There have been numerous speeches in Montgomery on Monday. Speeches about freedom and life and liberty. Speeches concerning the future. Speeches about justice and a brighter future.
And seemingly each speaker who delivered these speeches – from Gov. Kay Ivey on down the listing of warmup acts at Monday’s inauguration occasions – wished to make it possible for everybody knew they had been talking about ALL Alabamians. All.
Which I assume consists of Black Alabamians. Truly, scratch that. I don’t “assume” that. I do know it to be true, as a result of I do know a lot of the individuals who gave these speeches, and I don’t imagine any of them – disagree with them on many points as I do – are racists.
They wouldn’t deliberately exclude or discriminate based mostly on the colour of somebody’s pores and skin. They’d look you within the eye and inform you that they love all folks. That they need equality and justice for all.
However too typically, a few of these folks run into … we’ll name them racial inconveniences.
Little moments when doing the morally proper issues – tearing down accomplice statues or sticking up for Black residents being wronged by our justice system or deciding to not spew the anti-CRT speaking factors or selecting to not race-base gerrymander – aren’t politically advantageous. And in these moments, far too typically, too many individuals have bent to the trail of least resistance.
They cave to the white supremacy that has dominated this state for hundreds of years now. Normally not in large methods. Simply in small concessions right here or there – concessions that go away Alabama perpetually lagging behind on issues of social justice.
Then, everytime you level out these points and the underlying causes, nice offense is taken by the suggestion that the folks answerable for Alabama’s racial shortcomings are, in actual fact, answerable for Alabama’s racial shortcomings. As a result of they don’t seem to be racists, they proclaim. As a result of they don’t need to be racists. They don’t need to be considered racists. Virtually all of them actually imagine that they don’t seem to be racists.
And to be completely honest to them, they don’t seem to be the identical because the overt racists of the previous. They don’t need Black residents to drink from a special water fountain or be subjected to racial slurs. However on the similar time, we’re not precisely on a dashing practice heading for the racial utopia they declare to need for Alabama.
As a result of if that utopia had been actually the purpose – and Alabama has actually put its racist previous, not less than from a management perspective, behind it – then why had been all of these speeches given on a day when Alabama has chosen to honor each Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert E. Lee?
Why does such a racist abomination nonetheless exist right here?
As a result of that’s what it’s – a racist abomination. There’s no different viable rationalization, and don’t waste your typing to show in any other case.
There’s zero motive for Alabama to honor Lee. Zero.
He’s not from right here, by no means spent any actual time right here and didn’t do a factor to learn Alabama in any manner.
So, then, why will we honor him? Even should you can overlook his documented racism and mistreatment of the people he “owned,” the best possible factor you possibly can say about him is that he was above common at conflict. So had been numerous folks – numerous folks far, much more deserving of the dignity, and perhaps even a number of with ties to this state – and we don’t honor them.
So why this explicit non-Alabama normal? Why is he splitting a vacation with a Black nationwide hero who gave his life for equality and justice and the precise guarantees of our forefathers?
It’s racism. That’s why it began and that’s why it continues.
You may fake in any other case should you like, however doing so is a type of racial inconveniences I spoke of earlier. The actual fact is there are solely two causes for not dishing out of this embarrassment: 1. You’re a racist, or 2. You covet the votes and good graces of racists.
There’s no third possibility.
So, what’s it going to be, Alabama politicians? Do you imply what you say? Do you really desire a future Alabama that’s honest for all, with equality and colorblind justice? Do you need to make it possible for the remainder of the nation, together with so many companies trying to relocate, stops viewing Alabama as the identical outdated racist state of outdated?
Let this be step one. Based on Rep. Chris England, laws will once more be submitted within the 2023 session to get rid of this break up vacation and cease honoring Lee.
Assist it. Move it unanimously. Go away little question.
Take the smallest of steps in direction of creating that honest Alabama you say you need.