Regarding the commentary “Sandy Springs’ founding wasn’t racist; dialogue calls are divisive” (Aug. 4):
Full disclosure: I am a recent transplant to Georgia and a new resident of Sandy Springs. My experience living in Sandy Springs has been quite pleasant despite being a part of the dreaded and feared rental community.
Mr. Porter’s attempt at a defense of those accused of systemic racism had me until I read the words, “The number one concern of the residents was zoning” and later, “Never…was race discussed”. While seemingly distraught that the ratio of rentals-to-owners went from 40% to 52%, Mr. Porter need only perform a cursory check of national demographic data, which will reveal the non-White population own homes at a rate less than 50% of the total population. Limiting space to develop rental access affects non-Whites dramatically when looking for good schools and vibrant communities in which to live. Communities all over America have engaged in the creation of new ZIP codes by seceding from a metropolitan area (large minority population) and perpetuating the fear that “renters, wink-wink” are the enemy of many a suburban community.
Further compounding this issue is the claim that merely talking about racism is the root cause of divisiveness and not racism itself, with no mention of the historical, covert and invidious racism perpetrated by American citizens and aided by the government with regard to housing. One need only read the history of the Levittown suburban housing developments often touted as the creation of suburban life and generational wealth for White, working-class Americans, which had legal covenants providing for the exclusion of African Americans in particular.
His obliviousness to the fact that this conversation is vital to the extinction of racism is astounding.
Mr. Porter’s claim of talking about racism causing more divisiveness is somewhat muted with his claim the investigations by several national security organizations regarding Russian interference in the election are “unfounded” despite abundant evidence to the contrary. To his credit, Mr. Porter makes proper albeit misleading use of the term “collusion” amidst these revelations; however his point is moot due to his thinly veiled support of a real estate developer with a history of housing discrimination based on race.
Contrary to his final statement, conversations about race and racial issues cause neither divisiveness nor violence.
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