Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A Celebration, Simultaneously Followed Up By Rolling Up Sleeves

When my city's very own conservative-leaning paper The Birmingham News endorsed Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton on Sunday for yesterday's Alabama Democratic primary. My mouth fell open. Today's front page editorial cartoon was penned by arch-conservative cartoonist Scott Stantis.

The Final Tally

Alabama - 2821 of 2827 Precincts Reporting - 99%

Name Party Votes Vote %
Obama , Barack Dem 300,099 56%

Clinton , Hillary Dem 222,910 42%

Edwards , John Dem 7,866 1%

Uncommitted Dem 2,672 0%

Look at how far we have come. Who would have ever thought that a BLACK candidate in a state known historically, on a national basis, and worldwide as some bastion of racial intolerance would agree to give a majority share of delegates to an African-American man! Perhaps we can put behind us fire dogs, turning hoses on demonstrators, three little girls killed in a dynamite bomb at the 16th Street Baptist church, protesters being beaten by Alabama state troopers in Selma, perhaps we can forget about a state where the KKK rained down terror towards all so-called "n**ger loving intergration . Maybe we can put behind us the specter of George Wallace, a politician who used the whims of the people, no matter how intolerance or racist they might be, and used them for his own political purpose for election after election after election.

There is a perception, still, in the media that this state is the source of all bad things. When you say Alabama to many progressives, I hear well-intentioned statements like: "Well, they can't help it, it's Alabama. Alabama can't help it. They're backwards. Alabama's an awful place. Why would anyone want to live there?"

Times have changed, friends. Maybe we're not as backwards as you might be thinking. If we're going to go by that sort of logic, then maybe the ones who are backwards are the ones who are not supporting the candidate who proposes we look beyond partisan bickering, politics as usual, dirty tricks, cynicism, and fatalistic viewpoints. Maybe we need someone who represents the best of who were are---the most idealistic viewpoint on which this country was founded. The idea that ALL MEN are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. Among which are the life, libery, and the pursuit of happiness.

And I gotta tell you right now, people. I am happy.

If we can do it, you can too!

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