Google Removes Racist MARTA Joke From Search Inquiries

Ask any long-time Atlanta resident what MARTA stands for, you'll get a look. Then some jokes maybe, before the answer is stumbled upon: Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority.

But the joke for years has been: Moving Africans Rapidly Through Atlanta. Hardy-har. Funny only to mask the sentiment behind the quip, because getting reliable public transportation for African Americans in Atlanta has been a thing for years, ever since MARTA's inception in 1965.

Recently, Google had the condescending moniker in the top block after a person searched "what does MARTA stand for." AJC reported on this, and took credit for the removal of said moniker. It is no longer on Google's site.

Race/racism is a thing in the city, not because of some derogatory names, but through its manifestations in the realm of economics (livelihood), politics, labor and so many other areas of culture. Removing this from the Google search engine can mask racist notions, but for a city teeming with black folks who still don't have reliable access to large areas of the city, this situation is a disgrace.

Jokes are jokes, but the enduring ones are the ones that are truest. With no regional financial support and an estimated 80 percent non-white ridership, it seems the joke will live on a few days/weeks/years longer.

 

 

City Hall Still Befuddled By Cyber Attack

Currently, Atlanta courts are closed, residents can't pay traffic tickets and water bills online and customers can't use Wi-Fi at the airport. All because of a strange cyber "hostage situation" affecting the city.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who faces her first spontaneous emergency in the top seat, says public safety services are not affected, but that city employees should check their bank accounts regularly.

The city will only get control back if it pays a ransom of $51,000 in Bitcoin to the attackers. Bottoms said the city is weighing its options, and that "everything is up for discussion."

This incident highlights a gap in the digital defenses of Atlanta, and while the scenario continues to play out, gives a city with other challenges to face another issue to confront and create sustainable solutions for.

The New York Times chimed in with a good breakdown of the situation. Here is another, more nuts and bolts read about Atlanta's response to the attack.

Of course, the crew dived into this in Episode 6 (36 minute mark).

 

 

NCAA Prez Wants One-And-Done Rule Gone

NCAA president Mark Emmert is applying pressure on the NBA. He doesn't want the one-and-done rule around anymore.

"We all know that there are young men who would love to go right into professional basketball, and there’s not really a viable opportunity for them to do that. There should be,” Emmert said in an interview with the AJC. “They should have choice. They should have the opportunity to say, ‘You know, I really don’t want to go to college if I can go right into professional ball.’ 

“Of course, that requires the NBA to change their rules, not us.” 

The Atlanta Formula rapped about this on recently, on Episode 6 (19:00 mark).

 

College basketball continues to march on, with NCAA's exploitation of young labor benefiting from an imbalanced relationship of school profits and the players' pockets. While the NCAA honcho puts the onus on the League to change its rules, there are some things the NCAA can do to protect players from immature decisions. 

Idea: Extend player eligibility rules; if player declares for draft out of high school and gets drafted, only to find out he isn't ready for the NBA, the team could "return" him back to college eligibility status so that the player can continue to develop. NCAA reaps the talent of the sent back student. The young hooper is protected from immature, premature decisions.

Protecting young children should be a priority, even in a competitive climate like college basketball. Green is an alluring color, so we'll see if children's interests can overtake corporate interests in the NCAA's eye. 

Of course, students could take advantage of this and just declare themselves eligible for the NBA Draft without proper due diligence and introspection, knowing they have a cushion of returning to college.

You can't encourage this, so the NCAA should focus on presenting basketball prospects/students with access early to the smartest, pertinent information possible regarding this decision they face, and allow them to make and live by their own choices.

The NBA is here for possibly getting rid of the one-and-done. So it appears something is gonna shake soon.

Counterfeit Pill Overdoses Heading To Atlanta?

Fake percocets claim the life of another Georgian, this time in Macon, and authorities warn that the burgeoning death toll of fake drugs may hit Atlanta soon.

“I think a fair assessment would be that it is just a matter of time,” said Drug Enforcement Agency Special Agent Dan Salder. “Obviously we are close to central and middle Georgia. Most oftentimes, drugs transit through here in Atlanta and go to our smaller counties.”

The DEA believes that the recent wave of middle Georgia overdoses on fake pills could be connected to Mexican cartels. The Georgia Department of Public Health said at least five people have died and dozens more hospitalized.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation identifies the pills as a mixture of two synthetic opioids, cyclopropyl fentanyl and U-47700. The former has unknown effects to investigators because it "was never intended for human or animal use," The latter is said to be seven times stronger than morphine.

The drug culture has been a recurring segment this season on the Atlanta Formula. Recently, on episode 12, we discussed the first “gray death” — heroin and fentanyl overdose - ever recorded in Georgia.

 

On Episode 14, we tackled the prevalence of counterfeit pills entering the market and its implications. People love their drugs, for a number of reasons that are too deep for the scope of this post. It’s safe to say they will be around for a while, simply because the conditions that lead to drug dependency are stronger than leadership's (elected and community, in particular) commitment to fix them.

Until, and not a moment before, the underlying causes of internal dysfunction (malnutrition, sexual misunderstanding, spiritual emptiness, etc.) are attended to with utmost consistency, drugs are going to be here to provide a lift, one dose at a time. Gonna be interesting to see how the city weathers this pending storm. Because in case you haven't heard, the kids been listening.