Are we sure secession was a bad idea?

Alabama seems not to be ready for self-government.

You probably missed this in the rest of the Election Day disasters, but Alabama, as it was voting overhwhelmingly for George W. Bush, also rejected an attempt to remove two frankly racist provisions of the state constitution. One would have repealed the constitutional guarantee of racial segregation in the schools, and the other would have repealed a provision (passed in reaction to Brown v. Board of Ed.) explicitly denying that Alabamians have a right to public education.

I know we’re trying to bring about national unity here, but don’t you think it would help, just a little bit, if the white inhabitants of the Red states behaved a little bit less like lunatics? Since Alabama is about 25% African-American, and since the black vote presumably was fairly solid for the amendment, it looks as if whites must have voted against it by something between 2:1 and 3:1.

Note that it’s considered perfectly acceptable for the President of the United States to pronounce “Massachusetts” as if it were the name of something slimy he’d just turned up under a rock, but it would be considered rude to suggest that the white population of Alabama is numerically dominated by the ignorant and bigoted.

Update: A reader points out that the Alabama Christian Coalition led the charge against the amendment. When, exactly, did “Christian” become a synonmym for “bigoted”? Or, as it is written in the Gospel According to St. John, 11th chapter, 35th verse:

Jesus wept.

Second update Steven Taylor of Troy University and PoliBlog, himself a white Alabamian Christian conservative, analyzes the defeat of Prop. 2, in a more nuanced and less hysterical tone than the rant above. He points out that the proposition hit three Alabama hot buttons: not just race, but courts and taxes as well.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

2 thoughts on “Are we sure secession was a bad idea?”

  1. I am less optimistic on the number of reactionary parents

    I found this quote at the bright new site Slightly left of center
    Incidentally among her(?) few posts she has one on creationists. Compared with my recent post on that

  2. Alabama and the looney Alabama Christian Coalition

    It seems Alabama citizens had a chance to bring their state's consitution into the 21st century. In fact, A;abama had a chance to change their constitution to essentially say all American citizens in Alabama and all Alabama citizenz were deserving of…

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