It looks like my home state of Jawja is going to follow Arizona’s “lead” and is trying to pass legislation that would broadly permit discrimination against gay people:
Wow. This news definitely induces a sense of deja vu for me. When I was a kid growing up in the Atlanta area in the 1960′s there was a well-known noisy segregationist named Lester Maddox. Ol’ Lester was a card. He ran a fried chicken restaurant and used the profits to buy space in the Atlanta Journal to publish his tirades against MLK Jr. civil rights, and the Fed-rul Guv-ment (as he pronounced it). He could play the harmonica and ride a bicycle backwards. His most famous trick, though, was chasing black people out of his restaurant with ax handles. He was governor of Georgia from 1968-1972, and he definitely had entertainment value. He would dash out and lower the state flags to half staff when the Supreme Court made a ruling he disliked. When the novel A Patch of Blue (about a romance between a black man and a blind white woman) came out, Gov. Lester declared it “obscene,” which made it a local bestseller.
Now, over 40 years later, it is looking like Lester would feel right at home in the “new:”Georgia. If the bill becomes law, maybe people will start getting chased out of restaurants again, but this time for being gay, not black. “The more things change…”