Dec 7, 2004

The Future's So Bright--I've Got To Wear Shades (Not In Alabama!)

"Separate schools shall be provided for white and colored children, and no child of either race shall be permitted to attend a school of the other race."
This is yet another example of the mindset of many Americans--and I'm not talking about a few bigots here and there. The mainstream media won't talk about it, because it's unpleasant, gives a "black eye" to our myopic country, and it doesn't fit within the tranquilized view of our "moral-values America." But, sadly, it's true: There are too many of them amongst us. Call them racist or segregationist, they do play a major role in US politics. They voted for Bush by the droves, and voted to send their message to the world and their kin to represent them in government. How can we respect those who are in favor of white supremacy, bigotry, and theocracy?!! How can we find a middle ground with them? Sometimes it's just not possible.

Many Americans and whole sections of this country move towards progressive social change at a glacial speed if at all. Social changes sometimes have been achieved by the action of the federal government or through the courts. This, by the way, is another reminder of the devastating effect of the Bush administration will have on civil rights and democracy, especially after Dubya's probable appointments to the Supreme Court.

In the 1950s and '60s, the Supreme Court and the Johnson administration made null and void the "Jim Crow" laws in the South. Of course, this by itself didn't change the minds and hearts of many Americans. Yeah, but it's all in the past, you might say. Not really. In the last election, the majority of the Alabama voters rejected the removal of the statute providing for racial segregation from their state constitution! They did not approve Amendment 2 which would have removed the language that says the state's schoolchildren do not have an equal right to public education! That says a lot about "The Heart of Dixie", does it not? It is no accident that after president Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964 the South moved over to the Republican side.
Another bigot, Tom Coburn was just elected to the US Senate by the majority of Oklahomans. He advocates the death penalty of all doctors who perform abortions for any reason at any stage of pregnancy. He got the support of the Dixiecrats, theocrats, and of hundreds of thousands of voters who want to keep their favorite past-time (cockfighting!) legal in Oklahoma! [Apparently this is a big issue there... Still legal in Louisiana!]

So, you want to remain inactive thinking that there is no cultural divide and that we should extend an olive branch to the other side? [I'm not talking about the traditional conservatives, who only have 3 or 4 "moderate" Republicans in the Senate and a handful of Congressmen who are powerless and disappearing fast] Hell, no! Are you ready to surrender our civil rights and allow them to turn this country back to medieval times? I am not. What can you do? Stay informed and engaged in the political process. Vote! Speak out! Participate locally. Organize to make your state blue(r), more liberal, more in step with the rest of the other advanced countries.


Anonymous said...

A segregationist is not a racist necessarily... it's one that believes that segregation is good for both races.... At least this is what George Wallace (gov. of Alabama) once argued.

So, does this mean that the majority of present-day residents of Alabama believe the same thing? I'd feel ashamed if New York had the same provision in its state constitution! But, what do you expect from those who live in the age of the Confederacy?

There is no other way to call these people as backward ignoramuses! (of course they wouldn't take offense at this because they don't know what it means!...)

Anonymous said...

How do you deal with people who have these views? Obviously if they haven't changed their minds about racism in the 21st cent. America, then it's hopeless. The problem is that we as a society don't deal with such a problem directly. I mean, it's shameful, but why haven't we heard a big fuss about Alabama's voters to keep such racist language in their state constitution???

We condemn smoking more than we condemn racism.....

Jay A.

Anonymous said...

Many people would deny that they hold racist beliefs, but they would express their bigotry in many other ways.
I think as a society at large we should shame those racists....

Why not have a national discussion about Alabama's constitution? Although, the Supreme Court has rendered that language moot, the fact remains that the MAJORITY of the voters there did NOT want to remove racial language from their constitution!

It's not like some obscure laws long forgotten and not enforced...all states have those. (like you can't take a bath or whistle on Sunday!) But, when you are asked whether to remove a blemish from your state's constitution, especially one about racism, and one that so much blood has been spilled over, then you have a choice to show whether you are a progressive, tolerant, democratic person, or, that you are a big bigot fit to live in the Middle Ages! Shame! Shame! [and boycot Alabama from now on]


Anonymous said...

wasn't sure where to plop this. but, this is the kind of stuff
that scares the hell out of me... (censorship),11710,1369643,00.html


Anonymous said...

This also shows that we have a long way to go. I don't know if there is a fast or simple solution to this problem. Education is important, but those "red states" don't understand what SCIENCE is! They want to teach creationism as science!

What always intrigued me is that how so many people condemn the "all-permissive" culture, but at the same time they want to go to other extreme! Of course, for most of them it's only a show! The biggest perverts are those who appear pius and preach some cuckoo ideas about religion and morals...

Nick A

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many of them consider themselves "good christians"... This is ridiculous, as it's always been.