the free pass

The Braves are in Atlanta because Charley O. Finley couldn’t move the A’s to Birmingham.

Seriously. Birmingham was a nonstarter in 1964. So Charley O went to Atlanta which promptly began building a stadium before he balked…and then managed to lure the Braves from Milwaukee to fill it.

The Braves aren’t Atlanta’s team at all. They don’t play in Atlanta, and this is not the usual suburban location. They decamped from the city in the 2010s, not the 1970s. TBS made them a national draw in the 1990s, but their proper footprint is North Carolina plus the SEC east of the Mississippi, save for Memphis (Cardinals), Kentucky (Reds) and Florida south of I-10. Otherwise, Atlanta is the team of the white South. The team of evangelical megachurches and three row SUVs with Calvin praying to a cross on the back and middle aged white women affecting African American Vernacular English to each other in the Starbucks line and fishing shirts with golf slacks and a righteous conviction that the tomahawk chop is just fine because their grandmother was half Cherokee and to say otherwise is critical race theory.

At the end of the day, that’s the real problem with America: the number of just well off enough Caucasians committed to the gospel of “I Got Mine Fuck You” and the solid rock of faith that they don’t have to know or care that there are other people. It is what I have fled all my life since I was old enough to feel it, and it has chased me to the edge of the Western world and keeps threatening to push.

So let’s stop letting them hide behind Hank Aaron and Outkast and a lucky electoral break and “the city too busy to hate.” The minute you get outside 285, Georgia is Alabama with pavement. Don’t let them slither out from under it because Stacey Abrams picked the lock. They went right back with three more locks. This war is not over, and it may never be over in my lifetime. There is no finish line. We have to fight every day, over and over, and we do not get to stop as soon as the White House is flipped. If you didn’t learn that in 2008, learn it now.

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