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Thoughts on Alabama

1 min read

Three generations ago, blacks in Birmingham boycotted public transportation due to its segregation laws, and more so, the sadistic way in which whites regulated African Americans under Jim Crow rule.

Still, the spirits of four black girls whose lives were taken in the 16th Street Baptist Church Birmingham bombing, haunt the city.

From Selma to Montgomery, the highways are lined with trails of tears and carnage from marches and Bloody Sunday.

And it is these same black folk, once battered before and during Civil Rights, and frankly still fighting for inclusion in Alabama’s affairs; ironically, held the fate of the state in what essentially was a white man’s battle for dwindling power.

When poll numbers came back, it affirmed the lifeline that sustained the lackluster campaign of Democratic candidate, Doug Jones. Black people.

In fact, the Alabama win marks the tide that turns a Democratic party functioning as the whipping boy for Trump’s abuse of power to flexing political agency.

Right now, Jones needs to wash the feet of every black grandmother in Alabama because they literally saved his political career. Sadly, he did not know their salience until he was drowning in his mediocrity.

Up until the end, Jones did a poor job of engaging black voters and black communities as if they did not exist; in similar ways of his Republican opponent, Roy Moore.

Exacerbating racial divisions, black elected officials flew down to mobilize black communities.

Funny thing, people criticize black folk for bloc partisanship voting, but it is these same voting habits that greatly serve the interests of the Democratic party in times of desperation. Like Doug Jones.

There is a trend that loops through decades of black votership. Candidates cajole African Americans during campaigning then abandon them after office.

The rationale oft-used is that candidates are not obligated to hold the promises they make to communities; especially, if they are not held accountable. Of course, that is the rationale used by negligent elected officials who end up 100 miles from their campaign promises.

However, their truth is truth, though it stings.

Therefore, what should black voting power do that has not been regurgitated?

Frankly, I am not sure. I do know that Democrats, from the top down, must engage black folk with

However, I will start by thanking the black people in Alabama.

Kaia Niambi Shivers covers diaspora, news and features.

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