Strangers Clean Up CNN Center Atlanta Following Night of Out of Control Riots
Strangers picked up glass and scrubbed graffiti at CNN Atlanta
The worst and best of Atlanta
CNN Center Atlanta has seen the worst and best of this city in a span of less than 20 hours.
Things were peaceful for many hours.
They eventually got out of control. Someone set a police car on fire. Others smashed the windows of CNN Center and McCormick and Schmick’s restaurant.
Others with spray paint defaced the giant CNN landmark that has stood outside the building for decades.
When you really love a place
I watched from my home in Midtown Atlanta feeling sick to my stomach. It’s not about comparing what was happening to this building where I worked for 12 years to the tragedy of people like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor losing their lives.
It’s an “AND.”
A giant AND.
What is happening across this country is terrible.
CNN is an amazing place and all this beating up of “The Media” is exhausting.
Atlanta is better than this.
So many current and former CNN expressed their sorrow on social media platforms.
I woke up this morning knowing what I had to do.
I grabbed a mask, some gloves, trash bags, my favorite CNN hat and jumped on MARTA to head Downtown.
I had to help clean up.
What I came upon outside CNN was nothing short of incredible.
Strangers descend on CNN Center
There were all sorts of folks already there. They showed up with brooms, dust pans, cleaning solutions and got to work.
Folks of all colors and ages were working together to clean the place up.
I connected with a young woman named, Jo, who had a broom and a spare dust pan. She swept. I scooped.
She told me she came down because she wanted to be part of the solution.
Clearly, CNN executives had also already had some crews out to get to work.
The most welcome sight was the giant CNN logo scrubbed of most of the graffiti paint.
One couple showed up with a cooler and passed out free bottles cold water.
Employees from Chick Fil A passed out sandwiches to volunteers.
Yes, there are still some shattered windows.
Still work to be done
There is much work to be done.
But this is what Atlanta is about.
As a long time member of “The Media,” a term I abhor, it just felt so good to see so much support and love from the community that is the birthplace of CNN.
This is not to suggest we do not have some big problems to address in our country.
Nor is it to suggest that CNN is perfect.
It was my professional home for 12 years.
I love and adore the dedicated journalists I worked with and who continue to work there today.
Thank you, Atlanta.
Life after CNN
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