Business Slowdown Frees Up Time to Take Part in Prejudice, Discrimination

Atlanta, Ga. ( – According to a new federal report, Atlanta, which has long billed itself as the racially harmonious “City Too Busy to Hate,” is finally succumbing to the slowing economy, a development that has many residents looking forward to what they’re calling their first decent opportunity to hate since the 1970s.

Too Lazy to Like

“Like most Atlantans, I’ve been so busy with work that I haven’t had a spare moment to just sit back, relax, and hate,” said Scott Jackson, who runs a construction company in DeKalb County. “It’s one of those things, like freedom or segregated bathrooms, that you don’t realize you miss until you get it back.”

According to the report issued Wednesday by the Federal Reserve, Atlanta’s regional economy continued to shrink in May, with weakness in manufacturing, auto sales, and commercial real estate. As a result, many Atlantans, who admit that work had become an all-encompassing obsession, are rethinking their priorities.

“For a while, business was so brisk that I had no time to focus on quality-of-life issues, such as family, church, and random acts of violence against anyone not of my racial background,” said 38-year-old Greg Blake, who owns a local printing company. “But now that things have slowed down, I’m making up for it. Just this week I went to my son’s Little League game, I made it to the health club twice, and I disparaged a bunch of seemingly unmotivated minorities hanging out on a street corner.”

Blake also said he had to lay off two employees last month, “and those guys have really taken advantage of the time off. One of them is in jail now for spray painting on one of those synagogues, and the other one joined the police force.”

Local officials estimate the weaker economy has given average Atlantans 10 percent more time to hate than during peak economic periods, particularly from 1999-2000, and just before the 1996 Olympics. As a result, race relations in Atlanta, regarded as better than in most American cities, should deteriorate, although it’s not expected to happen overnight.

“I think Atlantans, deep down, are no different from hate-advanced cities like Jerusalem or Sarajevo or Cincinnati, but because they’ve been so busy, they’ve repressed it,” said Jermaine Kalari, executive director of non-profit group Hatelanta, which helps residents recapture their inner bigot. “Even I’m not immune. Like with Billy in my office. Sometimes I have to remind myself that he’s not just my colleague, he’s a rhythmically challenged, sun-sensitive redneck with a little willie.”

“Just like all white folk,” Kalari added.

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