The following is a rush transcript of Todd’s interview with Bill White, chairman and chief executive officer of a group that wants to secede from leftist Atlanta. Listen to the entire interview by clicking here.
TODD: [01:39:31] All right, folks, welcome back to the Todd Starnes radio show. I got to tell you, crime is off the charts. All of these progressive cities, they want to defund the police. Well, guess what? Now you get what you ask for. Crime is out of control, including in places like Atlanta, Georgia, and the affluent suburbs. And look, these criminals are not stupid. They know where the money is. And they are they are preying on these innocent victims. In places like Buckhead. We had the opportunity to watch an interview on Fox News Channel with Bill White, who is chairman and CEO of of a group that is fighting to secede from the Atlanta city limits. Bill White on the Liberty University newsmaker line. Bill, great to have you with us today.
WHITE: [01:40:28] We listen to the show and you do great work, so thank you for having us on today.
TODD: [01:40:33] Well, thank you. Thank you for saying that. And Bill, first of all, I want you to explain to our listeners, if you could describe the area of Buckhead, because this is a beautiful area. Whenever I’m in Atlanta, I typically stay in one of the hotels there. This is a great part of the city.
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WHITE: [01:40:49] Thank you so much. Yes, it is. And we love our community. It actually runs and folks are not from Atlanta. Be hard to explain, but it runs basically between Sandy Springs and downtown Atlanta. They call it midtown, but it’s a nuance and it goes from DeKalb County all the way over to Cobb County. So it’s like it looks like a Chevron like Ohio if you’re looking at a map. So that’s kind of the shape of it. And there’s about 80 to 85 thousand legally registered voters within the map that we’ve drawn for Buckhead City, which will hopefully get itself on the ballot for November of 2022. We have two bills in the Georgia legislature, one of the assembly, one in the Senate, to take up city hood. It would be a vote up or down by those voters.
And what we say is it’s very unfortunate, you know, the great people of Buckhead who have contributed so much to the fabric of this great city feel exploited. And it’s been going on for way too long. The crime is out of control. We have a murder rate in Buckhead. It’s unbelievable, Todd. It is 133 percent up from 2019 for the APD, Atlanta Police Department. And shootings are up 164 percent in that same period. Literally, you cannot go to get gas here. I don’t without a pistol in my pocket. And I mean that sincerely. It’s not a cliche. My sister in law, she will not go to get gas. She sends her husband and he has to schedule, you know, twenty minutes a day to go take her car to get her gas.
So we filed for divorce. We’re not, you know, fans of divorce. I’m a marriage guy. You know, you stick with it till the end. You fight as much as it as you can, but you come to an arrangement. But in a civil sense, we have irreconcilable differences. The police are not being allowed to do their job and they’re great policemen. They want to do their job. I want to stop this crime. And they don’t respect the police here. They don’t love the police. They don’t back the blue. They villainize police. And we want to celebrate police and put the smack down on this crime. By the way, a police truck is driving by right now. I’m sorry about that. Not literally. Literally.
TODD: [01:43:20] No, no, Bill. It’s our understanding that the police are literally handcuffed. So if there’s, you know, people are shooting or something and they’re in a car, they’re not allowed to even give chase, is that right?
WHITE: [01:43:30] Yeah. Is it interesting that you said that. I like your phrase. You always thinking that the handcuffs, the handcuffs are on the wrong people. The handcuffs need to come off the police and go on these am emboldened criminals who believe they can come to our community and wreak havoc. You know, there was this shooting that you’re referring to, January 3rd, Pharr Road. The attempted murderers were firing on people, bullets going through trucks, hitting people on the street. And a law enforcement executive had literally taken this video that was on Tucker Carlson that we used. And it showed two police cars sitting there. And by policy, the mayor of Atlanta has told them they can’t chase that car because she’s afraid of them hitting the sidewalk or something and having a lawsuit against the city.
So, you know, have you heard anything as silly and crazy as that? So, you know, people say, why can’t we just work out our differences with whoever the new mayor of Atlanta is going to be? You know, because Keisha Bottoms is quitting. Right. She knows she can’t run because the crime is rampant and she’s been a failure. I don’t knock her as a human being. She’s a child of God. I wish her well, but her job as mayor has not been great for us. So we we say the new mayor of Atlanta, we’re not waiting around for that. He or she could be just as bad, if not worse. So we’re taking things into our own hands. And I think that I’ll be an example, time for the country, that you can take your city back from these crazy policies that do nothing for your life and safety and your livelihood and get back to normal, take control of your destiny.
TODD: [01:45:21] You see, Bill, this is what I love about this story, is that you guys are not just out there complaining about it. You’ve come up with a solution to the problem. And and you’re right. I do hope that other other communities around the nation that are dealing with this will will follow suit. We broadcast our program from Memphis, Tennessee. And I’ll be honest with you, Bill, a lot of people actually drive out to the suburbs to get gas because they’re afraid of getting carjacked. I mean, that’s the same situation, same situation. And, you know, here in our city, the progressive city council will not even allow the police department to have a full complement of officers. I think they’re down 700 in Memphis. So we certainly understand and we are very sympathetic with the plight of the good people of Buckhead.
WHITE: [01:46:08] Well, I appreciate it. And that is makes me so sad to hear that. Imagine you’re a hardworking family. You’re a mom, two kids, three kids, whatever it is. And you have to feel it that way. I mean, simply to get gas. It sounds like a you know, something you should just normally be able to do very easily. But if I could, I could refer your amazing listeners to our website. It’s ABC Buckhead Exploratory Committee now. And I say that now because this is a sense of urgency and we’d love to get feedback from the great people of Memphis to listen to your show questions, comments or even take snide remarks. You know, we’ll listen to anybody who’s got something to say to us because we’re learning from all these great comments of folks who want to make their cities better, trying to do that with ours. And we’ll keep you posted. It’s going to be a really revolutionary moment when that ballot initiative hits the fan, so to speak, the proverbial fan.
TODD: [01:47:03] And what is what is the process there of actually seceding from the city? Who ultimately makes that decision?
WHITE: [01:47:10] Well, the Georgia legislature is going to decide after they review our feasibility study, which is underway. We already know Buckhead will be feasible, but the legislature has to hear that from an independent operation and they’re going to get that probably in about 12 weeks. In January, they take up our two bills. By April, they will vote yes or no. And if it’s a yes, then city hood up or down will be on the ballot in November of 2022. And literally that day, if the vote is 50 plus one simple majority, Buckhead City is a city and that’s going to be you want to come to the parade that we’d love to have you come.
TODD: [01:47:53] Oh, I would love to be there. We we have so many listeners in the Atlanta area, and this has been a big deal. We’ve been getting calls on the crime situation in Atlanta. And I can imagine that would be a terrific celebration. Bill, we would love to get you back on the show as we continue this process here. And I know we’re going to post a link to your website on our live show blog to our listeners around the country will be able to access that. But, sir, best of luck to you and the good people of Buckhead.
WHITE: [01:48:24] Oh, that’s so kind of you. Thank you so much. And God bless you and the great work you’re doing and keep up fighting the fight for us. We appreciate it.