Slavery resolution misses its mark

By Staff
Bob Ingram, Capitol Scene
MONTGOMERY — State Sen. Hank Sanders, D-Selma, has introduced a resolution calling on the Alabama Legislature to issue an apology for slavery but it has not had the impact he desired.
Sanders said he felt the resolution would “speed the healing process” among blacks and whites, but the word “healing” didn't come to mind when the measure was debated in the legislature.
A more accurate adjective would be “divisive.”
In fact, the heated debate in the Senate on the resolution gave credence to the assessment of the issue by Dr. Brad Moody, a political scientist at Auburn University-Montgomery. He questioned what good the resolution would do “other than spark controversy.”
The most outspoken opponent to the resolution was Sen. Charles Bishop, R-Jasper.
And he asked if perhaps this was the first step toward African-Americans seeking reparations because they descended from slaves.
As a matter of fact, former state Sen. Charles Steele, who gave up his legislative seat to become president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said he hoped that these “apology resolutions” would lead to reparations to blacks in the form of scholarships, job training and other economic development incentives.
Will the resolution pass? Without question, if Sen. Sanders agrees to an amendment making it clear that it has nothing to do with reparations. It probably will pass without that amendment because legislators don't want to be branded as “pro-slavery”, which is how they likely would be branded if they voted against it.
Even at age 80, I think I could handle the word load of that post — and I could certainly use the $49,721 a year salary. Unfortunately, I suspect the job requirement would be membership in the Legislature.
Guin, who is the House majority leader, has been under heavy fire after it was disclosed that he not only had this job with Shelton State but a similar job with Bevill State which paid him another $48,000 a year.
By the way, Guin did not give up his job with Bevill State.
Guin's decision to give up one of his plums came shortly after Gov. Bob Riley announced he was going to ask the state Board of Education to adopt a policy banning any elected official from working for the two-year institutions.
His proposal leaves little wiggle room. Legislators working for the system would have to resign their two-year college jobs or their elected positions within 90 days after the policy goes into effect.
The News conducted a poll to get from their readers their views on what Alabama natives had most distinguished themselves in the arts: authors, actors, entertainers, etc.
In a clever twist that made the contest almost identical to the NCAA basketball tournament (there were 64 nominees) and every few days a poll would be taken to see who advanced to the next round.
I will not lie. By the time they got to the “Sweet 16” I was turned on, then the “Elite Eight,” and then the “Final Four.”
My personal pre-tournament favorites were Harper Lee (“To Kill A Mocking Bird”), Nat (King) Cole, Hank Williams and yes, I was a silent cheerleader for my dear friend, Kathryn Tucker Windham.
They all did well in the tournament, but the personality voted the winner of “Alabama's Pop Culture Madness” was Fannie Flagg of “Fried Green Tomatoes” fame. She defeated Hank Williams by a 57 percent to 43 percent margin in the finals.
I learned an interesting sidebar about Flagg. Her given name was Patricia Neal but when she tried to join the Screen Actors Guild she was turned down because there was already a Patricia Neal in SAG — an Oscar winner, no less, for her role in “Hud.” Hence the name of Fannie Flagg.
No matter. It was a fun series, presented in such a unique way.
A tip of the hat to the Birmingham News.

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