Alabama voters will go to the polls next March 3 to decide the fate of amendment one. At the heart of this amendment is an attempt to deny all citizens the right to vote to elect their state school board members.
The irony of this vote is that 55 years and four days earlier, black Alabamians marched across the Edmund Pettus bridge in Selma in an effort to gain the right to vote. As we know, marchers were met with law enforcement officers, horses, billy clubs and tear gas that day. Scenes of this confrontation were quickly spread across the nation and the event was soon referred to as “bloody Sunday.”
At the time, voting rolls in Selma were 99 percent white and only one percent black.
Two weeks after “Bloody Sunday” marchers crossed the bridge on their march to the state capitol in Montgomery and the civil rights campaign to end the disenfranchisement of black voters was full blown.
Now, more than a half-century later, state politicians want to roll back the hands of times. But in this case, their target is not black voters, it is ALL voters.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” George Santayana wrote. It is a phrase we have all heard. Well, maybe not some folks who are now in control of state government.