‘Bama Finally Bids Jim Crow Adieu

Submitted by Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

Well, the Alabama Senate finally got around to it. A vote Wednesday eliminated Jim Crow laws and other segregationist measures in the State’s 340,000 word constitution that was adopted in 1901. The struck language eliminates requirements for separation of the races in educational institutions and the infamous polls taxes. The vote was 22-9 with all Republican senators voting in favor of the legislation.

Some Democratic legislators opposed the bill as too little, too late. Sen. Linda Coleman, D-Birmingham, said there were still racist problems in Alabama’s constitution, including schools that she said are not equitably funded. “This bill to me is a farce. It’s a smokescreen,” Coleman said. ” Jim Crow is still here…. We know there are disparities,” she added. “Even though federal laws nullify these old wordings, it remains a black eye on the state,” said Cam Ward, an Republican senator. A similar bill will snake its way through the Alabama House with an equally good chance of passage.

An interesting side note is that similar legislation failed on a statewide vote in 2004. 

During the epic struggle for human rights played out across the ’60’s, the icon of that age, Dr. Martin Luther King, famously said, “I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word. “

Seems the “final word” has arrived in Alabama — on a very slow train.

Source: Yahoo News

Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

23 thoughts on “‘Bama Finally Bids Jim Crow Adieu”

  1. I think we should just rewrite the whole darn state constitution. The whole thing is old anyway. I mean, there’s still a law that says that in a certain county, a woman cannot drive a horse and buggy after dark. A horse and buggy!

  2. Constitutionalreform.org reports that 70 percent of the Alabama State Legislature’s activity revolves around approving constitutional amendments that pertain to a single city or county. THAT is a waste of taxpayer money.

  3. Blue Gal / Fran L.,

    Interesting insight into present day politics.

    Reminds me of what historians say was partially behind the determination to do away with the Articles of Confederation … that any changes to the Articles proposed by Congress had to be passed unanimously by the states. Each state had its own area to protect and thus getting each one to vote for an amendment if it didn’t benefit their state was impossible.

    If one looks at each of your counties as a state then one recognizes history is repeating itself in a manner that suggests your 1902 forefathers were not willing to learn from history.

    Me thinks you are correct … an entire new document is required for the problems which need to be fixed are many.

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