Wallace Wounded this Cousin, but Change Helped Him Heal

George Wallace is dead and like many Americans, I am saddened by his departure. George Corley Wallace touched the lives of nearly every American. Governor Wallace touched my life in a rather profound way: he was family. I grew up in Bullock County, Alabama. Our oral family history recognized that George Wallace’s . . . → Read More: Wallace Wounded this Cousin, but Change Helped Him Heal

Department Tactics Remind of Tuskegee

The infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Study took place between 1932 and 1972 in Macon County Alabama. In that study, a group of poor Macon County black men with syphilis were left untreated by government health care officials so researchers could monitor the effects of untreated syphilis in a human population. The study continued long after . . . → Read More: Department Tactics Remind of Tuskegee

‘One-Drop Rule’ Still Haunts Us

U.S. District Judge Harold Albriton’s decision in Bethany Godby vs. Montgomery County Board of Education strikes another blow against government’s use of race categories. This case began in 1996, when Bethany Godby, a 13-year old Cloverdale Junior High School student, claimed her school racially discriminated against her and violated other of her Federal rights . . . → Read More: ‘One-Drop Rule’ Still Haunts Us

Path of Racial Discrimination Ends With Criminal Statutes

There are no other options. The only way to end race-based discrimination it to criminalize the behavior. Since its founding, America has moved along a tortured racial path. In 1776, the Declaration of Independence acknowledged a list of self-evident truths. Then, for four score and seven years, we proceeded to live a lie about . . . → Read More: Path of Racial Discrimination Ends With Criminal Statutes

White Males at Beginning of Race Talk

Last year, in an Austin, Texas speech, the president challenged the nation to begin an earnest conversation about race. This past spring in California, he announced establishment of a Presidential Commission to conduct a series of town meeting style hearings on race relations. It seems as if everyone in the country is talking about . . . → Read More: White Males at Beginning of Race Talk

Government Should Aid White Males In Tough Transition

Our nation’s democratic values face unanticipated dangers, as society moderates the higher status once ascribed blue-collar white males. A generation of white men (born between the end of World War II and before meaningful racial integration and equal opportunity for women began to take place in the late sixties and early seventies) who grew . . . → Read More: Government Should Aid White Males In Tough Transition

Facts Justify Concern for Burnings

This column attempts to remove the smoke and take a clear-eyed look at the facts surrounding the rash of suspicious fires in Alabama at churches with nonwhite parishioners. Since December 1995, four such fires occurred in neighboring Hale and Green Counties. In Green, County the Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Boligee burned on December 22, 1995. Less than a month later, the Little Mt. Zion Baptist Church, and the Mt. Zoar Baptist Church burned on the same night, January 11, 1996. In neighboring Hale County, the Rising Star Baptist Church in Greensboro burned on June 3, 1996. . . . → Read More: Facts Justify Concern for Burnings

Race Still Warps American Reality

May 16, 1996 marks the one hundredth anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Plessy vs. Ferguson. The 1896 case of Homer Plessy involved the constitutionality of a Louisiana law that required separate accommodations for white and “colored” railroad passengers. This is the case that birthed the “Separate but Equal” legal doctrine which . . . → Read More: Race Still Warps American Reality

Institutional Racism Still Oppresses

Traditionally, society does not consider a person racist for manifesting a culturally superior attitude about his or her language, religion, morality, manners or some other aspect of ethnicity. Such individuals are most often considered good citizens, proud of their family, community and heritage. Yet, contemporary American society is frequently labeling these individuals racist because . . . → Read More: Institutional Racism Still Oppresses

Chain Gangs Newest Wedge Issue

Today, Alabama confines 19,838 prisoners. We house these inmates in 18 major inmate facilities, 2 work camps, and 11 work release centers. According to Department of Corrections Researcher, Thomas Gilkerson, the racial makeup of Alabama’s inmate population is 60/40 black to white for the male population and about the same ratio for the 1,100 female inmates. When asked if the Department of Corrections had an explanation for a 60 percent non-white incarceration rate given that population of the state is only 25 percent non-white, Mr. Gilkerson said that the department didn’t have any specific information based on research by their department. He felt that the disproportionally high rate of non-whites in Alabama prisons reflects the high rate of black on black crime in the state. . . . → Read More: Chain Gangs Newest Wedge Issue