By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
TUSKEGEE— “It should be clear now to everyone, that the citizens of the majority black Macon County cannot get justice in the State of Alabama.”
These are the words of legendary Tuskegee Mayor Johnny Ford. The Mayor has been the most vocal opposition to the closing of VictoryLand in Shorter, Alabama. He has accused Republican party of being “bought by the Poarch Creek Indians.” He says that the GOP elites have, “taken millions of dollars…in exchange for their shutting down VictoryLand.”
While the ALGOP in 2010 did hide the fact that they took campaign contribution from the Poarch Creek there we have found no evidence of an explicated Quid Pro Quo and the closing of Victoryland.
Ford says that in Macon County the closing of VictoryLand has cost, “thousands of jobs, and millions of dollars for our community.”
On the day that the Attorney General raided VictoryLand, Ford tried in vain to stage a non-violent protest with the aim of being arrested and therefore having an opportunity to make his case in court. Of the event Ford said, “State Representative Pebblin Warren and I even tried to get arrested so that we could get into court, however the State Troopers, obviously following orders from the Attorney General, refused to arrest us, even though we crossed their barrier line to VictoryLand, thus strategically refusing to grant us that opportunity.”
Ford is not the only person who would like to see the issue of gambling in Alabama settled by the courts.
Just last week in an interview with the Montgomery Advertiser Governor Robert Bentley is quoted as saying, “I want to encourage everyone involved — our attorney general and his office, and anyone else involved in it: Let’s let these issues go before a court, and let’s get a final determination on what is legal, and what is not legal. And then let’s move on.”
For his part Ford said, “We have exhausted every effort to obtain justice in Alabama, we must now pursue the same course pursued by Dr. King, Rosa Parks, Fred Shuttlesworth and other civil rights leaders whose civil rights were violated over 50 years ago, by going into Federal Court.”
Ford as well as The City of Tuskegee, The Macon County Commission, and The Macon County Board of Education, have all passed resolutions by a majority vote, authorizing their leaders to take whatever legal action appropriate to fight for the major economic interests in our community, according to Ford.
He has constantly said that the actions by the Attorney General’s office have violated the “Civil rights, voting rights and the economic rights” of the citizens of Macon County.
Ford has promised to continue his fight saying that he and the people of Macon County are ready to implement their “final strategy, and that is to litigate.” For now there seems to be a sentiment in Macon County of no justice, no peace.