15 October, 2020

George on Georgia – So, apparently, I’m a racist


But laying the weight of this moral question on Pine Lake is a cop out that excuses the wider community of its own moral failings around racial justice and policing, because the racial composition of DeKalb County’s recorder’s court cases are more or less identical to Pine Lake’s court and no one seems ready to hold the county’s 70-percent majority Black voters accountable for that, either.

I note in passing that if you draw a circle four miles wide around the center of Pine Lake, you have roughly 4 percent of DeKalb County’s territory, 25 percent of its murders and 15 percent of its aggravated assaults. Someone emptied four full magazines of a handgun on Sunday night within earshot of my house. We regularly do the “was that fireworks” discussion as we debate calling the cops or not.

Pine Lake homeowners pay a millage rate of 21.53 — the highest municipal tax rate in Georgia — to maintain a police department that answers to the city. 

Still, I suppose a long-winded, statistically-laden defense for how Pine Lake operates relative to other police departments and court systems is both inadequate and beside the point. There is a big, structural problem in America — Black people are discriminated against in jobs and housing and, yes, the policing system and even the most optimized and ideal process in Pine Lake changes none of that.