The Gantt Report
By Lucius Gantt
The phrase “Make America Great Again” is nothing but another way to say “Make America White Again”!
Can I prove it? In my mind, hell yes!
As a toddler, a child and a teen growing up in Atlanta, it was easy for me to tell when I was in a Black neighborhood.
My neighborhood was like a Hood Resort! Almost everything my family members and I needed to survive and progress was in the neighborhood.
Black owned restaurants, hotels, night clubs, bars, taxi companies, dry cleaners, printers, landscapers, carpenters, plumbers, farmers, scientists, philosophers, orators, teachers and preachers were my friends, neighbors and, in some cases, my mentors and idols.
“Black Man’s Mecca”, “Southern Harlem” and “Promised Land” are just a few of the things said about Atlanta by people of all races around the world.
Oftentimes, past and present, nationalists, supremacists and separatists like to point to the so called “seedy or hustling” aspects of some Black neighborhoods and ignore the achievements and accomplishments that are in, and, that have come out of Black communities.
Anyway, when I decided to move back to my home town, I felt like I had landed on another planet!
None of the Black neighborhoods were Black anymore!
There are a million reasons why Atlanta has been so greatly gentrified. One is political ignorance and incompetence by elected officials that care more about reelection, their political party and generous political lobbyists than they care about you.
But I’m not dealing with that. The greatest threat to Black communities everywhere has been the beast, beast bankers that suck the lifeblood out of Black neighborhoods with diabolical financial crimes, like predatory lending, animalistic plots and schemes, like gerrymandering, and by awarding bank loans based on the skin color of the borrower instead of on credit worthiness.
It has never been a time when African Americans had no desire the live in Atlanta. Some, mostly senior citizens, were forced to relocate after African American elected officials gave athletic team owners and other assorted businesses and developers a combination of City of Atlanta monetary financial support along with huge tax cuts.
When city and county government uses tax dollars to woo investment, if and when the recipients of government dollars goes belly up or when lies are told about jobs and contracts for city residents, citizens suffer.
Ok, Blacks, living with zero savings and no new revenue source, cannot handle huge proper tax increases. Many have to move.
If Atlanta and other cities desire diversity, perhaps they should invest in a fund that will guarantee loans made to qualified seniors on fixed incomes and first time buyers and governments should grandfather in existing homeowners at the current tax rates and increase tax rates for opportunists and “carpetbaggers” that work downtown and want to live close to town!
Back in the day, if I found the railroad track, I knew the Black neighborhood wasn’t far away.
I can’t “hobo” across town and use the track as a compass anymore.
Now, I use the elements. If an area floods whenever it rains, it’s a Black neighborhood.
If you’re in what you thought was once a Black neighborhood and the streets are recently re-paved and there’s a coffee shop and craft beer spot on every other corner, you’re in a gentrified neighborhood!
I’ve got to adjust to the new Black cities. I’ve got to understand that some Blacks that say they live in Atlanta really live in Austell, Conyers, Duluth or Lithonia.
I have to respect that credit score, credit history, substantial savings and financial honesty mean nothing if a borrower has more melanin than the lender, underwriter and loan broker you’re dealing with.
I have to realize that God will bless the Black communities that have their own and own their own!
I really miss the wonderful things about Fourth Ward, Buttermilk Bottom, Fair Street, Summer Hill, Carver Homes and other projects.
I miss the righteous, the honest and supportive people but I also miss the paupers, pirates, puppets, pimps, prostitutes,pickpockets peddlers, panhandlers and gamblers that roamed the streets of Atlanta 50 years ago.
When banks and financial companies decided to “change financial policies and procedures” after their bundled mortgage schemes had a disastrous, criminal crumble, bankers said, after government bails us out, let’s just blame the victims of housing crimes and move on. Let’s say, if a Black borrower can’t pay cash for a home, we won’t lend them any money.
President Donald Trump has given bankers and finance companies the green light to rip off as many investors and depositors that they can and Black communities and Black borrowers will suffer for it.
Are America’s urban areas great again or white again?
If you ask how you can have good credit, collateral and money saved and get denied on a $100,000 loan request and someone of European ancestry can file bankruptcy one week and the next week get a $1,000,000 loan with just a signature, the reason why Black communities are less Black, the answer may be the devil is in the details!
African Americans trying to buy a home in a city like Atlanta will find themselves in a ferocious battle where you have financial swords and shields and the enemy has predatory drones, so to speak, armed with financial napalm!
You will no doubt get beat up and burnt up but never give up!
Economic revolutions are fought for land!