YARBROUGH COLUMN: Some random thoughts on random subjects

Published 10:30 am Tuesday, October 25, 2022

If you had the opportunity to speak with a typical Russian family about how the current war with Ukraine has impacted their lives, what would you want to ask them? I may very well have that opportunity in the near future with a family that lives near the Ukrainian border. If you would like to be a part of the interview, get your questions to me as soon as possible. Don’t ask me how the interview is going to happen or when. I don’t know. Because of the obvious risks of the interviewee speaking freely in a totalitarian state, the less I know about the details, the better for all. I can tell you that I trust the source arranging the interview completely. . . .

If the Georgia Legislature and Gov. Brian Kemp’s intentions were to suppress voting rights in upcoming elections as opponents claimed, they are doing a lousy job. On the first day for early voting in Georgia, more than 131,000 people cast ballots. It was a record-breaking increase of 85% over 2018, when 71,000 Georgians voted on the first day. Also, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis of election data shows that Blacks, who account for 29% of the state’s population, cast 39% of the ballots the first day. Will somebody let holier-than-thou Delta CEO Ed Bastion know? He needs to stick to trying to take care of his unhappy pilots and flight attendants instead of sucking up to special interest yappers and looking like a political stooge. . . .

I have to roll my eyes when I hear people talk about the good ol’ days. If you were Black and lived in the South in the 1940’s and 50’s, chances are the days weren’t all that good. I have just finished reading “Mudbound” by Hillary Jordan which portrays events in Mississippi during those times and the prejudice and cruelty toward Black people. Even more disturbing was the acquiescence of otherwise good people as to what was happening. After I finished the book, I turned on the television to watch football. It turned out to be an Ole Miss game. I noticed that the majority of players were Black. Enthusiastically cheering them on in the packed grandstands were mostly whites, likely some descendants of those white supremacists of yesteryear. I would posit this occurrence comes closer to being good days than those earlier times. . . .

Speaking of football, I heard someone say recently that the best job in America is head football coach at Auburn. You get paid millions of dollars and you only have to work for a couple of years. . . .

Two words you need to be careful using around me: Patriot and Christian. When you storm and ransack the Capitol of the United States because you didn’t like the results of an election, you are not a patriot. You are a thug. Same thing with Christian. Right-wing groups have usurped the term as though they are the Christians and everyone else is not. I wonder if they have read Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, including the Beatitudes and the Golden Rule and 1st Corinthians 13:4–8. (Look it up.) I think we all know the answer to that. . . . .

I had the privilege of serving for a number of years on an advisory board at the United States Military Academy at West Point. I once asked the superintendent how they knew an applicant would make it at West Point since they only accept about one out of ten that apply. Two word answer: Eagle Scout. They have the self-discipline, the motivation and desire to succeed. I mention because Craig Schwall will receive his Eagle Scout recognition next week. He is the son of my friend, Fulton County Superior Court judge, the Hon. Craig L. Schwall, Sr. I know personally how hard the young man has worked for this distinction. He will do well. . . .

Finally, thanks to all of you for your condolences on my not winning the Nobel Prize in Literature again this year. I truly thought I had a shot and I could have used the million kroner bigtime. But I do have my standards and if I had to tell all the icky things like that Frenchwoman did who won it, it would embarrass us both. Plus, I haven’t done most of that stuff, including kissing a goat on the lips. Don’t believe me? Just ask the goat.