I lived in Alabama for a couple of years in the 60’s and some results from a state-wide ballot measure this month don’t surprise me in the least.
On that long-ago day of Alabama’s great shame, Gov. George C. Wallace (D) stood in a schoolhouse door and declared that his state’s constitution forbade black students to enroll at the University of Alabama.
He was correct.
If Wallace could be brought back to life today to reprise his 1963 moment of infamy outside Foster Auditorium, he would still be correct. Alabama voters made sure of that Nov. 2, refusing to approve a constitutional amendment to erase segregation-era wording requiring separate schools for "white and colored children" and to eliminate references to the poll taxes once imposed to disenfranchise blacks.
You would think that, forty years later, eliminating this language from the constitution would be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, in Alabama and other parts of this country, there are too many people living way too far in the past.
"There are people here who are still fighting the Civil War," said Tommy Woods, 63, a deacon at Bethel and a retired school administrator. "They’re holding on to things that are long since past. It’s almost like a religion."
Actually it’s the people who voted against this measure who are no-brainers. But maybe I shouldn’t say anything on the thinking behind this part of the electorate. We have plenty of people with the same thought patterns living only a few hours (or less!) down the road from here.