor, poet, musician, and performance artist for many years. Amazing that she looks so young, isn't it?



Priscilla Smith: I’m an absolute relativist. Identifying The Most Important Problem is a problem, because the Almost Most Important Problems are crucial. So when I got this questionnaire, I looked for the fruits of the human tree. Mmmmm, yummy: hatred, division, apathy, distrust, demagoguery, racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, scapegoating, irrationality, The Fundamentalisms, theories of conspiracy, suppression, repression, war … .

I asked friends and my daughter. When their immediate answer was the same as mine, and it almost always was, it made me jump. When I read another respondent’s answer (from an inadvertently shared Google doc) and it matched mine, I jumped again.

It’s greed, here, in Atlanta, in Georgia, in the U.S., in the increasingly market-driven world.

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.

At the root of the root is what’s at the root of everything that interferes with our ability to live together in peace. Insecurity and mortal fear show up as lots of -isms and phobias and excuses.

The thing I can’t get past is that being willing to share is only in my own best self-interest. If my neighbor is better off, I’m better off. Period. There’s way more than enough to go around on the earth, so no one need be immiserated. There’s no need for hunger or homelessness or lack of education. (At least there hasn't been up to now, in the post-industrial age. Climate change is changing everything.)

At the local level, a personal big issue is the wholesale loss of our city to a few people who really don’t care about anything but making money. Oh, wait. That’s a manifestation of the above, isn’t it?



Priscilla Smith: Like the problem, the solutions are manifold. As individuals, we have to remember kindergarten: Share. Be compassionate. Be in the world in a way that undermines tightness — of wad, of ass, of mind. Be daring. Dream.

How do you make us as a whole not be greedy? Maybe we can't. That's why there's government, to “provide for the general welfare.” Take the money out of elections — the NRA is not defending the Second Amendment, it's defending gun manufacturers. Democracy works when everybody votes and when voters vote in their current best interest — not to protect other people's wealth in anticipation of some day needing that protection. How do we keep elections honest? People being elected shouldn't be in charge of elections, for one thing.

There's no one way to solve it; it will always ebb and flow. It's a very long game. There's probably an action that could be taken that's inductive, that we haven't yet put our finger on. It's probably like the surprising things that happen when we educate women — reduced birth rates, reduced infant and maternal mortality, reduced poverty in general.



Priscilla Smith: Historians say that street activism didn’t actually help stop the war in Vietnam, but it sure feels like it did. Maybe street protest didn't hasten U.S. withdrawal, but culture in America and around the world was forever changed by what happened in the ’60s and ’70s. The Occupy Movement is criticized for lack of focus, lack of agenda. What did it accomplish? There's a greater willingness to speak up and take to the streets. Occupy made us aware of the hyper-privilege of the 1%, put the meaning in our vocabulary. Currently, Keisha Lance Bottoms is looking at closing down the Atlanta Criminal Detention Center — we've been in the street about that. Did it help? Randolph County was going to shut down seven of nine precincts. Activism impeded that, but we didn't take to the streets to accomplish it.



Priscilla Smith: All avenues for spreading information are viable. They may be incremental, but every little bit helps.



Priscilla Smith: I get info from groups and individuals on social media and through email: RefuseFascism, Georgia Alliance for Social Justice, New Georgia Project, Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition, ACLU, C4 Atlanta. Why didn't I know about the Democratic convention on August 25?



Priscilla Smith: Laugh. Make art. In the words of Carlton Mackey of the Emory Center for Ethics, "Resist and make it look like joy."


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__Priscilla Smith:__ I’m an absolute relativist. Identifying The Most Important Problem is a problem, because the Almost Most Important Problems are crucial. So when I got this questionnaire, I looked for the fruits of the human tree. Mmmmm, yummy: hatred, division, apathy, distrust, demagoguery, racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, scapegoating, irrationality, The Fundamentalisms, theories of conspiracy, suppression, repression, war … .

I asked friends and my daughter. When their immediate answer was the same as mine, and it almost always was, it made me jump. When I read another respondent’s answer (from an inadvertently shared Google doc) and it matched mine, I jumped again.

It’s greed, here, in Atlanta, in Georgia, in the U.S., in the increasingly market-driven world.

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.

At the root of the root is what’s at the root of everything that interferes with our ability to live together in peace. Insecurity and mortal fear show up as lots of -isms and phobias and excuses.

The thing I can’t get past is that being willing to share is only in my own best self-interest. If my neighbor is better off, I’m better off. Period. There’s way more than enough to go around on the earth, so no one need be immiserated. There’s no need for hunger or homelessness or lack of education. (At least there hasn't been up to now, in the post-industrial age. Climate change is changing everything.)

At the local level, a personal big issue is the wholesale loss of our city to a few people who really don’t care about anything but making money. Oh, wait. That’s a manifestation of the above, isn’t it?

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__Priscilla Smith:__ Like the problem, the solutions are manifold. As individuals, we have to remember kindergarten: Share. Be compassionate. Be in the world in a way that undermines tightness — of wad, of ass, of mind. Be daring. Dream.

How do you make us as a whole not be greedy? Maybe we can't. That's why there's government, to “provide for the general welfare.” Take the money out of elections — the NRA is not defending the Second Amendment, it's defending gun manufacturers. Democracy works when everybody votes and when voters vote in their current best interest — not to protect other people's wealth in anticipation of some day needing that protection. How do we keep elections honest? People being elected shouldn't be in charge of elections, for one thing.

There's no one way to solve it; it will always ebb and flow. It's a very long game. There's probably an action that could be taken that's inductive, that we haven't yet put our finger on. It's probably like the surprising things that happen when we educate women — reduced birth rates, reduced infant and maternal mortality, reduced poverty in general.

{img fileId="8452"}

__Priscilla Smith:__ Historians say that street activism didn’t actually help stop the war in Vietnam, but it sure feels like it did. Maybe street protest didn't hasten U.S. withdrawal, but culture in America and around the world was forever changed by what happened in the ’60s and ’70s. The Occupy Movement is criticized for lack of focus, lack of agenda. What did it accomplish? There's a greater willingness to speak up and take to the streets. Occupy made us aware of the hyper-privilege of the 1%, put the meaning in our vocabulary. Currently, Keisha Lance Bottoms is looking at closing down the Atlanta Criminal Detention Center — we've been in the street about that. Did it help? Randolph County was going to shut down seven of nine precincts. Activism impeded that, but we didn't take to the streets to accomplish it.

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__Priscilla Smith:__ All avenues for spreading information are viable. They may be incremental, but every little bit helps.

{img fileId="8454"}

__Priscilla Smith:__ I get info from groups and individuals on social media and through email: [https://www.refusefascism.org|RefuseFascism], [https://www.gafsj.org|Georgia Alliance for Social Justice], [http://newgeorgiaproject.org|New Georgia Project], [https://georgiapeace.org|Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition], [https://www.aclu.org|ACLU], [https://c4atlanta.org|C4 Atlanta]. Why didn't I know about the Democratic convention on August 25?

{img fileId="8455"}

__Priscilla Smith:__ Laugh. Make art. In the words of Carlton Mackey of the Emory Center for Ethics, "Resist and make it look like joy."


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  string(5537) " Priscilla High  2018-08-29T19:41:17+00:00 Priscilla_high.jpg     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. 8561  2018-08-29T12:25:58+00:00 Say No to Hate: Priscilla Smith ben.eason@creativeloafing.com Ben Eason Priscilla Smith  2018-08-29T12:25:58+00:00  Priscilla Smith has performed regularly as an actor, poet, musician, and performance artist for many years. Amazing that she looks so young, isn't it?



Priscilla Smith: I’m an absolute relativist. Identifying The Most Important Problem is a problem, because the Almost Most Important Problems are crucial. So when I got this questionnaire, I looked for the fruits of the human tree. Mmmmm, yummy: hatred, division, apathy, distrust, demagoguery, racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, scapegoating, irrationality, The Fundamentalisms, theories of conspiracy, suppression, repression, war … .

I asked friends and my daughter. When their immediate answer was the same as mine, and it almost always was, it made me jump. When I read another respondent’s answer (from an inadvertently shared Google doc) and it matched mine, I jumped again.

It’s greed, here, in Atlanta, in Georgia, in the U.S., in the increasingly market-driven world.

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.

At the root of the root is what’s at the root of everything that interferes with our ability to live together in peace. Insecurity and mortal fear show up as lots of -isms and phobias and excuses.

The thing I can’t get past is that being willing to share is only in my own best self-interest. If my neighbor is better off, I’m better off. Period. There’s way more than enough to go around on the earth, so no one need be immiserated. There’s no need for hunger or homelessness or lack of education. (At least there hasn't been up to now, in the post-industrial age. Climate change is changing everything.)

At the local level, a personal big issue is the wholesale loss of our city to a few people who really don’t care about anything but making money. Oh, wait. That’s a manifestation of the above, isn’t it?



Priscilla Smith: Like the problem, the solutions are manifold. As individuals, we have to remember kindergarten: Share. Be compassionate. Be in the world in a way that undermines tightness — of wad, of ass, of mind. Be daring. Dream.

How do you make us as a whole not be greedy? Maybe we can't. That's why there's government, to “provide for the general welfare.” Take the money out of elections — the NRA is not defending the Second Amendment, it's defending gun manufacturers. Democracy works when everybody votes and when voters vote in their current best interest — not to protect other people's wealth in anticipation of some day needing that protection. How do we keep elections honest? People being elected shouldn't be in charge of elections, for one thing.

There's no one way to solve it; it will always ebb and flow. It's a very long game. There's probably an action that could be taken that's inductive, that we haven't yet put our finger on. It's probably like the surprising things that happen when we educate women — reduced birth rates, reduced infant and maternal mortality, reduced poverty in general.



Priscilla Smith: Historians say that street activism didn’t actually help stop the war in Vietnam, but it sure feels like it did. Maybe street protest didn't hasten U.S. withdrawal, but culture in America and around the world was forever changed by what happened in the ’60s and ’70s. The Occupy Movement is criticized for lack of focus, lack of agenda. What did it accomplish? There's a greater willingness to speak up and take to the streets. Occupy made us aware of the hyper-privilege of the 1%, put the meaning in our vocabulary. Currently, Keisha Lance Bottoms is looking at closing down the Atlanta Criminal Detention Center — we've been in the street about that. Did it help? Randolph County was going to shut down seven of nine precincts. Activism impeded that, but we didn't take to the streets to accomplish it.



Priscilla Smith: All avenues for spreading information are viable. They may be incremental, but every little bit helps.



Priscilla Smith: I get info from groups and individuals on social media and through email: RefuseFascism, Georgia Alliance for Social Justice, New Georgia Project, Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition, ACLU, C4 Atlanta. Why didn't I know about the Democratic convention on August 25?



Priscilla Smith: Laugh. Make art. In the words of Carlton Mackey of the Emory Center for Ethics, "Resist and make it look like joy."


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Article

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... | more...
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I wandered down to the Little Five Points Halloween Festival and Parade on Saturday and planned on catching a few bands at Star Bar and Findley Plaza, where this photo was taken. I was there watching Mystery Men, a local instrumental surf rock group, when I saw the creepiest thing I’d seen all day. A devilish figure was staring at me, dancing to the music of the masked men on stage. As “he” danced, the hair of the woman donning the mask was moving through the eyelids of the mask, looking strangely like little worms. I pointed out the spectacle to my friends who agreed that it was both a creepy and super cool sight, and the soundtrack made it even more fitting. 

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Overall, it’s good to see that L5P is staying weird."
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I wandered down to the Little Five Points Halloween Festival and Parade on Saturday and planned on catching a few bands at Star Bar and Findley Plaza, where this photo was taken. I was there watching Mystery Men, a local instrumental surf rock group, when I saw the creepiest thing I’d seen all day. A devilish figure was staring at me, dancing to the music of the masked men on stage. As “he” danced, the hair of the woman donning the mask was moving through the eyelids of the mask, looking strangely like little worms. I pointed out the spectacle to my friends who agreed that it was both a creepy and super cool sight, and the soundtrack made it even more fitting. 

I had brought a little camera that I take on travels and immediately took a shot and a little video to remember it by. I love the expression on the devil’s face, both happy and slightly sinister, and it was interesting to see that Satan is down with the beard fad as well. 

I wanted to point out my love for the mask to its wearer, but didn’t want to interrupt her enjoyment of the music, so I continued to take it all in. 

Overall, it’s good to see that L5P is staying weird.       0,0,10      20837611         http://dev.creativeloafing.com/image/2016/10/TimeandPlace1_1_26crop.5807b59850e78.png                  Time and Place: L5P Halloween Parade "
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Wednesday October 19, 2016 06:02 pm EDT
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Scott says the decision to self-release Little Tybee's next self-titled album, due out midsummer, was a natural one after years of resourcefully finding new ways to connect with its audience without industry funds. "I don't think there's anything wrong with record labels and the model they have set up, I just don't think most bands can afford to give away the rights to their music or have them watered down," Scott says. "If you can figure out stuff for yourself then you keep the power. I think that's what the future of the music industry's going to be."

As for the business aspect of running a record label, Scott has no interest in taking on other bands as "clients," at least not at the moment, and will continue to concentrate mostly on Little Tybee, its subsequent solo projects, and collaborating with as many local artists and musicians as he can.

But to call On the Grid Creative a vanity label would be doing it a disservice. "I don't think it's fair to call it a record label really; it's more of a creative agency or a curated trust," Scott says. "It's naive to think that a record label should be just about the music."

As a longtime resident of the Goat Farm Arts Center, there is no shortage of opportunities for Scott to take on unorthodox ways to expand Little Tybee's narrative. And with all the projects he has going on at one time, it makes sense that he would want to organize them into one easily identifiable entity.

By utilizing a broad network of Atlanta creators, including artists such as Ashley Anderson, Jason Kofke, and Nick Benson, Scott wants to focus specifically on content and incorporate all artistic mediums while pushing boundaries. He says, "Some bands don't really give enough credit to their audience and they assume it's just a stark wall they're pushing their music on, but people love density and nuance and minutiae."

Conventional record label or not, Scott hopes to continue creating an immersive world through On the Grid Creative. And to harness the kind of varied talent that will inspire even the most lackadaisical of us all to become the masters of our own imaginations."
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For Little Tybee, the creation of On the Grid Creative is a simple stone with which to kill two complex birds. One being the organic decision to break with indie label [http://www.papergardenrecords.com/|Paper Garden Records] to self-produce its own creative undertakings. The other being a desire to encompass the entire spectrum of creative work Scott does under one moniker.

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As for the business aspect of running a record label, Scott has no interest in taking on other bands as "clients," at least not at the moment, and will continue to concentrate mostly on Little Tybee, its subsequent solo projects, and collaborating with as many local artists and musicians as he can.

But to call On the Grid Creative a vanity label would be doing it a disservice. "I don't think it's fair to call it a record label really; it's more of a creative agency or a curated trust," Scott says. "It's naive to think that a record label should be just about the music."

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Conventional record label or not, Scott hopes to continue creating an immersive world through On the Grid Creative. And to harness the kind of varied talent that will inspire even the most lackadaisical of us all to become the masters of our own imaginations."
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Tuesday January 19, 2016 04:00 am EST
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*3:17 p.m., April 26, 2015, 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE 


On Sunday, I rode my bike down the Atlanta Beltline's Eastside Trail to Ponce City Market, where a friend of mine was set to perform in Nick Cave's sold out show, "Up Right: Atlanta." Admittedly, I originally thought that Nick Cave, the Australian musician, was the one putting on this show, and I was hoping he'd be providing the music. It turned out to be Nick Cave, the performance artist from Chicago.

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*Matthew Smith
*3:17 p.m., April 26, 2015, 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE 


On Sunday, I rode my bike down the Atlanta Beltline's Eastside Trail to Ponce City Market, where a friend of mine was set to perform in Nick Cave's sold out show, "Up Right: Atlanta." Admittedly, I originally thought that Nick Cave, the Australian musician, was the one putting on this show, and I was hoping he'd be providing the music. It turned out to be Nick Cave, the performance artist from Chicago.

I had seen some promos with these weird colorful suits that reminded me of a cross between Jim Henson and tribal dancers. But I had no idea what to expect. After a small drum corps started the killer beat, the dancers came out, led by a sort of "drum major" figure down an an aisle towards the stage. The performers danced around PCM's food hall and with the electrified audience. The figures were shaking and thrashing wildly at times, and would slow down to a halt at others, all to the rhythms from the drums. What I loved about this performance was its interactive nature. Instead of watching it as usual, we were a part of it. Ironically, the main barrier keeping many in the audience from full participation and immersion was cameras.

In this kind of situation, I rarely look through the viewfinder, opting instead to "shoot from the hip," or the ground, or above my head. When one of the performers began gyrating against a lovely woman beside me, I lifted my camera above my head to get a more interesting angle and to keep the people around me out of the shot. I like that the viewer can see how much fun the woman is having by her smile. I also enjoy the juxtaposition of the bright-colored dancers with people who appear to be shoppers at a mall. The dancer's eyes were closed as if he or she were enraptured by the moment. Then, there are the camera phones, a definite sign of the times.             13082883 14147542                          Time and Place: The other Nick Cave "
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Article

Thursday April 30, 2015 10:20 am EDT

  • Matthew Smith
  • 3:17 p.m., April 26, 2015, 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE



On Sunday, I rode my bike down the Atlanta Beltline's Eastside Trail to Ponce City Market, where a friend of mine was set to perform in Nick Cave's sold out show, "Up Right: Atlanta." Admittedly, I originally thought that Nick Cave, the Australian musician, was the one putting on this show, and I was hoping he'd be...

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