Mariah Parker was elected the Athens-Clarke County Commission by a mere 13 votes. She is a radical progressive and she lifted her fist in the black power salute as she was sworn in with a paperback version of a Malcolm X biography. The controversial leader of the Nation of Islam was gunned down in 1965. She ran on a platform of racial and economic justice.
“My platform centers around economic and racial justice. The policies of this town have been structured, deliberately, to ensure that a certain class of people will continue to thrive and a certain class of people will continue to not.”
“The racists have all the money, still, so it’s economically advantageous to cater to them,”
In a discussion after her election, Parker said that she wants to take on affordable housing and gentrification, particularly as it relates to the University of Georgia.
“The university extracts a lot of resources from this community and doesn’t give back enough,” said Parker, who is a Ph.D. student in linguistics and a rapper who goes by the name Lingua Franca.
She added: “The racists have all the money, still, so it’s economically advantageous to cater to them. If we had a black middle class, those places would integrate on their own.” Parker listed her No. 1 priority as setting aside 30 percent of city contracts for black- and Latino-owned companies, according to Flagpole.
Congrats to my comrade and, soon to be, fellow County Commissioner Mariah Parker! @MariahforAthens was sworn in last night.
— Tim Denson (@TimDensonATH) June 6, 2018
Parker choosing the Malcolm X biography to be sworn in on suggests she plans to be a radical on the commission. We’ll have to wait to see if it’s for the good or for the bad.