President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence both made visits to Georgia during this year’s gubernatorial election to prop up the chances of Trump admirer Brian Kemp.
It’s hard to say whether or not their visits helped but Kemp did win. But he certainly didn’t win by as big a margin as he was expected to win by when he edged out Casey Cagle for the Republican nomination.
So it’s hard to deduce the Trump/Pence visits helped very much when the Republican candidate barely eked out a victory in a strongly Trump state like Georgia. And running against an African-American woman to boot.
Pence, in particular, villified the fact that Hollywood outsiders had traveled to Georgia to show their support for Abrams. “…. a message for all of Stacey Abrams’ liberal Hollywood friends: This ain’t Hollywood. This is Georgia.”
Well, as it turns out, Georgia is lot more like Hollywood than Pence realized. And if he had done a little homework he would have known better.
The fact is, more domestic films are produced in Georgia than anywhere else in the United States.
Gov. Nathan Deal and other Republicans in the state have frequently touted the ways in which the film, television and entertainment industry have drawn revenue to the state, fortifying its economy.
As one columnist pointed out, in August, Deal’s office noted that the record number of film and television productions shot in Georgia garnered a whopping $9.5 billion in economic impact for the state in fiscal year 2018.
“With a record 455 productions shot in Georgia, the film industry continues to support jobs for Georgians, boost small businesses and expand offerings for tourists,” Deal said in a news release. “Today, Georgia is one of the world’s top destinations for film production and communities across the state are seeing the benefits of welcoming the industry.”
Georgia became the most popular site for on-location filming in 2008 after the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act became law, according to the release. The state lost its status as the No. 1 filming location in the world earlier this year. According to Film L.A., the title now belongs to Canada.
High-budget films shot in Georgia last year included “Baby Driver,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and “Baywatch,” among others.
“Georgia wants a governor that’s going to put Georgia values and Georgia first,” Pence added Thursday. “And Brian Kemp is going to do just that.”
Pence is right: Georgia ain’t Hollywood. But there’s no denying that those same celebrities he denounced play an integral role in the state’s economy.
On another topic …..
Sixty years ago, white supremacists bombed the Temple on Peachtree Street in Atlanta.
At the time, there was extreme animosity in the south, not against Jewish people but, rather, against the Civil Rights movement in general and black people in particular.
Then Atlanta Mayor William B. Hartsfield said at the time, “Here you see the end result of bigotry and intolerance, and whether we like it or not, those practicing rabble-rousing and demagoguery are the godfathers of the cross burners and the dynamiters.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Ralph McGill went further:
“Let us face facts. This is a harvest. It is the crop of things sown.” He condemned political leaders and commentators “who in terms violent and inflammatory have repudiated their oaths and help unloose this flood of hate and bombing.”
“To be sure, none said go bomb a Jewish temple,” McGill continued. But “you do not preach and encourage hatred for the Negro and hope to restrict it to that field. It is an old, old story. It is one repeated over and over again in history. When the wolves of hate are loosed on one people, then no one is safe.”
A lesson for today, indeed.