Cut Off Your Nose To Spite Your Face
We partisans on the Left are supposed to vilify Condelleezza Rice because she plays for the other team. But here in Birmingham we feel it’s important to embrace any local who makes good. Being constantly mocked and stereotyped as ignorant hayseeds it’s good to be able to point to a Condolleezza Rice and say, “what about her, huh? She’s from Birmingham.”
Dr. Rice (doesn’t that have a nice ring to it?) claims she became a Republican because when she was a kid it was the Democrats who were opposing the civil rights movement and bombing churches. Well things have changed a bit since the 1960s. We have a new word for racist Democrats or Dixiecrates—we call them Republicans. If Dr. Rice really believes that the Democratic Party is still home to people that want to keep down the Black man she’s out of her mind. It took a while but almost all the Southern racists have gotten over the Civil War and finally joined the party of Lincoln.
For every Condolleezza Rice or Courtney Cox, Alabama seems to produce a dozen Roy Moores. Though a lot of people like to think of former Chief Justice Moore as an ornery man of conviction, most of the country sees him as the personification of all that’s wrong with the South.
During the recent election a hair’s breath majority of voters voted down Amendment Two. This was in no small part due to Roy Moore’s arguments for its defeat that were parroted by right-wing talk radio. The amendment, which was designed to remove racist language from Alabama’s constitution, was portrayed as a backdoor tax. The idea was that if we voted to purge the constitution of an earlier amendment calling for school segregation that somebody, somewhere would force us to pay for Black children to get an education. Now according to Moore and his cronies this would be a terrible thing.
Many believed that there was a secret conspiracy to raise taxes despite the denial of the proponents of the amendment. Of course the flip side of the coin is that Moore and the loudmouth Republicans across the AM dial want school segregation. They don’t believe that Black and White kids should be going to the same schools. That’s certainly the way the defeat of Amendment Two was reported by the national news media. It’s not so much that these big Northeast news companies are out to deride the South; but we provide them with such irresistible fodder. The fact is the people of Alabama did vote to keep racist language in our constitution when given the opportunity to remove it.
Compare the damage and contemplate the motives. Now the nation and world have confirmation that we actually are the villains that Hollywood likes to depict us as. That’s a stain we’re going to have to live with for years to come as we venture out of the state looking for work or seeking a decent education. Even if one were to believe that there was some secret conspiracy to raise our taxes what form would it take? According to Moore and his followers the citizens of Alabama would be forced to provide an education to people who must be being denied one now. Furthermore, because of the wording of the amendment, these people being denied an education are specifically poor and Black. Why do they want to keep Black people uneducated?
These people who continually live up to the Southern stereotype of ignorant racists don’t seem to care what the rest of the world thinks of. They feel no need to join the postmodern world and taint the rest of us with their stain.