Tuesday, March 10, 2015

When a comment becomes a blog post #Selma50 #WhiteGuilt

In the 1800s, the Black Belt area of Dallas County, Alabama -- home of Selma -- was one of the most prosperous areas in the country, enjoyed by the white elite. Today it has the highest poverty rate in the state. (Photo: Chris Kromm/Facing South)

In a lame attempt at tone deaf, racial, concern trolling, Upset Resident, aka FED Up, aka DARYAL Pinchon, had this to say in response to my #Selma50 Round Up

Selma: "One small step for a black man, one giant leap for inducing white guilt"
By every possible metric measuring social capital in a community, the 80 percent black city of Selma is a monumental failure.

Here’s a brief overview of 80 percent black Selma in 2015 (courtesy of Hunter Wallace):

In 2015, Selma is 80 percent black and now has a black mayor, a black chief of police, a black district attorney, a black school superintendent, a majority black city council, and a majority black police force.

In 2015, Selma City Schools are 97 percent black. Last year, the Alabama Department of Education’s Board of Education voted unanimously to take over Selma City Schools in the aftermath of a scathing state investigation.

In 2015, fifty years after the Voting Rights Act was passed, Selma has lost a third of its population, around 10,000 White people.

In 2015, 42 percent of the population of Selma lives in poverty, which is twice the state average in Alabama.

In 2015, Selma is represented in the US Congress by a black woman, Rep. Terri Sewell, in the Alabama House of Representatives by a black man, State Rep. Darrio Melton, and in the Alabama Senate by a black man, nine-term incumbent State Sen. Hank Sanders.

In 2015, Selma is the fourth most dangerous city in Alabama with the third highest number of murders per capita and the fourth highest number of property crimes.

In 2015, Selma is struggling with code enforcement on numerous blighted, abandoned homes.

In 2015, Selma is one of the worst cities in which to do business in Alabama.

In 2015, Selma is an epicenter of new HIV infections in rural Alabama. The HIV infection rate in Dallas County is 106.8 percent above the national average.

So, the new and improved Selma in 2015 is plagued by extreme poverty, STDs, high crime, terrible schools, a terrible business climate, high unemployment, low property value, low civic engagement and racial strife by the likes of Faya Rose Toure. Yet the Voting Rights Act was unquestionably a huge success in Selma where blacks now occupy every public office which their numbers allow them to dominate.

It's their city now, with Selma's current conditions a reflection of its majority black population. [Selma's message on civil rights 50 years later:As President Obama prepares to visit Selma five decades after 'Bloody Sunday,' how the civil rights struggle has – and hasn't – changed an epicenter of the movement., Christian Science-Monitor, 3-6-15]:

True, Selma now has black leaders in positions of power, including the mayor, police chief, district attorney, six out of eight city council members, and four out of five school board members. True, Selma’s black population is quick to speak out against injustices – and has overcome innumerable ones.

But the journey toward equality is still a long march. Black children here are more likely to grow up in poverty, less likely to graduate, less likely to attend college, and less likely to become homeowners. Sections of Selma remain sharply segregated, partly because of white flight and partly by choice. Jobs are scarce, and even harder to obtain for those who lack adequate education and skills.

But none of this matters, because Selma is only recognized every March when every last ounce of white guilt can be squeezed out of the crumbling majority black city.

March 10, 2015 at 5:00 AM

 This is my response with links inserted for emphasis and clarity. 

Selma is a crumbling black majority city located in a majority white/republican state, with a white/republican Governor, two white/republican Senators, and 6 white/republican and one black/democrat (who will vote with white/republican) members of Congress, a majority white/republican state legislature,  a white/republican State Attorney General, a majority White/republican State Board of Education, and an all white/republican State Supreme Court.

A white/republican Governor who refuses to expand medicaid despite the FACT " The HIV infection rate in Dallas County is 106.8 percent above the national average."
A white/republican Governor who is closing State Mental Health Hospitals and Women's Wellness and Health Clinics despite the fact "42 percent of the population of Selma lives in poverty, which is twice the state average in Alabama." Then whine about the STD rate.

A majority white/republican state legislature that cuts the budgets of law enforcement while passing Open Carry gun laws,  then whine about the crime rate.

A majority white/republican state legislature whose first order of business when they took control of the state legislature was to file Shelby County v. Holder paving the way for the majority white/republican Supreme Court to gut section 5 of the voting rights act, allowing white/republican legislature to pass Voter ID bills and Gerrymander they way into lifetime jobs.

A white/republican Governor/Senator, Congress and State Legislature who have made sure Selma is one of the worst cities in which to do business in Alabama.

In 1965, Selma was about half-white; today only 18 percent of residents are. Many affluent whites live near the Selma Country Club, located just west of downtown and the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The Los Angeles Times reports that the club today doesn't have a single black member.
Across the street from the country club is Live Oak Cemetery, divided into "Old" and "New" sections. In 2012, protests erupted when whites moved a statue of Confederate and Klan member Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest to the site; at one point the bust was stolen off of Forrest's statue.

Rolling under the Edmund Pettus Bridge is the Alabama River. A recent report found Alabama to have the third-most toxic waterways in the country, including the lower sections of the Alabama. The biggest employer in Dallas County is International Paper Co.'s Riverdale Mill, which ranks 21st in the state for toxic releases -- more than 1.3 million pounds annually (although some have applauded the company's pollution-reduction efforts). The short-changing of the environment for economic development usually affects poor and black communities the most: Just north of Selma, majority-black Perry County -- where local civil rights activist Jimmie Lee Jackson was murdered in 1965, helping spark the Selma protests -- became the dumpsite for toxic coal ash spilled in 2009 in Tennessee. The dump is the target of civil rights complaint.

The Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was busy under cover of night distributing leaflets around Selma. Atlanta Progressive News obtained an image of one of the flyers.
Also a billboard, visible from the historic Edmund Pettus Bridge, features a Confederate flag and invites visitors to tour “Selma’s War Between the State’s Historic Sites.”
"But none of this matters, because Selma is only recognized every March when every last ounce of white guilt can be squeezed out of the crumbling majority black city." 

 As well it should be, and not just in March, but year long.


Brian said...

I might have missed something, but where in the article that you linked did it say that Republicans or the Alabama State Legislature had cut the budget for Law Enforcement? It talks about merging State Law Enforcement Agencies to reduce operating expences and reduce redundancies. It talks about how there is a shortage of troopers but does not say that the shortage is because of budget cuts.

The article about the closing of the state mental health hospitals said that the closures of these hospitals would be occuring eveving they were not dealing with budget cuts.

"But she's not backing away from her proposal, saying it has been the agency's long-range goal -- and in line with national trends -- to phase out its mental institutions in favor of small group homes and other forms of local care."

The article about the abortion clinics reopening stated the Huntsville clinic had been closed because it did not meet the new law but that the new clinic in Huntsville did meet the law's requirements and had passed state inspection. But the Birmingham Planned Parenthood Clinic that had reopened had not closed due to anything the state had done, but had closed because two employees had been fired for selling abortion drugs in the parking lot. They had to restaff and adjust policies to prevent something like that from happening again (according to your link).

Redeye said...

And your point is what exactly?

Brian said...

How are Republicans to blame for a Planned Parenthood clinic in Birmingham closing down because two of the clinic's employees were fired for selling abortion drugs in the parking lot and the clinic operators needed time to reorganize and implement new policies?

And were is there evidence that Republicans cut Law Enforcement budgets?

When was the last time was the education budget prorated due to overspending (which was a yearly occurance when the democrats controlled the legislature)?

Redeye said...

How are African Americans responsible for "extreme poverty, STDs, high crime, terrible schools, a terrible business climate, high unemployment, low property value, low civic engagement and racial strife"?

Brian said...

Did I say African Americans are responsible?

It's been 50 years since Bloody Sunday, Republicans have been in complete control for just over 4 years. Has the situation in Selma spiraled out of control in those 4years?

Has extreme poverty only existed in Selma 4 years?
High Crime?
Terrible Schools?
Terrible Business Climate?
High Unemployment?
Low Property Values?
Low Civil Engagement?
Racial Strife?

Redeye said...

Is an Elephant heavy? What's your point?

Brian said...

Is that a yes or a no?

I am also wondering what your point is?

My point is and has always been that both sides spend too much time bickering with each other. They are either competing with each other or trying to sabotage each other taking either an I win/you lose or a we both lose attitude rather than compromise (a we both win/we both lose attitude) or collaboration (a we both win attitude).

Would I like to see Governor Bentley expand Medicaid? Sure. Do I understand why he hasn't? Yes. Because of our state constitution, we have to maintain a balanced budget and he is not willing to make an expansion that is dependent on a payment from the federal government or it would force us back into proration where services such as education would be forced to make massive budget cuts to pay for the medicaid expansion.

Redeye said...

That's my point. Governor Bentley (Republican) would rather let people die because he is not willing to make an expansion that is dependent on a payment from federal government which just happens to be the largest employer in the state.

Brian said...

And what happens if the federal government stops paying for the medicaid expansion?

Are we going to go back to proration all the time like we were doing when the democrats controlled the legislature?

Redeye said...

And what happens if the sky falls? Are we going to run around like chickens with our heads cut off or are we going to run for cover? We will cross that bridge IF and WHEN we come to it.

Brian said...

The sky falling is an act of god, but we still prepare for acts of god. Trailer parks have to have torando shelters, housing codes require new house be built to a standard.

Some people prepare in advance so they don't have to worry about running for cover or running around like a chicken with their head cut off. Those that don't prepare are those that have to make that decision whether or not to run for cover or panic.

And all too often, the costs are far greater if you wait rather than prepare.

I am happy that we no longer have to raid the Education Trust Fund and Prorate the Education Budgets. If Medicaid expansion is that important, the federal government should not have left it for the states to decide.

Redeye said...

On this we can agree, the federal government should have never let the states decide, because some states have governors who hate President Obama more than they love their citizens.

Patrick Albright said...

General Forrest was never a clan member. He was both a confederate war hero and a union war hero-and went on to world fame. All elite cavalry units have a 'Forrest' battalion for their best-there are 18 in Europe.

General Forrest was well know to pardon his prisoners and let them go. In 1862 after capturing a supply train outside Nashville, TN. He took 1200 prisoners. The Union sent telegrams to the families that they were captured and most likely dead. Turns out that these 'dead' prisoners were starting to come home-much to the chagrin Lincoln and Grant. Almost all of the prisoners were from Illinois and there is a town in Illinois that bears his name. He went on to serve 20 years in the legislature.

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