“”We'll try to stay serene and calm/When Alabama gets the bomb!
|—Tom Lehrer, Who's next.|
“”"And where are you from, Damien?"
"The seventh layer of hell."
|—South Park episode "Damien"|
Alabama is one of many places in the Old South where you can buy a gun quite easily, but the selling of sex toys is illegal. And always will be. Alabamians think sex toys are nasty, but in 2015, Montgomery was the most sexually diseased city in the US. They need a Lawrence v. Texas. You know those old laws, like oranges are illegal every third Tuesday that's a full moon, and sodomy laws that were instated in 1709? Well, Alabama has one: selling guns to kids gets a $500 fine; but a sex toy will get you $10,000 and a year in jail! While the archaic law was eventually challenged, it still remains a law today. The year the archaic law was created? 1998. Nonetheless, many of its inhabitants consider it a sweet home where no one needs Neil Young around.[citation NOT needed]
- It is illegal for anyone to put salt on railroad tracks.
- It is against the law to buy a sack of peanuts after sundown. Even boiled ones.
- It's illegal to play dominoes on Sunday.
It's worth noting that many of these "weird" laws were written in order to send black people to jail so that their labor could be exploited via convict leasing while seeming race-neutral on the surface.
Something Alabamians probably don't know about the favorite daughter pictured on their state quarter: she was a hard-core socialist, and therefore would likely not be a Republican (at least not if she were alive today), like most of them are. It was also the final state to legalize interracial marriage in 2000.
A state deficit so bad that even the Republican governor suggested they raise taxes. The sad thing is that they'd be pretty well off if they would just raise property taxes closer to what other states charge, but that won't happen because the biggest landowners are the same businesses that control the state.
Let's see, Supreme Court Chief Justice gets booted from the court (Twice. He got booted twice. That takes dedication.), Speaker of the House indicted for corruption, and a second governor in only 24 years(!) was forced to resign over criminal investigations – all at around the same time. Hat trick! O frabjuous day! What savory fruits one-party rule bears!
A large majority of Alabamians are Republicans, as are both of the state's senators (Richard Shelby and Tommy Tuberville), and six of the state's seven representatives. The state has not supported a Democratic presidential candidate since 1976, when it voted for Jimmy Carter. In 2017, they narrowly elected the first Democratic Senator from Alabama in a quarter-century. Apparently, wanting to stick your dick in little girls might leave a stain on your opponent's name. Yay! Alabama is not completely insane! Just disproportionately so. Sadly, he was replaced by a guy who couldn't even name the three branches of government, claimed his grandfather fought "to free France from socialism" during WWII, and voted against certifying Joe Biden's win in the Senate, proving that Alabama is still Alabama.
At the state level, politics are also dominated by Republicans, though this is a surprisingly recent development: 2010 was the first time since Reconstruction that both houses of the state legislature were controlled by Republicans. The state elects its judges, and Republicans presently hold every spot on the Alabama Supreme Court, which may explain why that body recently engaged in states' rights grandstanding on the issue of same-sex marriage. Roy Moore may or may
not also have something to do with it. Local politics are a bit more of a mixed bag, as many offices are still held by Democrats. It is not uncommon for only one party to field a candidate in many local elections, meaning that the primaries effectively function as elections in many cases. This occasionally has some humorous effects, such as officeholders going full DINO/RINO being miles a bit far off their party's "standard" line.
Alabama ties with South Carolina for 50th in high school performance. (Mississippi: "Hah, see! We're not the worst at everything.") The state also has a system of school vouchers in place, and the legislature passed a bill allowing charter schools in March 2015. Interestingly enough (and given the privatization efforts described above, disturbingly enough), the state constitution probably contains language disavowing any obligation to provide public education. That constitution also happens to be the longest operative one in the world, longer even than California's.
Christian private schools are inadequately supervised. Alabama’s 'Restoration Youth Academy' acted like a jail including subjecting youngsters to solitary confinement and provided teaching through self teach texts. Those in charge will face trial for child abuse but the law that allowed the travesty is still in place so others could start up.
Attitude towards African Americans
Humor writer Bill Bryson, in his autobiography The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, recounts the following story from the August 23rd 1958 issue of the Des Moines Register that is utterly horrifying:
“”MOBILE, ALA. (AP)- The Alabama Supreme Court yesterday upheld a death sentence imposed on a Negro handyman, Jimmy Wilson, 55, for robbing Mrs. Esteele Barker of $1.95 at her home last year. Mrs. Barker is white. Although robbery is a capital offense in Alabama, no one has been executed in the state before for a theft of less than $5. A court official suggested that the jury had been influenced by the fact that Mrs. Barker told the jury that Wilson had spoken to her in a disrespectful tone. A spokesman for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People called the death sentence 'a sad blot on the nation' but said the organization is unable to aid the condemned man because it is barred in Alabama.[note 2][note 3]
But things are beginning to improve. In 2012, a government panel recommended doing away with a section in state's 1901 constitution requiring separate schools for white and colored children. The group was hopeful they could overcome the opposition that retained the clause in a 2004 statewide vote.[note 4] Sadly, the segregation requirement was kept then too.[note 5] Of course, that clause is inoperative barring a repeal of the Fourteenth Amendment, but Alabamians are strangely fond of completely meaningless reactionary actions, especially those involving small men standing in very large schoolhouse/auditorium doors and delivering (poorly) prepared speeches.
Legitimately Famous Alabamans
- George Wallace - Famed segregationist. Got his wife elected to subvert term limits. To do so, he hid her cancer diagnosis from her, lest it adversely affect her campaign. She died less than a year into her term. Despite her emphatic request for a closed casket, Wallace insisted that her body be on view. So he continued to fuck her over even after she died.
- Roy Moore - Fundamentalist Christian activist judge who got himself booted off the state Supreme Court for violating separation of church and state twice, then ran for the United States Senate. Refused to back down after being exposed as a child molester, and went on to lose (narrowly) due to the momentum the ensuing clusterfuck gave Democratic candidate Doug Jones, costing the Republicans one of their safest Senate seats. Still hasn't conceded. (And we thought Wallace was bad!)
- Nick Saban (roll
- Gus Malzahn (War Eagle)
- Jeff Sessions
- Richard Shelby
- Mo Brooks
- Tommy Tuberville
Slightly less notorious Alabamians
- Roy Spencer
- Mike Hubbard
- John Eidsmoe
- William Brevard Hand
- Gary Aldridge, pastor and wetsuit enthusiast
- Don Black
- Rockets.[note 6] and rocket parts
- UAVs.[note 7]
- Foreign designed cars and aircraft.
- Redneck jokes.
- At one time, divorces.[note 8]
- To be fair, the Momma Goldberg's right next door is a plus for them, we're sure.
- He got off "lightly": his sentence was commuted into life imprisonment and was freed seventeen years later; this fellow wasn't so lucky.
- Yes, the state did at one point use a variety of legal tactics to bar the NAACP from operating there; see NAACP v. Alabama.
- Why? Conservatives thought the attempted repeal was an attempt to raise taxes. Seriously.
- Some of the opposition this time hinged on the fact that it left the disavowal of a right to public education in place.
- They just don't let us fly 'em fancy space machines!
- Technically, only the Army's UAVs, though interoperability is a perpetual buzzword/bogeyman.
- No, really, between 1945 and 1970, Alabama moonlighted as a Nevada-style divorce mill. This was after they abolished its residency requirement in 1945. In fact, at one point, Alabama beat Nevada at its game!
- Group ranks Montgomery as most sexually diseased city by Kym Klass (12:23 p.m. EDT July 27, 2015) USA Today.
- Let out your sighs as you read.
- Jim Crow Laws and Racial Segregation, VCU
- Just check this article on it.
- Mike Carson, "Gov. Robert Bentley releases tax bills for Alabama special session", AL.com.
- Rick Garlikov, "Anatomy of a Tax Defeat in Alabama".
- Ostermeier, Eric (11 April 2017). "A Brief History of Alabama Governors Who Exited Office Early". University of Minnesota.
- Robertson, Campbell, "Scandals Embroil Alabama Governor, Speaker and Chief Justice", NYT 5.16.16.
- Robert Morse, "How States Compare in the 2015 Best High Schools Rankings", USNews.
- Straight from the snake's mouth, but very much prone to technical issues/downtime.
- http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/03/alabama_senate_republicans_cut.html 2015 expansion proposal
- This Horrific Story Shows Why Even Private Christian Schools Need Government Oversight