It sounds like a passage from an Ayn Rand novel. A day before high school graduation Frances Fortner was on her way to church for rehearsal. She was driving down the road in her red convertible when her tire hit an uncovered manhole. It flipped the car and killed her.
Earlier that day at 9:30 a.m. another lady’s tires had popped when she ran over the same manhole. The woman notified the authorities in hopes of preventing another accident. Nothing was done about it. In total, there were three complaints made to the police and still no cones, no barrels, and no tape to cordon it off. You can read about it here. I can’t help but be reminded of the disasters of corruption and ineptitude detailed in Atlas Shrugged. Without rehashing the faults in Rand’s philosophy, we can see the high-level dysfunction she described manifested before our eyes. As for the root of this dysfunction, I have a simpler take than Ayn Rand. This is what happens when third-world people are given authority in a first-world society. Welcome to any typical Southern city in 2018.
We ought to keep the Fortner family in our thoughts and prayers. She was on her way to Christ United Methodist in Jackson, Mississippi when the incident occurred. We assume she is in a better place and that God is looking out for her soul. Anger, however, is justified. This could have been prevented.
When Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown were killed by alleged police negligence their deaths became a national crisis. Obviously, in Frances Fortner’s case there is no room for racial motivation, but there is an inescapable sense that one of ours was killed because of their incompetence. Southerners have an aversion to publicizing and politicizing tragic events and rightly so. It is poor taste to use tragedy for political gain. Though, when a genuine problem in society exists it is unjust to allow the problem to persist. It’s like having a killer out on the loose, ready to strike again. We can honor Frances by doing everything in our power to make sure this doesn’t happen again. This is where the discussion ought to start. Those of us who long for a just society cannot sit idly by.
The primary blame goes to the City’s leadership, but we should also look to ourselves. How could we allow things to get this bad? We can’t control everything, but we can do something. I hope the family files a suit against the city immediately. Whoever is responsible needs to feel the heat for their ineptitude. We can raise awareness about the incident and put pressure on the city government. Let’s do what we can to make sure that happens.
Generally, we need to be more open and honest about the problem. I imagine very few of us harbor any serious antipathy toward black folks, but let’s be honest, this level of incompetence does not exist in white run cities. The stark truth is that the black population isn’t fit to run much of anything. I don’t blame them for voting for their own and engaging in tribalism, that’s the nature of politics. This fundamental reality is lost on most white people. We can be painfully naïve at times and that’s on us. It’s OK to put the interests of your own people first.
White Southerners need to be in charge of their own destiny. Once we have an awakening of mind, we can set about working toward an equitable solution. We can begin to lay the groundwork for taking charge of our cities again. That is the only way to fix the problem. Whether or not we get there is in God’s hands, but it’s our job to work toward it.