This week’s weather fiasco in Atlanta, which stranded thousands of commuters on glassy-slick roads and gridlocked the entire metro region for the better part of 24 hours, was caused by a freak snowstorm, they say. And this is true, in the same way it’s true to say the Civil War started because some guys in Charleston, S.C., started lobbing cannon balls at Fort Sumter. But the real problem in Atlanta isn’t snow; the real problem is history.
Mostly it's about how Georgia and Atlanta in particular value individual and local government so highly that the state response system is basically several hundred counties who all mistrust each other and don't like nobody tellin em what to do. This makes it difficult to prepare for a weather event.
The racism apparently comes in because the Atlanta rail transport system was voted down in the early sixties because the whites didn't want all the africans using it to get to their neighborhoods.
I distinctly remember the joke circulating among white people back then, the one that said that MARTA (the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) actually stood for “Moving Africans Rapidly Through Atlanta.”
Because if there had been a working rapid rail transit system there would have been fewer stranded commuters, I guess.