Non Sequitur

If you’ve been reading here long, you know I’m a big supporter of rewriting Alabama’s obscenely racist and ridiculously unwieldy constitution. The constitution was ratified by a fraudulent vote in 1901, and its stated intent was to disenfranchise everyone who wasn’t white, male, and rich. It’s been amended ad nauseum, and quite a few articles have been nullified by federal civil rights statutes, not to mention the 15th, 19th, and 24th amendments.

Today, the House held a public hearing to discuss a bill that proposes allowing the citizens to vote on a constitutional convention. Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform also held a “Let the People Vote” rally on the Capitol steps (more about that later, with pictures).

I spoke to several reform supporters who attended the hearing, and it sounds like the rhetoric got a bit heated. They were told they were “enemies of the state” and accused of being paid by the Ford Foundation to push for a new constitution. Hey, I’ve been collecting petition signatures and teaching classes, but I never got my check. No fair!

But by far, my favorite quote was this one:

“You say [the] constitution is long and old. Well, so is the Bible,” said Patricia Godwin of Selma.

Yeah, but the Bible hasn’t been amended 772 times.

8 Responses to “Non Sequitur”

  1. wanda says:

    So are they saying the same people who wrote the Bible wrote Alabama’s constitution? That sounds about right to me. Of course it was probably AFTER they had a more than a few bottles of that dandilion wine.

  2. Del says:

    “You say [the] constitution is long and old. Well, so is the Bible,” said Patricia Godwin of Selma.

    Was there no old codger there to jump up and holler, “Yeah, well, so’s my johnson, Missus, but it ain’t running the state of Alabama?”

    Guess not.

  3. Jeff says:

    “Moonshine whiskey/oughta be a crime
    When I get to drankin’, I’m bound to lose my mind!”

    It isn’t the state song, but it should be. Throw in something about “ignorant and proud of it” and “nothin’ says lovin’ like marryin’ yer cousin”, and you’ve got it.

    The big money in the state has much to lose, or fears it does, with a re-written Constitution. They’ll let things go as long as it’s just a few people talking; if it ever gets serious, expect fireworks.

  4. Bill says:

    Jeff,

    I agree with the vast majority of your point. However, I would be cautious about “big money”. If you are talking about ALFA, certainly I agree with you 100%. However, I believe that most interests that need a quality work force recoginze that the State needs to evolve beyond cousin-marrying and Ten Commandment rocks. Racism and crappy education are not the engines of economic growth. I believe the vast majority of the business interests in the State readily acknowledge this.

  5. Kathy says:

    Oh, Del, that is too funny! Could you imagine the looks on all those pious faces if someone had actually said that?

  6. Renee says:

    I think Moore has said that our beloved Alabama constitution was “God-given,” and that tinkering with it would be akin to tinkering with the bible. Of course, 772 amendments is a bit more than tinkering.

  7. Jeff says:

    You’re right, Bill. Most sensible business leaders agree on economic development and improving education going hand in hand.

    Timber and paper companies, owners of huge tracts of land, though, have no incentive to educate their workforces, beyond what’s necessary; their focus is on keeping property taxes low.

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