• 'Dismantlement' Versus 'Reform'

    So while the #occupyatlanta folks rename a park to make a political point, let me remind them that the billions in chartible gifts from the Woodruff family and foundation, that have benefited all of Atlanta’s citizens, would not have been possible but for the system they seek to dismantle.


    There's this issue over what some people see when they look at the overall "Occupy_____" or "99 percent" movement, and granted a lot of these people see it through the prism of radical leftist movements that sought to "destroy" and "dismantle" the current system, because these groups saw such systems as problems and impediments to progressive policy and the betterment of America's general well-being.

    Personally, I think "dismantle" is the wrong word to use concerning these movements, because no one's looking to "destroy" or "dismantle" anything, even if they themselves are using those words for provocative effect. The key word is "reform."

    99 percenters want to reform how government responds to those in need. They want to reform the financial industry so that it no longer fleeces ordinary citizens and then go on to make reckless decisions with their money. They want to reform the way home mortgages are handled, so people aren't led around with promises of "modification," only to have their homes foreclosed on anyway. They want reform on student loans to not only keep it from being a lifelong debt created out of sheer necessity, but also lower the costs of an college education. They want to reform politics so politicians start listening to the people more than they listen to corporations and lobbyists. They want "reform." The only things being "dismantled" are their livelihoods.

    The contributions of the Woodruff family are appreciated and their place in the history of the city of Atlanta is respected by many. If you see protesters renaming Woodruff Park in honor of Troy Davis as a "stunt," consider that if Davis wasn't executed by the state despite next-to-nonexistent evidence and witnesses that recanted their testimony while citing police intimidation as their primary motivation for testimony in the first place, then no one would have any reason to "rename" Woodruff Park. No one is trying to "dismantle" Woodruff's accomplishments or the aspects of corporate America that actually benefit people.