The Alabama state Senate postponed a vote on a bill designed to preserve and protect the history and culture of white supremacy after a black state senator pulled out a noose to remind GOP lawmakers of the racial terrorism committed by Confederate traitors.
State Sen. Rodger Smitherman represents Birmingham, Ala., America’s third-blackest city. In 2017, much to the dismay of people who own the complete DVD collection of Hee Haw, the city of Birmingham built a plywood and mesh screen around a Confederate monument prominently displayed in a city park. The structure not only obscured the monument to the soldiers who bravely risked their lives defending the institution of slavery, but it also violated the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act of 2017, which imposed a $25,000 fine to anyone who participates in the “relocation, removal, alteration, renaming, or other disturbance of any architecturally significant building, memorial building, memorial street, or monument located on public property which has been in place for 40 or more years.”
To punish the majority-black city’s thuggery, Alabama state Sen. Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa) came up with a unique way to celebrate Black History Month. In February, he introduced a bill that increased the fine to $5,000 per day for any city that disrespected the sanctity of the racist memorials.
Smitherman wasn’t having it.
On Monday, Smitherman railed against the proposed law on the Alabama Senate floor, as the Montgomery Advertiser reports:
The changes drew a sharp response from Sen. Rodger Smitherman, D-Birmingham, who brought a rope to the podium, a symbol of the murder and violence African-Americans have faced throughout Alabama’s history. Most Confederate monuments erected in the late 19th and 20th centuries were intended to celebrate and glorify white supremacy, the foundational principle of the Confederacy.
Smitherman said the bill reminded him of his own painful experiences of racism, including being chased from school and suffering the indignities of segregation in the Jim Crow-era South. He called it “a slap in the face to black folks” and “playing to the racist side.”
“This ain’t nothing but racism,” Smitherman said. “That’s what this is. We are catering to that ... this is 2020. When are we as a state going to get past this stuff? Someone please tell me when are we as a state going to get past it?”
“I had to stand outside a little window with the word ‘colored’ on it to order food, and it was raining just as hard as it is out there,” Smitherman said. “The first bill (in 2017) was like throwing mud in your face. This bill is like taking the mud and squishing it around in your face. It was unnecessary… Every time you bring back this crap up, it reminds us. Yes, it reminds us that our great grandparents and great-great-grandparents had to suffer through this stuff. That what those boys who had us as their slaves that’s your gallant heroes on these monuments remind us of.”
“Sometimes it’s hard for other people to walk in people’s shoes and to be able to reflect what impact a situation would have on them,” Smitherman said later. “So when you saw that rope, that was the illustration to show them, this goes back to the time when people were hung. Some of those people are being honored for having slaves. And for mistreatment of slaves. And for hanging of slaves. And no, we don’t appreciate that at all.”
Another black lawmaker, Sen. Bobby Singleton, vowed to filibuster the bill if it ever came to the floor for a vote, prompting Allen to set aside the bill temporarily. The Senate never brought it back up. Allen, however, still plans to push forward with the bill, AL.com reports.
“I can understand where he’s coming from but at the same time what we’re trying to do is preserve and protect all history,” explained Allen, Confederately. “And how can you tell the complete story if you start taking away things? And you can’t. You can’t tell the whole story.”
To be fair, Allen seems to be unaware that books, museums and history classes exist. Apparently, everything he knows about America’s past was gleaned through staring at a series of statues in municipal parks because he obviously thinks “you can’t tell the whole story” without building monuments that glorify the existence of evil.
Wait until he finds out about the Nazis.