This article by Audra D.S. Burch, is on the front page of the NY Times today. It is not a completely fair representation of our community. While there were some nativist goofballs who raged against it, the portraits were widely accepted in our community. The article neglects to mention that the night before the bozo Neo-Nazi’s came to town our citizens (black, white, hispanic, asian, and more) all flooded downtown merchants and restaurants with shopping/dining to support them because they would be closed the next day. To be downtown that night was to see a celebration of the diversity, community spirit, and integrity that is a hallmark of my hometown of Newnan. That is just one example of the diverse citizens of Newnan coming together. I posted about this celebration of our community back then: #NotWelcomeHere and the resulting embarrassment of the Neo-Nazi fools #YouCantFixStupid.
A bit more focus in today’s article on the positive race relations in Newnan would have made this article a shining example of what a community can be when it actually honors and respects the dignity of ALL of its citizens. By the way, the people depicted in these portraits are what makes Newnan so wonderful that the population has more than tripled in the 35 years I have lived here. The acceptance of this diversity is what makes our community thrive.
On January 13, 2020 my dear father Paul Swope passed away at the age of 94. Dad was born on a central Kentucky tobacco farm in 1925. He lived through the great depression and served in the U.S. Army Air Corps and later the U.S. Air Force during World War II and the Korean conflict. He married my mother, Helen in 1952 and was not only devoted to her but adored her every day of their marriage Continue reading “Goodbye to a Father”→
Last weekend I traveled to Ashtead, England to celebrate Andy Storey’s 60th birthday. One might fairly ask why someone living in Newnan, Georgia would venture to England for a birthday party. The answer is quite simple: Friendship.
I first encountered Andy on a conference call in the mid 1980’s when he was working for British Caledonian Airlines and I was a revenue management consultant. We later began working together closely in the early 1990s when Andy migrated to Australia to work for Qantas and I was still consulting. During that time I also met Carissa Rae who was a new Analyst for Qantas. In fact I was her instructor when she came to work in the revenue management department.Continue reading “Friendship”→
In the undelivered speech he intended to give at the Dallas Trade Mart on November 22, 1963 President John F. Kennedy wrote, “In a world of complex and continuing problems, in a world full of frustrations and irritations, America’s leadership must be guided by the lights of learning and reason or else those who confuse rhetoric with reality and the plausible with the possible will gain the popular ascendancy with their seemingly swift and simple solutions to every world problem.”
We live in a complex and difficult world but we should realize that the world has always been complex and difficult. Historically, when people feel that the challenges that they face in their own generation and lives are becoming insurmountable they tend to look for a cause for their pain, dissatisfaction, hurt or difficulty. They often decide that the cause is some “other person” or group of people and they become susceptible to believing the “simple solutions to every world problem” that those who confuse “rhetoric with reality” put forward. Continue reading ““The Lights of Learning and Reason””→
My wife got this Mothers’ Day card today from our daughter, Jennifer. It expresses what I think are true family dynamics. When our kids were little we used to say to them, “Just do that again and we will sell you to the gypsies.” They knew we were kidding and we didn’t mean it…mostly…sometimes, well…every now and then. Every family has a story like this and it describes the dynamics of a close family. We would have never sold our kids to the gypsies, but the saying became part of our family’s give and take. Truthfully, until this card arrived today we had forgotten we ever said it. Our loving daughter resurrected the saying today and hopefully it will remain part of our family. We can’t wait to see our grandchildren again!!! I wonder what else we used to say to our kids that we have forgotten and if they can find cards for those. YIKES!!!
My last post was about how the neo-Nazi’s and Antifa were #NotWelcomeHere in my hometown of Newnan, Georgia.
People of good will know that those in the neo-Nazi movement are just ignorant fools and the fools confirmed that for us yesterday. The permit that the city issued to these clowns allowed them to hold their ‘rally’ from 3pm to 5pm at the Greenville Street Park in downtown Newnan. They set out to march to the park….and got lost.! Yes, in our small city, they got lost. These nuts arrived at the park at 4:15pm. Promptly at 5:00pm law enforcement shut down the rally and sent them packing. These idiots want to run the world; but they clearly couldn’t even run (or find) a lemonade stand.
The really great news is that thanks to our city leaders, the Newnan Police, the Coweta County Sheriff’s Department, the State Patrol and many others, there was no violence and no injuries. There were about twelve arrests, mostly for misdemeanor or felony stupidity.
The good that came from this is the solidarity shown by the wonderful citizens of Newnan in opposition to hatred.
I love the town that I live in. My wife and I have raised our kids here and our grandchildren visit often. It’s a peaceful multi-ethnic community 45 miles southwest of Atlanta. Unfortunately, today we’re being invaded.
Two groups are coming to our city that are not welcome here. The racist, ignorant neo-Nazi group NSM is planning a rally this afternoon. To counter that rally the violent Antifa group is coming too. Neither of these groups represents what our city or our citizens stand for.
To the credit of our city leaders and law-enforcement our community is ready for whatever happens this afternoon.
All of our downtown businesses are closed for the day. Because Saturday is one of the most important days for any retail or dining establishment this could have represented a huge loss for those businesses. The citizens of our city resolved to come downtown on Friday night and patronize all of the businesses and restaurants. Last night, when my wife and I went downtown we found the streets packed with good citizens, stores jammed with with shoppers, and restaurants filled to capacity. That’s the kind of city we live in.
These two groups are not welcome here but the United States Constitution guarantees them the right to assemble in my city, your city, and any city. Our citizens have responded to their hatred with kindness and compassion for our local merchants. We can only hope that there will be no violence, no one gets hurt, and these unwelcome intruders will leave and never come back.
Recently I received a message from a friend criticizing my decision to #DeleteFacebook . I did because of their intentional information leak to Cambridge Analytica and generally their bad behavior. Please note that I said “information” rather than “data.” Losing private data sounds a bit like forgetting to save a spreadsheet, having personal information given to a third party without your permission is much more serious.
My friend said “If you have nothing to hide, lack of privacy and what Facebook did isn’t a big deal.” That position is ludicrous. To say that privacy isn’t needed because I have nothing to hide is like saying freedom of speech isn’t needed because I have Continue reading “#Privacy and #Rights”→
Communities in Schools – @cisnational – is an organization that is #allinforkids. Each year our local CIS holds a fundraiser on Derby Day called Hats and Hooves. The event is a lot of fun and raises a lot of money for CIS Coweta County where I live. More importantly, their model of helping impoverished and at risk children really works. Marie and I are honored to be able to support this fine organization. We also get to serve as mentors to 2nd, 4th and 5th grade students at a local Title I school through CIS. Those kids are the highlight of our week!
If you are looking to impact young lives in a very positive way, there are great ways to do that: The Boys and Girls Club, Scouting, and Communities in Schools. They all do fantastic work. They each are a “horse you can bet on” with the confidence that the return will be far greater than your investment!