I was reading the Commentary section of the August 2020 Sandy Springs Reporter. (“Commentary: Sandy Springs’ founding wasn’t racist; dialogue calls are divisive.”) I have never written to a newspaper to comment on anything over my 69 years, but I felt compelled to speak.

I was so happy to read Mr. Porters’ comments. He puts a face on the very issues that are currently being brought to light across our country. He says the founders were “focused on providing a better future for our citizens.” I’ve learned to read the code words. Better than what? “Our citizens” means “White people.” Weren’t you already citizens? As he states, “Never in the years that I served…was race discussed.”  You didn’t have to. You spoke in code. The unspoken language that everyone understood, also known as systemic racism!

He wanted to build a community of mostly single-family homes because, as he states, “property owners are more involved, …show more concern” and don’t want their taxes taken and spent “elsewhere.” If you are already part of a community, where is elsewhere? Code. And if you build it, you control who lives there by ensuring that everyone understands the code.

Now that the unspoken has been spoken by Mayor Paul, Mr. Porter thinks the mayor does himself and the community a disservice…he broke the code. Rather than Mr. Porter opening his mind and participating in the civic discussions, he retreats and calls for others to do the same.  How valiant and patriotic of him. Civic discussion is the first step in understanding the issues and trying to do the right thing. I applaud the mayor’s efforts to build a “better future” for the citizens of Sandy Springs.

C. Yvette Thurman
Sandy Springs

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