Alabama Governor Kay Ivey is playing a dangerous game that might lead to her upset in the Gubernatorial Race in 2018. Governor Ivey has made her first campaign ad the promotion of the Memorial Preservation Act, which many say was passed to protect the Confederate Monuments in Alabama.
Much can be said about racism in Alabama, but this week marks the opening of Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy Museum and National Monument for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, AL, which catalogues the era of racial terrorism in Alabama of African Americans.
The juxtaposition of Governor Ivey promoting the validity of Confederate statues with the first monument dedicated to the era Alabama wants to forget, that of lynching mobs and racial terror is odd and uniquely Alabamian.
However, it is not new, as former Senatorial candidate Roy Moore made atrocious statements on slavery that inflamed the state of Alabama for months before the December U.S. Senate Special Election and probably were the impetus of the record number of African Americans voting in a Senatorial election.
The power of the minority vote, even while the Alabama legislature seeks to undermine minority voters with Voter ID laws, proves that the narrative of slavery, the civil rights era, and systemic racism is not forgotten, but that African Americans have made it their mission in the state of Alabama not to let us forget it. And rightfully so.
Governor Ivey would be wise to take note of Moore’s disastrous run for Senate and focus on the issues plaguing Alabama. Governor Ivey has refused to participate in debates for the Republican primary and is using the Republican version of identity politics, playing up Southern Confederate history for votes.
Alabama deserves a Governor who will take the state into the future. America watched Alabama vote blue in December and say no to a candidate who did not hide behind coded language and aired his racism for America to see. Let’s not then reinforce the ideas about Alabama again by allowing a sitting Governor to “celebrate” Confederate history and forget the pain and continued trauma of African Americans in Alabama. Vote with your conscience, Alabama.