Ain’t That America

In the family of states, Georgia is the demented uncle who, as everyone else is preparing to sit down for dinner, suddenly drops his drawers and begins wildly masturbating.

Since the advent of white people, Georgia has always been wrong. Its essential character was formed when Great Britain threw open its jails and shipped to the nascent state great swarms of sullen ur-yeehaws, people who had dedicated their lives to such pursuits as cutting purses, stealing pigs, and forcibly mounting their sisters.

People who are Sane and Decent have, since, ever been a distinct georgia on my mindminority in Georgia. Except for that one brief shining moment when General Sherman marched his army through it. Then, the presence of great numbers of Union troops meant that, for the first and last time, a slim majority of the people within the state’s boundaries were actually able to distinguish their ass from a hole in the ground.

All that needs to be known about Georgia may be perceived in the state’s official great seal. There, a barefoot albino boy is depicted, sucking on a straw. In his left hand is a banjo with one string, in his right hand a noose. His stiff little pee-pee is meanwhile porking a sow.

Georgia for centuries has been all about killing black people, and whatever Jews might unwisely wander into the state. A review of more than 200 years of the state’s history, as reflected through the men Georgians have elevated to the governorship, is not so much to stroll through a rogue’s gallery, as to confront the denizens of Hell.

There is George Crawford, who personally killed a man in a duel, and then effectively killed tens of thousands of Georgians by taking the state traitor, authoring the state’s Ordinance of Secession. There is Edward Telfair, who not only owned slaves, and dealt in slaves, but served as a slavery “consultant.” The people of Georgia of course named a county in his honor; that county bears his name to this day. There is George Troup, who hated him not only some black people, but also some red people; he stole grate swaths of Indian land from the native Creeks, and then defied the federal government, threatening to attack federal troops, if the feds tried to make him give it back. He owned black people all of his life and was feted as “the Hercules of states’ rights.” There is they could be heroesSamuel Elbert, who was elected to serve in the US House of Representatives, but believed himself too enfeebled to so serve; naturally, he felt himself up to serving as governor, where he threatened to secede the state if the federal government attempted to levy a tax. There is Marvin Griffin, who vowed to keep Georgia’s schools segregated “come hell or high water,” commanded state athletes not to participate in events where black people either participated or attended, and who sought to promote tourism by inviting survivors of the Canadian Springhill mining disaster to tour the state free . . . until he discovered, to his horror, that one of those survivors was black. There is Ernest Vandiver, who secured election by campaigning on the slogan “no, not one”—meaning “not one black child in a white school.” There is Lester Maddox, who became wildly popular throughout the state when he wielded an ax handle to keep black people away from his chicken restaurant; when he was damned by Newsweek as a “backwoods demagogue out of the boondocks,” Georgians stampeded to sweep him into office, where he credited God as his “campaign manager.” When Martin Luther King was assassinated by racists such as himself, Maddox refused to allow King’s body to lie in state in the Georgia state capitol. There is Eugene Talmadge, an “admitted flogger and racial demagogue who presided over a Klan-ridden regime,” and who, when accused of stealing $20,000 in order to raise the price of hogs, told one group of farmers, “Sure, I stole it. But I stole it for you.” There is Sonny Perdue, who in the 21st Century vomited from the statehouse truthless proclamations hosannaing black people who he lied fought for the Confederacy.

Sometimes a Georgia governor disastrously gets out in front of the people, and then he is required to get the hell right out. Thus, Rufus Bullock, who hewed to the principle of “one man, lester the molesterone vote”—even if that man was black—”was obliged by the Ku Klux Klan to resign the governorship.” And John Slaton, who, when he reduced the sentence of death against the unjustly convicted Leo Frank to life imprisonment, was forced to flee the state, lest he be lynched from the same tree where hung Frank: Frank, you see, was a “rich northern Jew”; as Frank swung from the tree, half Georgia’s surviving Jews promptly left the state.

And then there is Georgia’s current chief executive, Nathan Deal, who determined that it was not enough for white Georgians to kill black people and Jews; no, lo, they needed to kill each other, too. And so he introduced and guided to passage the 2014 Safe Carry Protection Act, familiarly known as the “Guns Everywhere” law, which sanctifies the carrying of loaded firearms into bars, churches, schools, airports, libraries, and government buildings, and prohibits law enforcement officers from inquiring of gun-bearers whether they are licensed to carry their killing machines.

And so today the people of Georgia are out there merrily massacring one another.

And thus we come to William McCollom, police chief of Peachtree City, Georgia. A burg home to more than 34,000 people, and well over 10,000 golf carts; a system of golf-cart paths, it seems, spiders across town, and so many people now putt about in the things that in 2005 Golf Digest noted the place was suffering from “golf cart gridlock.” Too, sometimes the carts are piloted by inebriates, which can result in grisly accidents such as this May 2012 outburst of Badness:

On Saturday, Tracy Self and her husband, Mike, were leaving a concert at the Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater when she was run over by a golf cart.

“I turned to my right and I saw Tracy’s leg and it was terrible,” said Mike. “I knew she needed me. She was screaming, she was in so much pain.”

According to a report by Peachtree City police, the driver of the golf cart, William Helm, “continued to proceed into the lower parking lot, dragging Mrs. Self a short distance.”

Witnesses said the “male driver continued to pull putt-puttaway until a passerby stopped him and pulled the key from the ignition of his car . . . the driver then attempted to drive away again until he noticed there were no keys in the ignition,” the report stated.

Self suffered a broken leg and had to have surgery to fix the two broken bones. Until Monday night, Self was on a ventilator and was unable to talk. She was using notebook paper to scribble information to her husband.

“She asked for chapstick,” Mike Self said. “It was tough seeing her like that, because I know how sweet my wife is, how good-hearted she is.”

CBS Atlanta News went to Helm’s home to ask him about the DUI charges. The garage door was open, and the golf cart that hit Self was visible inside. But upon knocking on the door, a man quickly shut the garage door and locked himself inside the home.

Now, there in this putt-putt sometimes-paradise, Chief McCollom, in the wee hours of January 1, “accidentally” twice shot his wife with his Glock service weapon. If you now turn on your radio, odds are you can hear the critically injured woman moaning, on the 911 call where McCollom calmly explains that “the gun was in the bed, I went to move it to put it to the side, oopsand it went off.”

“She’s starting to have trouble breathing now,” McCollom says on the call, “so it must be internal.”

The crackerjack reporters of the Daily Mail have determined that Margaret, the woman with gun holes in her body, is the chief’s wife only in the technical past-tense sense, as the couple divorced in the last millennium. Indeed, until recently Chief McCollom was married to another woman, his police department’s chaplain, a woman who heaved the chief out when she discovered he was inserting his penis into a vagina that was not hers.

Whether the vagina was Margaret’s, is not, at this time, Known.

Margaret is a former emergency-room nurse. At around 4:30m a.m New Year’s morning, she returned to such a room, this time as a patient.

McCollom became chief of the Peachtree department “after the previous chief Skip Clark stepped down suddenly.” It is not Known whether this sudden departure was likewise occasioned by Clark “accidentally” shooting his ex-wife at four-o’clock in the morning, when his gun unaccountably went wild on the bed and began pumping lead into his once-dearly beloved.

A neighbor who lives across the street from the chief and the woman with gun-holes in her body describes them as a “loving couple” who “do a lot of things together”; he swears that he has “never seen any problems over there.”

Look. It’s a tough world. And sometimes a man’s gun just leaps off the bed at four-o’clock in the morning and begins tearing holes in one’s ex-wife. Shit happens. And it happens in Georgia. For more than two hundred years.

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