My friend Tucker Carlson recently did a masterful piece on what has happened in Atlanta and, more specifically, in Buckhead.
For symbolism, I suggested the Peachtree Road Race this year should have the winner breaking through yellow crime scene tape. My fear is that when the official signals the start of the race with his starter's gun, he might receive return fire.
The crime stats in Atlanta, per 11 Alive News (WATL, the NBC affiliate), are worse per capita than Chicago.
As someone who has had his car broken into three times in 13 months while visiting Buckhead, I can personally attest that it is as bad as you hear. In one instance I was doing stand-up at the Punchline in Buckhead. At 10:30 p.m. the security camera caught this person breaking the back seat window of my Yukon. They do that because they know the car alarm does not go off (I think they teach that in the STEM program in the Atlanta public schools). She stole everything out of my car, including a checkbook. The next day she wrote herself a check from my account, with her name plainly on the check.
Case solved, right? Video of the break-in, stolen check written to self, etc. But the Atlanta cops stupidly said check fraud is a federal crime and not their department. But it was not check fraud; it was evidence of a break-in. They did not care.
Years of liberal, race-baiting mayors have ruined Atlanta. I had a friend who used to live in Atlanta and said he missed it. To refresh his memory, I shot him. The reality is that no one really misses Buckhead. I have never seen a city go downhill as fast as Atlanta has, and it can be traced to one thing: a mayor who is preening her liberal street creds for D.C. and the Harris/Biden administration, and not supporting the police.
So here are the numbers. The Atlanta area has about 5.2 million people. Buckhead has only 80,000, but its taxes provide 20% of the city's budget. Pols love to vilify Buckhead to get elected. It also gives criminals reasons to believe they can rob folks there with impunity — and not just rob. Recently a guy was shot while jogging in Buckhead; the assailant did not even bother to rob him.
When the police stand down (and who can blame them when they do not have the support of the mayor?), criminals step up. Murders are up 50% in Atlanta, robberies 40% and car thefts 65%.
Many of these crimes occur at the Buckhead malls, Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza. They are called the "Murder Malls." Cops have been instructed to not even chase criminals who steal.
In a sweet piece of irony, "defund the police"-supporting Atlanta City Councilman Antonio Brown had his Mercedes stolen. Setting aside the fact he has a new Mercedes on a city councilman's salary, the irony of this moment — when he was on hold five minutes with 911, and it took cops over an hour to get there — cannot be lost on anyone paying attention.
If you do not think crime pays, look at some of the recent mayors of Atlanta. They are as crooked as you get, and they know all too well an Atlanta jury would not convict them of anything. It is said ex-Mayor Kasim Reed, who wants to run again, has a slogan: "Take crime off Atlanta streets and put it back where it has historically been, in the mayor's office."
Businesses are fleeing Buckhead. There are only a few places to get gas there, and they all charge 80 cents more per gallon than the suburbs. I was robbed recently at a Buckhead gas station while getting gas during the shortage. Later at the police station, I was able to identify the crook in an Atlanta police lineup: It was pump number four.
As for Atlanta, the bloom has long been off the rose. Like many, I am out of there, like a fat kid in dodge ball.
Contact Ron Hart, a syndicated op-ed satirist, author, and TV/radio commentator, at Ron@RonaldHart.com or Twitter @RonaldHart.