Don't you just love some of my white friends in the South?
Now comes the following from the great state of Alabama:
"Alabama is currently celebrating Confederate Heritage Month with a state-wide holiday and a series of public events aimed at remembering and honoring those who fought on the side of southern, slave-owning states during the Civil War. At one such event this week, organized by the Ladies’ Memorial Association, Alabama’s Secretary of State John Merrill lamented recent calls to remove Confederate symbols from government buildings.
“The next question that has to be asked is so what’s the next thing you are going to do,” he asked, “are you going to take a bulldozer to the monument and forget what people fought for to preserve a way of life that makes us special and unique?”
Civil rights groups, including the Southern Poverty Law Center, slammed the remark as “shameful.” But in a follow-up conversation with ThinkProgress, Merrill explained that the “way of life” he celebrates is based on Confederate soldiers’ independent spirit, not their advocacy for slavery.
When we have things happen in our state, we don’t rely on the federal government to come take care of us,” he said. “We take care of ourselves. For example, after the tornadoes in 2011, or after the massive flooding we had. That’s who we are. That’s who these people were. I’m proud of that.”
Alabama, however, is the ninth most reliant on federal aid out of the 50 states, taking far more in aid than the state pays back in taxes. As for the 2011 tornado damage Merrill mentioned, an auditor recently found that the state improperly received about $1.2 million in federal aid that it now must pay back. Antebellum Alabama’s “self-reliance,” meanwhile, depended from its founding on the unpaid labor of hundreds of thousands of slaves.
Merrill explained to ThinkProgress that he wanted to participate in a “celebration of the heritage of the south” because he believes young people need to “to be respectful of those historical traits we hold dear.” Those traits, he emphasized, are “not related to race, divisiveness, or a heritage of fighting.” Rather, they are “pride in our work and in our communities.”
He repeatedly assured ThinkProgress that he personally has no racial biases, noting that he owns a signed photo of Alabama civil rights icon John Lewis, and touting the diversity in his agency.
“We’ve got two African Americans that work in the lobby area of our office here,” he said. “None of them are working here because they’re black, but because they’re highly-qualified, trained professionals. I judge people by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.” [Source]
Wait....let me stop this right here. Did he really say "We've got two African Americans that work in the lobby"? What do they do? Give directions to the offices? As the old church folks like to say: "Jesus take the wheel."
Think about that for a minute. One of the states in this great union is celebrating Confederate Heritage Month. Imagine if you will a Nazi History Month being celebrated in Germany. That is a fitting analogy to what is being done in Alabama.
Look, we get it, this is America, and you rejects from the 19th Century should be free to let your flag fly on your own personal property and for whatever protest you want to launch. But when you declare such a month as an official month of a state that has a huge population of African Americans ---many of whom had ancestors who were slaves--- it sends a chilling and shameful message.
Finally, did you hear the one about the GOP fundraiser who was busted for allegedly running a meth lab out of her home?
I am serious. You can't make this stuff up.
"A fundraiser for Arizona Republican Senator John McCain was arrested along with her boyfriend Tuesday in a major drug sting.
Emily Pitha, who also worked for former Arizona Republican Senator Jon Kyl, is accused of running a meth lab and a drug shipping operation out of her Phoenix home. Police were tipped off when a package containing a large quantity of ecstasy was shipped to her home from the Netherlands. Pitha and her boyfriend were arrested after he signed for the package." [Source]
If I were Emily I would have saved all that meth for the republican convention in Cleveland.
Just a hunch, but I suspect that they will be wanting a lot of drugs to get through all the festivities.
*Pic from onlineathens.com