If You're A Conservative In Alabama, You Just Might Be A Racist
There you go playing the Racism card!
Racism is not a 'card' to be played, nor is it something that a person absolves themselves from by saying, "I'm not a racist!" Racism is determined by the act(s) of a person.
Alabama doesn't have a great record when it comes to racism. The State has a history of implementing laws to obstruct, intimidate, and harass minorities in order to retain the power of government in the hands of white men. When that was ruled illegal by higher authorities, white men used terrorism tactics to suppress and/or drive African Americans out of Alabama. This was done with the blessing of the State government that enacted laws, and when necessary, involved the Governor and State Police to force minorities to comply.
The tactics were effective. African Americans consisted of almost half (47.7%) of the population of Alabama in 1870. It declined until the 1970 census when the African American population was down to almost one quarter (26.2%.)
But all that is in the past. Racism is not the way of the New South.
So, this past June, why did Alabama pass the toughest immigration law (House Bill 56 - 2011) in the country that targets Hispanics and anyone associated with them? Hispanics only consisted of 3.9% of the Alabama's population in the 2010 census, which was up from 1.7% in the 2000 census. Could the new law that harasses and intimidates anyone who even looks Hispanic be a response to their population doubling in ten years?
The law was sponsored by 25 Republicans in the Alabama House of Representatives. All 58 Republicans in the House voted for the bill along with 9 Democrats. One Democrat voting for the bill, Representative Pebblin Warren told me that her vote was misreported and that she voted 'Nay.' Of the other eight Democrats who voted 'Aye,' five has since changed parties and are now Republicans. Those five are Representatives Alan C. Boothe, Lynn Greer, Steve Hurst, Mike Millican, and Lesley Vance. Below are pictures the 63 Republicans and the 3 Democrats who voted for HB - 56:
(For a larger image click here)