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Alabama Begins Removing Racist Language From Its Constitution

Alabama Begins Removing Racist Language From Its Constitution

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Grunchlk

Cue the right wing protests demanding the racist language remain so as to honor history...


andrewsmd87

My state voted to remove any reference to slavery in our constitution last election cycle, and something like 30% of the population still voted no on that idea.


tripping_on_phonics

Alabama had a referendum in 2000 on whether interracial marriage should be legalized at the state level (though it was already de-facto legal due to federal law). *40% voted "no".*


chrisms150

You know, I thought "surely the wording or something must have been fucky. Surely 40% aren't that far gone".. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2000_Alabama_Amendment_2 Why the fuck do we have to continue to act like these people would count for shit.


tristanjones

And some counties voted north of 60% against. Imagine living in an area where 2 out if every 3 people are against interracial marriage...


keysandtreesforme

I really can’t imagine it - and thus I understand the brain drain.


nutmeg-69

This might not be very PC to say, but there are certain geographic regions of America that are absolutely ass backwards culturally, and their residents would still be living in the Stone Ages if they weren't receiving federal aid sponsored by the tax dollars of more progressive, diverse, and productive states like California. And these are the same hillbillies mad about non-White people "stealin' dem' jobs" and making an honest living for themselves and their families instead of depending on handouts.


curisaucety

Against Other people’s decision to get married! And then piss and moan about government.


TurnipTaint

"The gubmint can't tell me to wear a mask!" "Hey, those two people can't love each other and get married! Make the gubmint stop them!"


Bittrecker3

Not even just against it. Against it enough to force other out of the choice. It’s one thing to not approve of something, it’s another to believe it should be outright illegal for everyone. Insane.


Fondren_Richmond

> Imagine living in an area where 2 out if every 3 people are against interracial marriage... Weirdly enough those numbers work out.


TapTheForwardAssist

Against it being *legal*; imagine the number that are personally against it but just don't think the government should prevent it.


teenagesadist

While they're banging their sister.


anotherlevl

25 of Alabama's 67 counties voted against removing the ban on interracial marriages from the state Constitution. Majority-white counties tended to vote against removal, majority-black counties tended to vote for removal.


quiero-una-cerveca

100 million are alive today in America that were born before the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. So we still have a percentage of those folks that want to make that terrible past our future.


Melicor

This is why I hate people who try talk about slavery and racism in America like it's ancient history. Like fuck man, when my own mother was born segregation was still a thing and non-whites were literal second class citizens. She literally lived through it. The worst part is, half the time it's coming from someone who lived through it themselves. Edit: I take it back, the worst part is the boomers who try to take credit for "ending racism" with the Civil Rights Act. Most boomers wouldn't have even been able to vote when the bill passed, much less have put in hard work to get it passed.


brucemo

If the start of the boomer generation is 1946, the oldest boomers would have been able to vote in Kentucky (maybe Georgia also?) in 1964, but the congress that passed it would have been elected in 1962.


hotstuff991

If you have to find some defense only 1,3 million people voted in a state that has 5 million people. That’s like 20%. I’m guessing many people just though this would win so no point in voting


sean0883

>abolish the prohibition of Perhaps the double negative? I understood it and even in my mind it still seems a bit wonky. I don't claim to be an overly smart man, but I consider my self decently above the average (which isn't saying much). So, I can imagine that the wording genuinely confused a lot of the (um....) less gifted people. Edit: More than a few probably just simply overthought it. Like, even when I voted in the California recall last week, I was genuinely concerned that I'd picked the wrong option - but I didn't. It was a simple, straight-forward question, and I still read and re-read it to be sure I understood it. I overthought it. >Shall Gavin Newsom be recalled (removed) from the office of Governor?


chrisms150

Maybe. We can certainly hope this is a literacy issue largely and not a.... Bigotted fuck problem.... Those do tend to come hand in hand though:/


iamjohnhenry

> Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to abolish the prohibition of interracial marriages. (Proposed by Act No. 1999-321[a]) Deep down in my heart, I have hope that that the people of Alabama are stupid enough to get throw off by "abolish the prohibition".


SavoryScrotumSauce

Fun fact: if only white Alabamians had voted in that referendum (you know, as is tradition in Alabama), it would have failed.


OriginalCompetitive

I assume it was low turnout, since interracial marriage has been legal everywhere since the 70s.


Tovrin

Why was it ever illegal?


OriginalCompetitive

Racism


Portalrules123

Because to 1800s and early 1900s Americans, black people were animals, not people.


9520575

Well, thats fucked


IkeDoggo

Only if it's the same race.


squiddlebiddlez

Just a reminder that a lot of the social progress we made over the last few decades, if any, has come because we forced a significant chunk of people to “progress” through federal legislation. People, in general, didn’t just magically get better.


PartialToDairyThings

Ignorant 7th century fucks


danny_ish

To an extent, i get it when you leave it to a vote. People think there are more important things the govt should be doing vs retyping a few documents. Should it be done? Yes. To some people, should it be done on their tax dollars and time when we have other issues to worry about? Nah


BobHogan

> To some people, should it be done on their tax dollars and time when we have other issues to worry about? Nah I mean I guess? But something like this is trivial in terms of time/money it would cost the government to implement it. The actual work of identifying the racist language to be replaced, and how to replace it without changing the meaning of the constitution, would be left to a staffer, and only reviewed by a state legislator. And unless a special election is called just for that amendment, its just another box on the ballot. There's really no meaningfully measurable amount of money that would be spent on something like this


danny_ish

I agree with what you are saying. But to the layman in the voting booth, a lot seem to have the mentality I was trying to describe. Is it the wrong mentality? Yeah. Does an issue like this get a good job of getting out the points you just made? No


pilgermann

That's a ridiculous take. The cost to amending a horribly racist provision in state law is nominal. Symbolism is actually important, you know, to all the black citizens who were being lynched not 60 years ago and are still subject to racism in the south.


galspanic

Beyond that, editing, adopting, and removing laws it literally what a lawmaker’s job is.


sl33py_beats

Michael Brown and George Floyd were not killed in the south. minorities are subject to racism all over the country.


Melicor

Of course, racism isn't always tied to the descendants of the confederacy. Hell, it's not even confined to the US. The fact that confederate Diaspora fled west after the war is a factor though. They couldn't stomach living side by side with their former slaves. Many stayed, but a large number just left. It's why places like Arizona are hotbeds for it.


danny_ish

Yes, please understand I agree with your points. I’m just saying why someone might vote against change. People think that voting for the one change they want to see, means they need to vote no on everything else to drive their point home. I know thats not how it work. You know that. But the average voter is stupid. The average voting interface allows them to be.


Captain_Clark

I get your point. Every measure has arguments both for and against it in the voter pamphlets and the arguments against this probably mentioned it’s costs. Sure, that’s an argument racists may hide behind but there are also folks who see this as money wasted on law that already exists, like a ballot measure to make crime illegal. Crime already is illegal, that’s what crime is. Alabama is not a wealthy state. A wealthy state like California could spend millions upon something like this, while folks in Alabama just want to get some streetlights installed.


danny_ish

Voter pamphlets are great, if they are used. Otherwise, most people just see it as a line on a voting box. Super short. Thats partly why metrics like this can be useless, and its insane to me we use them


Captain_Clark

Yeah, I suspect there are plenty of folks who simply read “Should the state constitution be amended to…” and just vote no. We had a measure to change some wording in my state constitution. The measure passed but I’m not foolish enough to believe that most people in my state even know what our state constitution says, and they probably still don’t. I can’t even remember what the word changes were.


danny_ish

Yeah, fundamentally we need to change the way people vote on things. How ideal it would be if every option could be researched by every voter before hand, from verified, independent sources. Ah, heavenly indeed


mikepictor

They can do more than one thing at a time.


Ukiah

Well it *IS* their heritage. Racism, that is.


LetsSeeThatNow

"conservative" in the US means conserving the rate of change. The US is a white supremacist, slaver nation. Republicans want to slow down the move away from those principles.


yaebone1

White supremacist slaver nation and screaming of freedoms every chance it gets. Fucking trippy.


mhornberger

"How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?" —Samuel Johnson, Taxation No Tyranny An Answer to the Resolutions and Address of the American Congress, 1775.


BilboSwagginz

I misread that attribution as Samuel L. Jackson at first and was confused by the lack of the word motherfucker.


squiddlebiddlez

“I’m tired of these motherfuckin’ slavers yelling about their motherfuckin’ liberty!” —Samuel L. Jackson, *Untitled Django Prequel*, 2023


Cornelius_Wangenheim

Conservative everywhere means giving more power to the already powerful. The person who coined the term was a monarchist and theocrat.


pass_nthru

“I’ll be dead in the cold, cold ground before i recognize missouri”


Doomscrool

This… the mythology of America has been plastered into our brains since youth. It’s all propaganda. For the first time minority populations have been able to bring to light that they’ve literally put their blood, sweat and tears to building the country literally with their labor,often forced, and often without pay or any hope for advancement. When you are exposed to this reality, it’s exposes the question of what does this silent majority have to be proud of beyond being haters? At every effort to make a society better people like Carolyn Bryant or qanoners and their ilk are just callous and mean. Why are they like this? We just say tribalism but I’m not sure .


Melicor

The so called silent majority doesn't exist as a cohesive block and never did. The only thing they have in common is their silence, their lack of interest in politics. They're not secretly backing one party over another and choosing to be silent.


RandomlyJim

So some backstory. The Republicans tried to remove the part about schools being provided for white children and black children separately ‘aka segregated schools’ a decade ago. Democrats and liberals voted to keep it. Why? It was the only part in the state constitution that required the state to provide schooling. Republicans wanted to switch to private and charter schools but couldn’t because of that line in the constitution. Democrats, liberals, and black folk saw through the sudden Republican interest in racial justice and piggy-backed on leftover bigotry to keep it in the constitution.


Fireneji

This is exactly why I voted against this measure. I don't have the political knowledge to know exactly how someone could use this re-write to screw people over, but I'm sure the wrong people do. I don't trust this state's government as far as I could throw the lightest of them


SubMikeD

"Oh, so now racism in the language of our laws is racist? When will cancel culture end!"


IkeDoggo

We want to keep up all the things that glorify racism to remind us of history, but would prefer not to talk about CRT or have books that objectively talk about racism in our schools. Really tips their hand on their perception of reality, doesn't it?


zsreport

> The effort will start by extracting passages like Section 256, which still says that “separate schools shall be provided for white and colored children, and no child of either race shall be permitted to attend a school of the other race.” > > The state Constitution also includes a ban on interracial marriage, though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled such marriages to be fully legal in all states in 1967. “The Legislature shall never pass any law to authorize or legalize any marriage between any white person and a Negro, or descendant of a negro,” the state Constitution still says. > > And it includes descriptions of former voting requirements that were generally used to disenfranchise Black residents, including literacy tests and poll taxes. (The Constitution, written before women won the right to vote nationally, also includes language restricting voting to men.)


ferociouswhimper

Wow. Almost a whole century behind the times. Way to go, Alabama.


DrHugh

The Alabama constitution is weird. It has to be amended for normal government activities.


hollimer

But they hadn't bothered cutting out the segregation bits yet? Yikes.


NettingStick

It’s hard for outsiders to understand how fucked the 1901 Constitution is. It was written to enshrine white supremacy in state government, in the words of the keynote speaker at the 1901 Constitution’s convention. Before I left in the 2010s, we’d spent almost two decades trying to organize a Constitutional Convention to overhaul things. And, I mean, that’s just the efforts I was personally aware of/involved in. Y’all make fun of us all you want, but we know how fucked it is and we’ve been working our asses off to fix it. Shit’s fucked and it was written to fuck us.


bloodraven42

You have no idea how hard it is to amend the constitution in Alabama. It’s insane, and was done so rural areas could exert control over the cities. It requires a statewide vote just for simple stuff, like my area wanted to raise property taxes to pay for school expenses, and the entire state got to vote on it. The shitty part is the area that the tax was actually for voted for it, but the rest of the state just saw tax increase and nixed it. This very action to remove racist language actually required a statewide ballot initiative to even be started, and just getting those on the ballot can be a royal pain in the ass. Our government is a cluster, albeit by design. Contrary to the individual freedom and small government arguments typically made at the Federal level by our representatives, Alabama itself has a very high level of state control over domestic ongoings and works very hard to ensure municipalities can’t buck the desires of the state government.


banbecausereasons

> It’s insane, and was done so rural areas could exert control over the cities. Welcome to *ALL* of America.


bloodraven42

True, but Alabama is probably the worst of the lot and a special case in that regard. The vast majority of states have some degree of home rule allowing cities to do what they need to handle their affairs and take care of their residents. [Alabama does not.](http://encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-1153) For example, Limestone County literally has to get the entire state to pass a constitutional amendment just to get a system in place to dispose of dead farm animals. Agreed it’s a national trend, but Alabama is such an extreme case it’s worth looking at singly. I would argue it’s the template for a lot of other state’s GOP’s efforts to restrict city’s powers, making it worth knowing about so you can spot the patterns and be able to point to how bad of an idea it actually is for your everyday citizen.


StargazingJuniper

I imagine they'll try to push for what Mississippi has to keep political segregation in place (candidates must win the majority of the vote *and* a majority of state counties)


bloodraven42

That would not surprise me in the least. Literally all I think that saves us sometimes is the GOP is so content in their power here they spend a lot of time infighting and bickering over asinine crap.


StargazingJuniper

They haven't needed to change the system because for a real long time they could easily pit the poors against one another. They still can, just less easily than before. Hence the changes


banbecausereasons

Thank you, that's great information I did not know.


Cold-Stock

We just call it the Senate....


MFoy

> my area wanted to raise property taxes to pay for school expenses, and the entire state got to vote on it. The shitty part is the area that the tax was actually for voted for it, but the rest of the state just saw tax increase and nixed it. Welcome to every single law passed in DC, except instead of the rest of the country voting on it, it's just the head of the committee can decide whether it is allowed or not. So we end up with a Republican congressman from California or Maryland vetoing laws passed by elected officials in the District.


bloodraven42

Yeah the situation y’all are in is absolute bullshit. DC statehood needs to be more of a topic pushed by democrats, not only would it help politically but it’s asinine the way y’all are treated. There’s way too many people living there now to pretend it doesn’t deserve some sort of home rule. They treat it like it’s still some shitty swamp the politicians go to argue at and then bail.


ddubyeah

"It was adopted in 1901 and is Alabama's sixth constitution. At 388,882 words, the document is 12 times longer than the average state constitution, 51 times longer than the U.S. Constitution, and is the longest and most amended constitution still operative anywhere in the world" - wikipedia ​ Its intentionally made to be obtuse and hard to amend


pallentx

Wow, I thought Texas was nuts with our 500+ amendments. AL has over 900!


DownshiftedRare

"The Southern people, with this grave problem of the races to deal with, are face to face with a new epoch in Constitution-making, the difficulties of which are great, but which, if solved wisely, may bring rest and peace and happiness. ... And what is it that we want to do? Why it is within the limits imposed by the Federal Constitution, to establish white supremacy in this State." ^\- ^(OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS of the CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION of the STATE OF ALABAMA,) [*^day ^2*](http://www.legislature.state.al.us/aliswww/history/constitutions/1901/proceedings/1901_proceedings_vol1/day2.html)


CptNonsense

Not indicated by the fact it's the most amended constitution in the world It's obtuse because county law has to be made at the state level.


Sanudder

They've sort of been hoping that the Civil Rights movement and its resultant legislation and social changes were just a fad. To be fair, looking at places like Texas it's not hard to imagine that they weren't totally wrong.


pallentx

Yeah, better leave these bits in here for when we go back...


YNot1989

Ah, kinda like how the Texas constitution bans the state government from meeting more than every two years. Its almost as if these state governments fear the political process and want to keep people from being too engaged in local politics.


DrHugh

I don't recall the details, but I have a friend who used to live in Alabama. I think you had to amend the state constitution if you wanted to rezone land for a government purpose, like a new county building; things like that. Here's a 2002 NPR story on it: https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1142047


chaotoroboto

That's not always the case, but it's within range. Certain government/non-profit cooperation is subject to statewide amendments. Like one time the JCs in Anniston donated a park to the city and it required a statewide vote & constitutional amendment. I'm pretty sure there was a statewide vote on allowing goats on light agricultural land in a single county, that failed. "Why should this be a statewide vote! I'm voting no to protest the constitution!" Vote yes because it's not your business? On the other hand, I work at the largest county in the state and we've only had one important piece of business that required a statewide vote in 4 years. Most of the obvious stuff (like issuing debt or building schools) has enabling amendments in place already.


SpottedMarmoset

That’s a true Republican constitution - unfit for governance unless drastic exceptions taken.


DrHugh

White males get everything! It does seem that the Southern Strategy Republicans seem to want to go back to the earliest years of this country's formation, when that's how it worked.


Pika_Fox

Not to defend this or alabama, but this is pretty common. When laws are socially ignored or a higher power/future law overrules that specific law, the old law often doesnt get removed as well. It just gets ignored as its no longer enforced.


ArchmageXin

Seriously, Boston still have a fine/ a week at stockades for cosplaying a rogue. My female lawyer friend recommend all female cosplayers to avoid cosplaying rogue, druid, wizard, warlock, sorceress and pirate while visiting old commonwealths grounds. Just in case.


Jinren

Without looking it up, Boston or Massachusetts must have a newer law making the stockade unusable, though? Which is the point above, the law de-facto stops existing because the framework for it isn't there.


ArchmageXin

Well, technically we don't have neither a stockade to lock Rogues in front of Boston Common or a Gibbet to hang pirates either, and hopefully Salem no longer have stakes for BBQing women practicing the Arcane Art. But at least for certainly the rogue clause is still open, according to one of our professors for Criminal Defense Law. And he thinks these old laws are loaded guns someone with power can point at you one day...even if it is tad bit unlikely.


shine--

You can add Mississippi and Kentucky to that as well. They took over a hundred years to ratify the 13th amendment. You know, the one prohibiting slavery.


World_Wide_Deb

Its easy to forget that Jim Crow laws were still happening not that long ago though. Ruby Bridges, who was one of the first students to desegregate schools in Louisiana, is still alive. Shes only 67 and she’s on Instagram!


[deleted]

>Its easy to forget that Jim Crow laws were still happening not that long ago though Jim Crow laws are still happening today. See the recent ruling on the NC voting law for an example.


World_Wide_Deb

Oh absolutely. I probably didn’t word that comment the best way but the comment I was responding to saying Alabama was “almost a century behind the times” felt misleading. This type of blatantly racist language shown in the Alabama constitution was basically happening yesterday in the grand scheme of things. Shit absolutely is still happening today under a different kind of coded language.


Chris4477

Fuck that last part is so wild to think about We’re at a point in technology and social media where anyone who ends up being influential in history will likely have a full online trail documenting their lives for us.


to_the_elbow

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/after-148-years-mississippi-finally-ratifies-13th-amendment-which-banned-slavery/


THElaytox

Mississippi didn't technically ban slavery until like 8 years ago


ClothDiaperAddicts

Just think: maybe they'll start removing the racists from the government. (See Tarrant, AL for more details. It's batshit crazy there.)


mlc885

The history of attempts to remove language about segregation is kind of hilarious, an effort in 2004 failed because conservatives were concerned it "retained a 1901 clause mandating 'a liberal system of public schools,' and feared it could be interpreted to require expanded financing for public education." And, in 2012, >[A Constitutional Revision Commission was organized and issued a proposal in 2012 for a vote on an amendment related to education issues. It was intended to delete the original text that mandated segregated schools. However, due to the manner in which the amendment was worded, **it would have definitively reinstated the 1956 amendment that ended the guarantee of a public education to children of the state.**[3] **As a result, it was opposed by both the Alabama Education Association and many black leaders.**](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_Alabama) In fact, my immediate thought upon reading that Alabama wants to fix their Constitution is that Republicans will try to use it as an opportunity to make the Constitution much worse. A new Alabama Constitution that removes harmful language but strips people of their rights would be a disaster.


moomoomolansky

> “The Legislature shall never pass any law to authorize or legalize any marriage between any white person and a Negro, or descendant of a negro, I love that they tried to write into their constitution provisions to stop any future sessions of the legislature from trying to change their nonsense. Like they thought this law was so unbelievably important they had to write in a "No-take-backsies" into their constitution. Because you know, future generations of white people might not as awful as the original authors of the Alabama constitution.


DarkwingDuckHunt

> marriage between any white person and a Negro, or descendant of a negro, So 90% of marriages in Bama have been illegal?


bloodraven42

Even though it’s still in the books it’s not enforceable, ever since the Supreme Court ruling. Just cause it’s not enforceable doesn’t cause the written law to be removed, the legislature still has to actively vote to remove the law even if it doesn’t actually do anything. There’s a lot of laws like that, like look how many states still had sodomy bans for decades past when that law was legally allowed to be enforced. A lot still do have such bans.


crypticedge

> There’s a lot of laws like that, like look how many states still had sodomy bans for decades past when that law was legally allowed to be enforced. A lot still do have such bans A lot of the states that still have the bans have them specifically in case the case banning them gets overturned


the_real_xuth

By contrast Massachusetts removed it's law banning abortion from the books in fear of Roe v Wade being overturned.


DMonitor

I imagine it’s like how the 18th amendment is still in the constitution, there’s just a later amendment that says it doesn’t count


08232021

This is their constitution *as a member of the United States*. And people try to argue that the Civil War wasn't about keeping blacks subjugated.


MoonBatsRule

It's worse. This is a constitution that had the provisions added **in 1901**. 36 years after the Civil War ended with Alabama on the losing side. They also tried to do this in **2004** and **2012** - but those efforts **failed**.


set_null

Didn’t Missouri forget to finish ratifying the 13th amendment or something until like 2010? Edit: it was Mississippi and in 2013 https://www.cbsnews.com/news/after-148-years-mississippi-finally-ratifies-13th-amendment-which-banned-slavery/


MoonBatsRule

I don't think they "forgot". I don't think they actually wanted to in the first place. One thing that people may not realize is that the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were rammed through and were only possible because the South seceded and then later lost the Civil War. This stuff gets glossed over, and is hard to actually find a good narrative about it, but is actually *very important* in understanding things. First, remember that amendments need a 2/3 majority of **those present** from each house of Congress and then 3/4 ratification of states. Lincoln declared the seceded states as being "in rebellion", and that disqualified them from representation in Congress. Ponder that for a moment as it relates to Constitutional separation of powers. There was also a situation where, after the war, the Southern states attempted to pull a Constanza and sent back their Confederate Democratic Representatives and Senators - and the House and Senate simply did not read their names into the records, effectively disenfranchising them. Again, ponder that one Constitutionally. Long story short, secession affected the number of members present in each house of Congress, so the amendments were passed almost by technicality. Then, during reconstruction, Republican rule was virtually enforced on state governments - their re-entry into the Union was dependent on them electing Republicans and then having those Republican state legislatures ratify the amendments. So once again, ponder the idea of making a state ratify an amendment at the barrel of a gun. Although I most certainly agree that these amendments needed to be passed, and I see no other way they could have been passed, it's interesting that the entire process was done with what amounts to sleight-of-hand.


set_null

They technically ratified it in 1995, then forgot to actually send the ratification to the federal government after that. I do believe the clerical omission was a mistake. You might be right about why it wasn’t done before 1995, though. The 13th had three states that refused ratification and did not fix it until much later- Delaware in 1901, Kentucky in 1976, and Mississippi in 1995. They didn’t really “need to” because only 3/4 of states are required for an amendment to become law of the land, but it’s really embarrassing that two states had yet to ratify an amendment on moral atrocities 100+ years later.


Downside_Up_

> It's worse. This is a constitution that had the provisions added in 1901. 36 years after the Civil War ended with Alabama on the losing side. Every once in a while I'm reminded just how relatively RECENT in history the U.S. Civil War was. 160 years sounds like a long time until you start breaking that down into generations spanning 25ish years. My grandparents' grandparents were alive during the Civil War.


Vaticancameos221

Inb4 Republicans pretend that this is "erasing history we are uncomfortable with" and not just growing and changing with the times. They act like preservation of history can't happen without never changing anything.


zsreport

As a whole, conservatives and the GQP have trouble with the vision thing, with looking forward. Maybe it's because of their End of Times/Second Coming fetish.


Generic_user_person

Or maybe its because in order to conserve somethinf it means to keep it unchanged. Almost like as if thats the opposite of what the future brings


TheCaptainDamnIt

> The Legislature shall never pass any law to authorize or legalize any marriage between any white person and a Negro, or descendant of a negro,” the state Constitution still says. Ahh the original Defense of Marriage Act.


Coffee_autistic

> The effort will start by extracting passages like Section 256, which still says that “separate schools shall be provided for white and colored children, and no child of either race shall be permitted to attend a school of the other race.” If this is the amendment I'm thinking of, there were concerns because the proposed change also eliminated language promising children a right to education. A lot of people voted against it for that reason.


Cptawesome13

And here I’ve been told by conservatives that CRT isn’t real and no laws are racist anymore.


kung-fu_hippy

That should be less “removing racist language from the state constitution” and more “updating the state constitution to make it actually constitutional”.


DistortoiseLP

Alabama has [the longest constitution in the world](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_Alabama) because it's pretty much *entirely* white supremacy language.


about831

Wikipedia: > At 388,882 words, the document is 12 times longer than the average state constitution, 51 times longer than the U.S. Constitution, and is the longest and most amended constitution still operative anywhere in the world. The English version of the Constitution of India, the longest national constitution in the world, is about 145,000 words long, less than 40% of the length of Alabama's (was formerly about one-third, with both expanding over time). Saving this bad boy for trivia night!


mydogsnameisbuddy

“The length and chaotic nature of the current constitution is the result of an attempt at centralization of power in the state government dating from the late 19th century, when white Democrats dominated state government. In addition, because of challenges from Populists in 1892 and 1894 elections, the Democratic Party intended to reduce suffrage in order to secure its own dominance. This appealed to yeomen farmers of North Alabama, who had supported Populists, on the grounds of white supremacy.” Really interesting. TIL. Thanks!


kthulhu666

The 1970's are off to a good start.


mydogsnameisbuddy

Maybe by 2070 Alabama will be less racist


LickItAndSpreddit

I’ll volunteer my time to proofread the new 32-word Constitution after the edits.


No-Olive-4810

“Y’all gon’ make some laws, and they gon’ be by the people, of the people, and for the people, can I get an amendment” I got it down to 24


HermesConrad69

Alabama still has racist language in its constitution in 2021, but tell my how young people shouldn't be taught about systemic racism in school. Only hardcore racists have a problem with children learning about the lived experiences of their peers.


jaymcbang

I’ve been seeing more and more stories of how the “outrage” from the right of CRT is getting kids to ask their teachers about it, and it’s one of those juicy backfires I love just so much.


HermesConrad69

Some big Streisand effect happening with CRT and I'm here for it. I didn't even know what it was until the right started collectively shitting their pants over it.


Michael_G_Bordin

I decided to take a Racial Issues class this semester, just so I could learn about it. Turns out, America is built on racism. It has infected most aspects of law and culture. Can't wait to keep learning about it!


HermesConrad69

>Turns out, America is built on racism. It has only been 56 years since Jim Crow was abolished, and it wasn't like the country unanimously supported its demise. Our government is still run by lawmakers who lived during that era and supported segregation. Ffs, the current POTUS supported segregation! But at least he has shown evolution on racial issues. The GOP on the other hand is still decidedly white supremacist. The notion that racists aren't affecting public policy is laughable.


FrozenMrPotato

Funny thing is no one on either side knows what they’re talking about lol. CRT is taught in higher education, not in elementary schools


flickh

tEaCHInG KIDs wHat’S In tHeIr sTATe cOnStitUtIoN is rEvErSe rAcIsM!! /s


QuintinStone

Republicans can be told about white supremacy being enshrined in a state constitution and *still* refuse to believe racism can be systemic or institutional.


Shaddam_Corrino_IV

Is this some special case or don't US legislative houses regularly "clean the law codes"? In my country the ministry for some specific sector will occasionally go through the law code dealing with their sector and search for obsolete laws and the parliament then just purges those laws. The principle is that citizens should be able to read the law code to know what the law actually is, for the most parts.


bloodraven42

US doesn’t do regular cleanups at all, especially at state level. For a similar example, 11 states still have laws banning sodomy, even though that’s long been ruled unenforceable. Alabama is especially bad though, having one of the longest constitutions in the world. Due to the way our state government was structured, constitutional amendments which undergo state wide votes are required for even basic matters, to ensure rural areas and Montgomery control the ongoings of the black belt and urban areas. For example, this very commission to remove racist language actually had to be approved in a statewide ballot initiative.


sonicthegroundhog

No paywall link for those without NYT subs. [Alabama Begins Removing Racist Language From Its Constitution](https://web.archive.org/web/20210920010641/https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/19/us/alabama-constitution-racist.html)


CharistineE

My mobile app hero.


ItchyLikesMemes

in 2021, let that sink in


Skizot_Bizot

We thought we'd have flying cars by now but we've barely even resolved the desegregation issues of the 50/60s. Our technical innovations have really outrun out social ones in the last four decades or so.


Suspicious_Jello1583

Technological advancements have outrun social ones for the entirety of history. They can be developed by a single person and largely only needed to be adopted by those who had money who did so because the advancements made them money or made their lives better.


dustinechos

Max Plank said "progress happens one funeral at a time", meaning that progress is held back by old people refusing to let go of their beliefs. And that's in science. Religion, politics, etc require entire generations to make the smallest of changes.


FrozenMrPotato

I mean Alabama isn’t great, but every state has a bunch of horrible stuff on the books. It’s like the you started doing hw and the assignment was canceled. Going back through and removing it is just throwing away your abandoned homework that you were never going to touch again anyway


lord_fairfax

"Don't teach CRT in schools! It's racist against white people!" *simultaneously* "Quick Jethro, erase all the parts where we were racist as fuck in our state legislation!"


slayer_steve_m

I guess Alabama is entering the 20th century?


shutupandevolve

No. It doesn’t matter what’s on paper. It’s what’s in people’s hearts and minds.


DiscoConspiracy

What's the best way to win hearts and minds in this regard?


stingray20201

Education


mrajoiner

Let them continue protesting vaccines and masks and it will take care of itself.


orionsfire

Just another friendly reminder to all these folks who want to talk about how racism is over and that it's nothing to worry about... the number of openly racist laws still on the books on all levels in this country would stun you in your tracks. We are not done with correcting the laws, and people want to act like racism is over. It may not be popular to discuss over dinner, it may not make you feel warm and fuzzy, but the legacy of our past is not forgotten, nor is it excised from our governing principles as a nation. We have a lot more work to do...


Meowshi

*Begins?*


Azalus1

I guess they finally stopped holding their breath that this equality thing would go away.


neoikon

It's 2021, might as well catch up to 1981.


rucb_alum

National 'truth and reconciliation' should remove all unconstitutional statutes and language from every jurisdiction's books, imo.


AgrajagTheProlonged

Honestly Alabama just needs to scrap their constitution and write a new one. The existing document is an absolute mess and one of the longest constitutions in the world thanks to its over 500 amendments


JMccovery

That'll never happen here, because conservatives are afraid of the state constitution being rewritten by a "liberal agenda".


chaotoroboto

I want a new Constitution, but I don't want the Constitutional Convention necessary to create one. With the current politics of the state, there's no way what we end up with isn't worse than what we have.


Isaacleroy

It would be nice if every black HS football player decided not to go to U of Alabama until they got their shit together. The state would have a new constitution by Friday afternoon.


stickfisher

Begins? It’s 2021 for fuck’s sake.


JDSchu

Texas: "We'll take that if you're not using it."


chaotoroboto

Something I think a lot of people on this sub are missing is that this *passed a statewide vote in Alabama, on the same day as Trump won the state in the presidential election.* Alabama's not a perfect place by any stretch, but given our history we spend more time than any other portion of the American culture discussing our racist past, what it means for today. Basically every political discussion in Alabama is *about* historical segregation and its current-day impacts - even if those terms are never used, or even intentionally avoided, everyone knows that's the context. We're also home to 4 mid-sized minority-majority cities, anchoring metro areas with \~30% minority population. For that reason, Alabamians are far more likely to work with, be neighbors with, or be in a relationship with someone of a different race than themselves (or to be multiracial themselves), than wherever you're from. I think white liberals & progressives in other states can skate on racism - they can be opposed to racism in principal while garnering the benefits of their racial privilege, without having to ever actually address that privilege or its roots. In Alabama we don't have that space - we're crowded by our history, and it infringes on every conversation we have. That's not to say Alabama is particularly progressive (it's certainly not) or that all of the conversations we have around race are productive (many are very much the opposite); just that we're used to and comfortable with discussing this kind of thing openly and frankly. Sometimes (not always) that results in us facing our history more bravely than I expect most places could.


hollimer

Gonna need to tweak [that state motto](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audemus_jura_nostra_defendere#/media/File:Motto_of_Alabama.jpg) while they're at it. > We Dare Defend Our Rights Just in case you thought there might be some not-racist origins to that, it was adopted by the state during the Reconstruction Era following the Civil War.


IQBoosterShot

Only three verbs and a noun will remain.


scottthang

Mississippi: "The racist language isn't a flaw. It's a perk."


NadaTheMusicMan

Begins? *BEGINS?!?*


felixfelix

> "places the control of our government where God Almighty intended it should be — with the Anglo-Saxon race" Umm, I think I missed that particular Bible passage.


dgm42

It's all full of God's Chosen People stuff. At least the Old Testament. No racism there.


DCBronzeAge

You're going to have plenty of racists who are up in arms about these changes, but you'll hear them say things like "there are already laws for this" or 'this is a waste of time and money" or "this is just going to muck up the process." You may even have some really manipulative people saying "this language should be preserved in order to show future generations how far we've come." The problem is some less astute or aware people are going to hear this stuff and agree with it. Then the discourse gets ruined.


Lucifuture

Please tell me their constitution doesn't have the N-word in it.


SnooCats5701

"Begins"


CheekiSternie

*Insert screeching conservative “cancel culture!” Here*


prescience6631

And thus, this is the story of how Alabama started from scratch


UnknownUserA

I guess better late than never?


RazarTuk

From what I can tell, it's actually excising it, as opposed to merely having amendments that nullify it


J_R_Frisky

It needs it. The state constitution of Alabama is longer than the constitution of any other state plus the U.S. constitution combined.


restore_democracy

But what about their heritage? /s


F7R7E7D

So, a blank sheet of paper then?


eventheweariestriver

Now we just need Alabama to remove racist language from its' People.


Imjusttired17

Republicans are going to be PISSED!


Da_mikes22

*looks at calendar* Begins????


cedarhills

Too soon. /s


mrgabest

The South is finally joining the rest of the country in the mid-20th century!


menntu

Getting civilized - what a feeling!


bendystrength

Better late than never


bestneighbourever

Already? s/


the_cnara

Nice work Alabama


DescipleOfCorn

>Begins If we’re using the Civil Rights Act as a benchmark, they’re about 57 years too late. Side note, it’s only been 57 years since the civil rights act was passed, most of us have family that’s still around who were alive before it. My Grandma has some cool stories about participating in the Civil Rights Movement and even talked to Dr. King at a rally in Chicago


marblecannon512

Racism isn’t going away, it’s just moving into the shadows.


Battle_Toads

Own the hicks.


BillyTheHousecat

The most modern thing in Alabama are the girls that Roy Moore is dating.


Gold_Biscotti4870

2021 and they begin. Why was the language necessary for so long? We have got to continue to move forward.


Ga_Manche

In as much as this is laudable, changing the words in the books remains just that. It is the culture that racialize’s some citizens of Alabama that will be the hardest to change. The culture is at least 450 years old.


Melicor

Next up, ditch the pro-confederate "Lost Cause" propaganda from their schools


butteryrum

Well, better late than never.


TheCrakp0t

You know what, I'm gonna bite my tongue and just nod and smile. Better now than never.


HumbleTraffic4675

It’s twenty fucking twenty one… wtf you mean Starting to remove??


Reptorian

Good. That's all that need to be said.


basefootballsurfing

They will replace them with dog whistles instead?


randy_dingo

I wonder how many times 'thug' will appear in the updates?


RazarTuk

Honestly likely not. From what I can tell, this is actually excising the language from the constitution, instead of just nullifying it. As an example, the 3/5 compromise is technically still included in the US Constitution. It just isn't doing anything, since there's a clause in the 14th amendment to nullify it. (Which itself includes a bit overridden by the 26th amendment)


oakstave

But... But... Republicans clearly stated that Critical Race Theory is wrong and that no racist laws ever existed in the United States. You can't possibly mean the GOP lied to me about that too?