Sweet Home Alabama

Ahead of Election 2020, I’ve decided to deep dive into my home state’s history of ass-backwards politics.

Let’s start here. According to US News, Alabama sucks. For a state so rich in history, it seems like the Yellowhammer State has no interest in preparing for the future. Dead last in education? Wow. We can’t discuss public education in Alabama without mentioning segregation. On January 14, 1963, George Wallace gave his infamous inaugural speech, following his election as Governor of Alabama. His famous line ” I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever. ”  still haunts the state’s Department of Education. Decades later, public schools in Alabama are underfunded, understaffed and often under-performing. A definite side effect of white flight. What’s important to Alabamians? Clearly not education. Our schools are physically, and academically falling apart. Politicians on the local and state level should focus more on the school district and less on restrictive women’s reproduction laws.

Which leads me to my next drag. Health care- 46 out of 50 states. Embarrassing. Earlier this year, Alabama made national news after the State Senate passed a piece of legislation that sent the state back 20 years. HB314 literally outlaws abortion in virtually all instances and targets doctors who provide the procedure; punishable by up to 99 years in prison.

The Human Life Protection Act was passed on May 15, 2019. Lawmakers relied heavily on religious rhetoric to convince the people of Alabama that this legislation was a direct result of the state’s moral compass. Ok. Sure. The same moral compass that held on to Jim Crow laws until its last dying breath? Or the one that continuously puts the education of it’s kids at the bottom of the priority list? Whatever it is, the state’s ranking is a direct reflection of its values.

Montgomery, the capital city, was once known as the “Cradle of the Confederacy”. In fact, The First White House of the Confederacy is a popular tourist site directly across from the current capitol building. Montgomery highlights the hypocrisy of a community that prides itself on patriotism. The Civil War tore this country apart and yet, Confederate holidays litter Alabama’s state calendar. Take down a Robert E. Lee statue or be a woman making a decision about your own body? Instant jail time.

Sweet home Alabama, indeed!

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