Posted on | February 1, 2014 | 63 Comments
Cosmic fate: My brother Kirby was trapped on I-285 during the big weather-induced disaster in Atlanta.
He had to get his driver’s license renewed, which required him to go to the Department of Vital Records — on the east side of town near Buford Highway — to get a copy of his birth certificate. He left on his way back to Douglasville about 12:40 p.m. Tuesday, deciding to take surface streets in an effort to avoid gridlock on the expressways.
It took him nine hours to travel less than 20 miles — via Moores Mill Road and Atlanta Road — to reach the RaceTrac gas station at the intersection of South Cobb Drive and East-West Connector in Smyrna. The scene inside the convenience store was like a refugee camp. Stranded motorists were sleeping on the floor.
After gassing up, buying a sandwich and beverages, Kirby made the fateful decision to heed the advice on the radio: Take the interstate, because they’ll get those cleared before they get to the byways. Going south on I-285, he reached the Chattahoochee River bridge before traffic completely gridlocked.
“We didn’t move an inch from midnight until 7 o’clock the next morning,” he said, and once traffic did start moving, it took him more than five hours to make it the rest of the way home.
So it’s Kirby’s fault.
Fate conspired to subject him to this Herculean ordeal, and all the other people who got trapped in that icy mess were just collateral damage, so far as Fate was concerned.
And I tell that story because some idiot has written an article — at Slate, where else? — blaming the Atlanta Ice Jam of 2014 on racism.
Racism! Of course, that explains everything!
Racism is the Swiss Army Knife of explanations, the duct tape of social science. If you ever encounter a problem that seems to have no obvious explanation — boom! — racism explains it.