Today is the birthday of American singer and songwriter Otis Redding (1941), best known for soulful songs like “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,”
“Try a Little Tenderness,”
“These Arms of Mine,”
which became a signature song for Aretha Franklin.
Redding was born in Dawson, Georgia. He showed musical promise early, singing in the Vineville Baptist Church and learning guitar, drums, and piano. Every Sunday he earned $6.00 performing gospel songs for radio station WIBB in Macon. In 1958 he took part in Hamp Swain’s hugely popular “The Teenage Party” talent contests at the Roxy and Douglass Theatres in Macon, singing Little Richard’s “Heeby Jeebies.” He won the contest for 15 weeks straight.
It was when he agreed to drive his friend Johnny Jenkins to a recording session at Stax Studios in Memphis that his life changed. Jenkins’s session fell flat, and Redding convinced the producers to let him have a turn. He sang “These Arms of Mine.” Jim Stewart, the studio chief, said: “There was something different about [the ballad]. He really poured his soul into it.” The song was released in 1962 and sold more than 800,000 copies.
Otis Redding recorded six albums during the 1960s. He became so successful that he bought a 300-acre ranch in Georgia and named it “Mr. Pitiful”
I teach chess and want to champion others to grow in it, as well as personally, using my unique teaching perspective. I strongly believe in others’ inherent qualities and enormous potential to succeed both in chess and in life https://www.flickr.com/people/chesscontact/
Whoa now, Mr. Pawn? Georgia’s #1 Chess Blog?!!! This reminded me of an old TV commercial about websites in which a boy asks an adult, “How many hits do you get?”
At this point I emailed the President of the GCA, the honorable Scott Parker, inquiring about the man behind Georgia’s #1 Chess Blog, of which I had never heard. This was his reply:
I know Momir Radovic personally, and have played some chess with him. We’re about equally skilled (equally unskilled might be more exact) at chess. He’s a good guy.
Be well, Scott
The Self-deprecation was to be expected from the man known at the House of Pain as “The Sheriff.” If Scott says Momir is “a good guy” that is good enough for me. Still, that thing about having Georgia’s #1 Chess Blog makes me ready to go over the board, in lieu of into the ring, but only because of my age! On August 11, 2019, the post, Yet Another Chess Cheating Scandal, (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2019/08/11/yet-another-chess-cheating-scandal) went viral, garnering 5773 views that day. As of today there have been 7005 views of the post. Although not having as many “hits” on the day published, the post of April 26, 2020, Confirmation Garry Kasparov Cheated Judit Polgar, ()https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2020/04/26/confirmation-garry-kasparov-cheated-judit-polgar/ continues to be read with hardly a day going by without a view. It will soon top the aforementioned post in total views. I am calling you out, Mr. Georgia’s #1 Chess Blog(ger). How many hits does the Pawn that Roared receive?Momir Radovic is rated 1767 by the USCF. That would be his ‘regular’ rating. I am old enough to remember when there were only two ratings, one for Over The Board and the other for Correspondence Chess. Mr. Radovic is a class ‘B’ player who has previously crossed the line into class ‘A’. Back in the day he would be considered a ‘solid’ class ‘B’ player. With so many people, like former USCF President Allen Priest, who sported a 700 rating, having a triple digit rating these daze Momir is almost world class. Please do not take me wrong, I do not mean to demean Momir because ‘back in the day’ it was thought that anyone who made it to class ‘B’ had to be taken seriously as they had stopped dropping pieces and could play a serious game of Chess. I tied for first place in the 1974 Atlanta Chess Championship with a fellow from New York and was declared Champion while a class ‘B’ player. The class ‘B’ player W. Stanley Davis, upset GM John Federowicz
in the very first round of the 1980 US Open in Atlanta, Georgia. That said, it was still something to hear Momir call out Grandmasters in his article., which begins:
“There’s a massive, uncontrolled and unhealthy proliferation of chess opening experts of all kind and provenience. From ELO 1600 all the way up to the super GM circle (where, among others, is sitting a certain famous Twitter celebrity and acclaimed Najdorf expert).
The mushrooming of experts into all sorts of domains like, “visa consultants,” “immigration experts,” or “life coaches” sees their bold advertising services, making false promises and charging exorbitant amounts. And all of that to provide just a very basic service.”
I do not know about you but I want to know the name of that “…certain famous Twitter celebrity and acclaimed Najdorf expert.”
There follows: “In chess, this corrupt practice has been established around openings. It creates a grave disservice and has direct consequences for the average player in that it is slowing down/stopping them altogether along the growth path. Amateur players have thus become prisoners of the opening theory and their own conditioning that has been put on them and used by opening “experts.”
It gets better, or worse, depending on one’s perspective. I strongly urge you to read the remarkable article because, as Momir writes at one point, it is, “Simply astonishing, isn’t it?”
It certainly is! I was so astonished I read it again! What follows is one of the reasons I reread the piece. Chess book and video publishers are not going to like what Momir had to say, and I do not blame them. In another line of work the kind of ‘hit’ Momir received would be more along the line of something out of the Godfather,
Better learn to duck and cover, Momir, my man…See what I mean:
“Chess books publishing and chess portals are following suit. They are tirelessly producing tons of copies of invaluable content on openings. On all channels, openings count for more than HALF of all chess material delivered to you. Here’s some facts and the number of books/courses/videos as of early August.”
Chessable (“No.1 site for chess improvement and science-based learning backed by the World chess champion Magnus Carlsen..”)
Openings 341 Endgames 38 Strategy 92 Tactics 227
New In Chess Openings 412 Middlegame 68 Strategy 86 Tactics 68 Improvement 84 Attack and Defense 33 Endgames 50
Everyman Chess Openings 277 Games Collections 69 Training books 135 Improvers 32 (5 on ops)
Quality Chess Openings 93 Improvement 83
Gambit Publications Openings 59 Endings 14 Puzzles and Studies 14 Training, Strategy and Improvement 37 Beginners and Intermediate 19 Tactics 19 Games Collections and General 9
He does not stop there. Momir reloads time and again. Take this for example: “The situation isn’t much better in blogging, either. The blogging space is, sadly, also overcrowded with opening enlightenments.
So it seems that, in the Brave New World of Chess, average players have basically been brainwashed
into being one-dimensional consumerists of openings with no regard or interest in seeing chess for themselves. Or in thinking for themselves.
The chess world is filled with endless (mostly opening) distractions that keep us perpetually numb to the world of ideas.”
Wait a minute…I am a blogger and focus on the opening! One of his salvos has hit home and is now the Armchair Wounded Warrior!
The Pawn that Roared ends with this mighty blast:
ART OF FLIMFLAM. CONTINUED
“An artificially created market that demands openings as a “quick and easy” fix has a devastating effect on the developing player’s road to growth, that’s for sure. The primary victim is the player’s staying-underdeveloped, never-improving thought process.
But what all of this is telling us about its creators, opening “experts” themselves?
Do they really think they are helping us with their trifle manuals? (Do you?)
Are they doing all this to show their creativity and chess understanding, or maybe for a quick and easy profit instead?
Or perhaps the opening experts simply have nothing better to offer us? They may not be capable, without their trustworthy engines, to write about any subtler chess topics at all?”
Writing about openings is comparatively easy, because you are setting out specific lines you check with an engine. Writing about middlegames and endings is hard, because you have to communicate concepts. – Cuddles T
After reading the above my first thought was, “Who the hell is Cuddles T?”
I am going to disagree with the Killer ‘B’ but not now, because it is late and I am tired. One of the reasons is I stopped punchin’ & pokin’ to watch some of the moves being played at the Charlotte Labor Day 2021 tournament and became transfixed with one game in particular and stopped writing to concentrate on the game, but more on that tomorrow in part 2 of this post. Until then, once again I urge you to take time to read one of the most remarkable Chess articles I have read in some time, and come on back tomorrow to read part two of The Pawn Who Roared.
A detailed new study from the C.D.C. found that an unvaccinated elementary school teacher in Marin County, Calif., spread the coronavirus to half of her 24-student class in May and June when she lowered her mask to read aloud, in violation of the district’s rules.
Twelve of her students, who were masked but too young to be vaccinated, subsequently contracted the virus. The Delta variant outbreak subsequently spread to at least 26 people.
“I thought I respected its contagiousness,” Dr. Lisa Santora, deputy health officer the Marin Health and Human Services and an author of the report, said of the Delta variant. But its efficiency in overtaking the classroom “surprised and humbled” her.
Bibb County, Georgia, Schools sends classes home for remote learning
The district says they made the decision after seeing rising COVID-19 cases
“In reviewing the number of COVID-19 cases for schools each day, officials noticed the number of positive COVID-19 cases is slowly increasing in these schools,” according to a Bibb County Schools press release. “In order to ensure the safety and wellness of our students and staff, we made the decision to switch these schools to asynchronous learning for a brief period. This will help reduce any possible spread of COVID-19.”
I was born in the South, seventy one years ago one week from today, in the back seat of a ’49 Ford convertible on the way to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, as the story goes. When I leave the South it is akin to what most of you feel when you leave the country. When I am out of the South I feel like the world is a tuxedo and I am a brown shoe. Coming back to the South feels like returning home.
There was a time, before the War Between the States (I refuse to call it by the more popular name because, as the writer Shelby Foote
so eloquently said, “There was nothing civil about that war.”) when the South led the nation in most everything. It was easy to accumulate wealth when not having to pay for the work done by enslaved people. I rue the day the northern people brought Africans here to be enslaved, against the wishes of the Southern people, I might add. It should go without saying, but I will say it anyway, no human should ever be enslaved because, well, you know, how would you like to be a slave?
Once again the South is leading the nation, but not in a good way. This is a map of the somewhat United States copied today from the New York Times. The darker the color the more the Covid:
The following notice is on the website of the Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy:
NOTICE: Per yesterday’s CDC announcement and rise of COVID cases, this event will now require masks in the tournament hall. (https://www.charlottechesscenter.org/norm) Unfortunately it is not shown on the main page, but can be located at the GM/IM NORM INVITATIONAL- SUMMER page after clicking on “events” at the home page. Nevertheless, I applaud those enlightened people at the CCCSA for making such an OUTSTANDING MOVE, on the Chessboard of life.
The Great State of North Carolina is one of the Southern states. It, along with the Great State of Georgia, my home state, are also considered to be part of the “Southeast.” After checking the latest Covid statistics I learned that Georgia is tenth in the USA with nine deaths per day on a seven day moving average (https://usafacts.org/visualizations/coronavirus-covid-19-spread-map/). North Carolina is right below, tied with Arizona with a seven day moving average of eight deaths. When it comes to cases North Carolina is seventh, showing 1926. Georgia is tenth with 1675 cases on a seven day moving average. When it comes to total cases thus far in the pandemic, NC is eighth in the nation with 1,041,620; Georgia is eleventh with a total of 926,707 cases. Unfortunately for my state, 21,654 have died of the virus, which is eight in the nation, compared with the 13,606 humans who have died, ranking NC fourteenth in the country.
When it comes to illness and death being ranked in, or near the top ten is not good. It is a fact that Republican states lead the USA in both cases and deaths. Our country at this time needs to become more UNITED and less STATE. It is extremely difficult to go against the grain and buck the norm, especially in the South. Unfortunately, what should be a normal and natural thing that has been done at the CCCSA could be condemned by some members of the community. I commend FM Peter Giannatos,
the Executive Director and Founder, and Grant Oen,
the Assistant Director/Events Manager, of the CCCSA, and everyone at the CCCSA for taking a stand for We The People!
I do this because just a few days ago I watched a man in a hospital bed, with hoses attached to his nose and other places, who had Covid, but was still defiant, claiming he had a “right” to not take the possibly life saving vaccine if he did not want to take it, even if it killed him. He was a “good ol’ boy” from the South, and did not want anyone telling him what to do. The interviewer asked the man if he thought he had a duty to his fellow humans to take the vaccine in order to not give the virus to anyone. “Hell no!” he replied. “We’re all in this alone.”
The following day there was another gentleman on the television all hooked up to tubes in a hospital bed, and he was being interviewed. He was from Arizona, and did not have any particular reason for not taking the possibly life saving vaccine, but said, “Sure wished I had.” The interviewer asked, “Why didn’t you take it?” He said, “I dunno…didn’t have any reason for not taking it, I guess. I mean, it’s like getting the virus was like what was happening to other people, not to me.”
I know people like both of these two individuals. They are both playing Russian roulette with their lives, and the LIVES OF THOSE WITH WHOM THEY COME IN CONTACT! Both are members of the Chess community. With one old, ornery, and cantankerously recalcitrant Chess coach almost everyone with whom he comes in contact has been vaccinated, yet he refuses to take the vaccine, so its not like there is peer pressure for him to not take the shot. The other is a Grandmaster who writes a blog replete with anti-vax madness. He has obviously become a strident right (wrong) winger as he has aged. Many people fear the government. While running for the office of POTUS the former actor Ronald Reagan said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” The line elicited a big laugh, and has been repeated endlessly by Republicans running for office ever since. It is, arguably, the most famous thing the man said during his entire life that was not a line from a movie.
It caused me to think, “Why would anyone in their right mind say such a thing if he wants to lead the government?” Think about it…The thought that followed was a line from a Bob Dylan song: “Don’t follow leaders, watch the parking meters.” (https://www.bobdylan.com/songs/subterranean-homesick-blues/)
If— Rudyard Kipling – 1865-1936
If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master; If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with triumph and disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to broken, And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with kings—nor lose the common touch; If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you; If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run— Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son! https://poets.org/poem/if
Kasparov refuses to go gently into that good night…
lost in without getting out of the opening playing black against GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.
A phone call from an excited Ironman, who happened to be between online lessons, and was watching some of the “action,” gave notice that something big was happening in the world of Chess. I care nothing for blitz Chess, or anything other than what has come to be called “classical” Chess, because playing good Chess requires thought, and if you do not have time to cogitate what is the point? Nevertheless, when a former World Chess Champ losses like a beginner it makes news all around the world. I decided to wait until after having my morning cuppa coffee before checking the usual suspects, TWIC, Chessbase, Chess24, and Chessdom. Sometimes I surf on over to Chess.com and today was one of those days, which was a good thing because the first video found during a search at duckduckgo.com proclaimed erroneously that Kasparov had lost in 10 moves:
This is false. As ignominious as it sounds, Garry Kasparov actually lost after playing only 6 moves:
Below you can find all the gory details, which was located at Chess.com, including a very short loss by former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand
to a player who now resides in the Great State of Georgia, GM Alonso Zapata,
explained by the Australian GM Max Illingworth:
Garry Kasparov was born in 1963. He was eligible to play in the World Senior Championship eight years ago. I have often wondered why a player such as Kasparov, or Anatoly Karpov, has not deigned to participate in a Senior event for the good of Chess. Maybe it is time Garry consider playing in a Senior event.
In the 1983 Candidates Finals a young Garry Kasparov faced former World Chess Champion Vassily Smyslov for the right to contest a World Championship match with the then World Champ Anatoly Karpov. The fact that Smyslov made it to the final was almost beyond belief. The Chess world was astounded that someone so old could play well enough to face the young whipper-snapper, Kasparov. Granted, Smyslov was given no chance of defeating Kasparov by the pundits, but just getting to the finals was a victory of sorts. The older I have become the more amazing it seems…
The state is about to find out how many people need to lose their lives to shore up the economy.
1:02 PM ET
A sign announces that Maui Beach Tanning Salon is reopened for business on April 24 in Marietta, Georgia. (Kevin C. Cox / Getty)
At first, Derek Canavaggio thought he would be able to ride out the coronavirus pandemic at home until things were safe. As a bar manager at the Globe in Athens, Georgia, Canavaggio hasn’t been allowed to work for weeks. Local officials in Athens issued Georgia’s first local shelter-in-place order on March 19, canceling the events that usually make spring a busy time for Athens bars and effectively eliminating the city’s rowdy downtown party district built around the University of Georgia. The state’s governor, Brian Kemp, followed in early April with a statewide shutdown.
But then the governor sent Canavaggio into what he calls “spreadsheet hell.” In an announcement last week, Kemp abruptly reversed course on the shutdown, ending many of his own restrictions on businesses and overruling those put in place by mayors throughout the state. On Friday, gyms, churches, hair and nail salons, and tattoo parlors were allowed to reopen, if the owners were willing. Yesterday, restaurants and movie theaters came back. The U-turn has left Georgians scrambling. Canavaggio has spent days crunching the numbers to figure out whether reopening his bar is worth the safety risk, or even feasible in the first place, given how persistent safety concerns could crater demand for a leisurely indoor happy hour. “We can’t figure out a way to make the numbers work to sustain business and pay rent and pay everybody to go back and risk their lives,” he told me. “If we tried to open on Monday, we’d be closed in two weeks, probably for good and with more debt on our hands.”
Kemp’s order shocked people across the country. For weeks, Americans have watched the coronavirus sweep from city to city, overwhelming hospitals, traumatizing health-care workers, and leaving tens of thousands of bodies in makeshift morgues. Georgia has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, and the state’s testing efforts have provided an incomplete look at how far the virus continues to spread. That testing capacity—which public-health leaders consider necessary for safely ending lockdowns—has lagged behind the nation’s for much of the past two months. Kemp’s move to reopen was condemned by scientists, high-ranking Republicans from his own state, and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms; it even drew a public rebuke from President Donald Trump, who had reportedly approved the measures before distancing himself from the governor amid the backlash.
A bench is taped off to ensure social distancing at a coffee shop in Woodstock, Georgia, on Monday, April 27. (Dustin Chambers / Bloomberg via Getty)
Public-health officials broadly agree that reopening businesses—especially those that require close physical contact—in places where the virus has already spread will kill people. Georgia’s brash reopening puts much of the state’s working class in an impossible bind: risk death at work, or risk ruining yourself financially at home. In the grips of a pandemic, the approach is a morbid experiment in just how far states can push their people. Georgians are now the largely unwilling canaries in an invisible coal mine, sent to find out just how many individuals need to lose their job or their life for a state to work through a plague.
Estimates vary as to how many businesses might actually reopen now, but none of the Georgians I talked with knew many people who intended to voluntarily head right back to work. That was true in Athens, which has long been one of the Deep South’s most progressive cities, as well as in Blackshear, a small town in the rural southeastern part of the state that tends toward conservatism. Kelly Girtz, the mayor of Athens, estimated that about 90 percent of the local business owners he had spoken with in the past week had no intention of reopening immediately. “Georgia’s plan simply is not that well designed,” Girtz says. “To call it a ‘plan’ might be overstating the case.”
Do you see a trend? Does it appear things in the Great state of Georgia are improving? If you flip the order it may be time to reopen. Obviously things are getting worse rather than improving. Only a stupid idiot would consider reopening the economy under these conditions. Georgia REPUBLICAN Governor Brian Kemp could care less about the number of Georgia citizens who will die because of his stupidity.
One would think that when the imbecile POTUS criticizes the risky, to say the least, move by the governor, Brian Kemp would have had second thoughts about opening for business too soon, but NOooooooo! The REPUBLICAN mantra of “Death for Dollars” is in full bloom in my home state.
Experts and the President criticize Kemp’s move
Health experts have criticized the move to reopen Georgia, saying it’s too soon and risks setting off another wave of infections. President Donald Trump at first applauded Kemp for his aggressive plan to restart the economy, a source told CNN, then publicly bashed him during news briefings.
“I told the governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, that I disagree strongly with his decision to open certain facilities,” Trump said. “But, at the same time, he must do what he thinks is right.”
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp should be removed, by any means necessary, for malfeasance while in office. Georgia desperately needs a sane leader who cares more about We The People than one who obviously desires crap shooting for dollars.
When coming of age in the metro Atlanta area in the 1960’s the capital city of the Great State of Georgia was known as “the city too busy to hate.” This was reflected upon while reading an online article at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution website. As often happens something was unintentionally found:
Inquiring minds want to know, for certain, who coined the term? The only name recalled who was constantly vilified at the time by my wrong-wing Republican relatives was Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen.
Creator: WSB-TV (Television station : Atlanta, Ga.)
Title: WSB-TV newsfilm clip of governor Ernest Vandiver and mayor William B. Hartsfield responding to the full-page advertisement “An Appeal for Human Rights” published in newspapers by a student civil rights group in Atlanta, Georgia, 1960 March 9
Date: 1960 Mar. 9
“In this WSB newsfilm clip from Atlanta, Georgia on March 9, 1960, Georgia governor Ernest Vandiver and Atlanta mayor William B. Hartsfield respond to “An Appeal for Human Rights,” a full-page advertisement published in each of the Atlanta daily newspapers by the All-University Student Leadership Group, a student-led civil rights organization. The clip’s audio breaks out at several points; comments by individuals may not be completely recorded. The clip begins with governor Ernest Vandiver’s critical response to “An Appeal for Human Rights.” Referring to the advertisement as a “left-wing statement,” Vandiver calls upon “those who would cause hatred, strife, and discord” in Atlanta and in Georgia to stop their actions which he believes will benefit no one. Next, Atlanta mayor William B. Hartsfield responds to the same document and calls Atlanta “a city too busy … to hate.” http://crdl.usg.edu/export/html/ugabma/wsbn/crdl_ugabma_wsbn_42211.html?Welcome&Welcome
I thought it nice our city was thought of as “A city too busy to hate.” Unfortunately, there was still too much hate, no matter how busy was the city. Seems there is still too much hatred in Atlanta.
‘Wuhan Plague’ plaques found on Atlanta businesses, streets
By Raisa Habersham, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Hodgepodge Coffeehouse owner Krystle Rodriguez received a text from her employee about the sign: a round plaque glued to her Moreland Avenue building outside her restaurant depicting Winnie the Pooh eating a bat with chopsticks below the words “Wuhan Plague.”
The signs have been popping up around East Atlanta on a variety of buildings and fixtures. Atlanta Police Department’s Homeland Security Unit, which investigates bias-motivated crimes, has been notified about the signs but so far no arrests have been made.
“It’s doing nothing but reinforcing really awful stereotypes,” said Rodriguez, who posted a photo of the sign on her social media page to mixed reactions. “I have Asian American friends that said it’s allergy season and they’re afraid to sneeze in public because of all of the hate speech.”
Asian Americans have reported increased harassment around the globe since the novel coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China. Asians make up 4% of Atlanta’s population, according to U.S. Census data.
Advancing Justice-Atlanta, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the civil rights of Asian American communities in Georgia and the Southeast, called the signs “hateful and dangerous rhetoric (that) has consequences.”
“Chinese Americans and those perceived to be are now victims of violence,” the organization said in a statement. “These plaques are the latest incident to harass the Asian American community and it is important we all condemn it. Hate has no place here.”
For the past week, Atlanta police have received calls about the signs, which appear to be small, bronze-colored plaques that are glued in place. According to three police reports, the first was seen April 13 on an electrical box in front of 188 Waverly Way in Inman Park. Another was found on April 16 on a city lamp post near the intersection of Wylie and Flat Shoals in Reynoldstown. A third was found on the Candler Park Market on April 18.
Owners for One Moreland, the building where Hodgepodge is located, turned in a video of the sign to Atlanta police.
Atlanta police spokesman Carlos Campos said the department’s Homeland Security Unit has been notified about the plaques, but added they don’t appear to meet the criteria for a bias crime.
“If someone were to be identified as placing them, any charges would have to be looked at on a case-by-case basis, depending largely on whether any damage was done to the property to which the medallion is being affixed,” Campos said.
For the plaques to be considered a bias crime, there must be evidence the crime was committed based on the victim’s race, religion, sex, or another identifier. Because Georgia doesn’t have a hate crime statute, police would have to confer with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office before they could prosecute the case under federal hate crime laws.
Animator and muralist Rod Ben, 35, of Tucker, said the plaques overt Asian metaphors invite people to place blame for the coronavirus on those from Asian countries and Asian American residents.
“No one feels safe,” said Ben, who is Cambodian and Vietnamese. “I’m worried for my parents going to the grocery store. Even older people are being harassed and attack, and if you’re not going to leave old people alone, where is (the harassment) going to stop?”
Ben also took his daughter out of daycare because he was worried about the way people looked at her during the pandemic.
“Yes, we’re Asian, but we’re Asian Americans. I’ve never been to China,” he said. “To make these connections based on what someone looks like is crazy. It’s the first time some of us have considered buying a gun because we don’t feel safe.”
“People have gotten on me for not wearing a mask and some immediately see me and move, which is good because you should be social distancing,” Ben said. “But when I see other people walking past them and they don’t react that way, I can only come to the conclusion that they’re scared of me.”
While no arrests have been made in the incidents, Rodriquez and Ben both hope the culprits get more education about xenophobia and how it affects people.