That Time Roy Moore Led The Successful Campaign To Keep Racism Enshrined In Alabama’s Constitution

Talking Points Memo reports:

In 2004, a bipartisan coalition of Alabama leaders moved to eliminate sections of the state constitution mandating school segregation and poll taxes. They assumed it’d be an easy feat — until Roy Moore got involved.

Democrats and Republicans led by then-Gov. Bob Riley (R) worked together on an amendment to remove language in the state constitution mandating “separate schools for white and colored children” and allowing poll taxes, Jim Crow-era requirements that people pay to vote that disenfranchised most black people.

The changes were purely symbolic — all of the state constitutional language had already been struck down by state and federal courts — but civil rights and business leaders saw it as a way to heal old wounds and make the state more attractive to big business. The opposite happened instead, and Moore’s fierce opposition likely made the difference.

“He had a huge impact. It was a measure that was set to pass without much opposition and then because he got involved it changed the dynamic completely,” said Susan Kennedy of the Alabama Education Association, the state public teachers’ lobby that supported the amendment.

Moore claimed he opposed the change because removing the racist language would force a tax increase to pay for better schools for black students.

Therefore, largely due to Roy Moore, this language remains today, right now, in the Alabama state constitution: “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.”

  • Michael R

    A true representative of the people ( the white ones )

    • David Walker

      You mean there’s another kind?

  • Tawreos

    I am amazed at how many things this asshole has done that should bar him from any elected office anywhere but the assholes in Alabama just keep electing him over and over.

    • another_steve

      Sweetie, MEMORY ALERT!

      Donald J. Trump became President of the United States after this surfaced:

      • Tawreos

        I guess the world just does not make sense anymore. Up is down black is white left, well left is always left but the point is none of it makes any damn sense anymore. I think I need a quiet weekend of drinking and debauchery to clear my head

        • another_steve

          There’s been a certain “deadening” of the American political consciousness over the past few decades. It picked up steam during the Nixon years and has been accelerating ever since.

          I hate to sound like an old fogy (which I guess I am), but I think the whole Reality TV phenomenon has added to the deadening.

          When people heard that Access Hollywood tape, they were able to dismiss it as “Well, that’s just the way things are. That’s how they are in the TV shows I watch. That’s just people being ‘real’.”

          • CarolRFennell

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          • Tricia

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    • Stev84
  • bkmn
  • Mike C

    Is this a campaign ad FOR Roy Moore because that’s not going to hurt him in Alabama. I certainly hope it haunts his ass all the way to DC. What a sick fuck.

  • Do Something Nice
    • Gustav2


    • The_Wretched

      They hire a Trumper to do messaging? Drill bits are sort of the opposite of health care. Worse, that looks like an alien monster.

      • Rebecca Gardner

        It’s a Republican approved Transvaginal probe.

    • Hank
    • worstcultever

      Next up: Komen foundation sponsors pink syringes to directly inject carcinogens into breast tissue.

    • Rebecca Gardner

      As I look at the pink wrist band around my wrist for my October 21st bicycle ride for breast cancer (“A Great Ride For A Great Cause”) I am reminded of a very important fact. Never give a single penny to the Susan G. Komen Foundation!!! They are deplorable.

      Save the Ta-Tas! Don’t give to Susan G. Komen!

    • BlindBill

      because “for the cure” is code for donating money to wealthy republican white women so they and their wealthy republican white husbans can fund lavish parties….I mean “fund raisers” … for their wealthy white republican friends ….. as an expense of the not-for-profit

    • Rebecca Gardner

      a Komen spokeswoman said that the partnership “grew from Baker Hughes’ involvement in our Houston Race for the Cure” and that “the issue is personal to them and their employees,” adding that “the evidence to this point does not establish a connection between fracking and breast cancer.”

      Are you f**king kidding me!

      • The_Wretched


    • Rebecca Gardner

      Google “Susan G. Komen is a fraud” and look at how many times the word fraud come up. Disgusting. This group should be shut down.

      • JCF

        Um, Susan G Komen has been dead for decades (from breast cancer, obviously). It’s *Nancy Brinker* who established the foundation, and fucked it up.

        [See re the “John Birch Society”. John Birch was American intelligence officer who was killed in China in 1945. It was our pals ‎Robert W. Welch Jr.‎, and {wait for it} ‎Fred C. Koch (father of the mofos we know today) who established the society in Birch’s name.]

    • Stev84

      Just another proof that they are right-wing assholes

    • boatboy_srq

      …so, replace incurable breast cancer with incurable-but-easily-prevented-by-not-fracking other cancers and other ailments from exposure to fracking? Do i have that right?

      Komen can take those pink drill bits and [redacted].

  • Stogiebear

    He is one sick fuck.

  • Clive Johnson

    I can’t say enough bad things about Moore.

    • Ken M

      You can say all you want. Problem is that he will most likely become another GOP Senator anyway. The DNC should learn from this. In states like AL, SC, MS, they would be wise to take a more median position than going on anti right side tirades. At this point there simply isn’t enough support to win using that method. Once they get in, then they can play the card. They have to get in first though.

      • MonochromeMouse

        For whatever reason our side’s politicians don’t understand that the only way to win against a liar and a cheater is to lie and play dirty right back.

    • JCF

      No, say MOORE bad things about Moore!

      • Clive Johnson

        I just might.

  • TimCA

    After the Trent Lott leadership resignation a decade ago over praising Thurmond and the Confederacy, it seemed the GOP was at least trying to downplay its racist underbelly. But not anymore. Here comes Roy Moore!

  • The_Wretched

    There’s no end to the Roy Moore ‘bad things’ list. Everytime someone writes about him, there’s another one.

  • SFBruce

    A terrible thing Moore did that I was completely unaware of. Not even remotely surprising, though.

  • Rex

    Can’t wait for these old racist bigots to die off, so they can be replaced by younger racist bigots.

    • boatboy_srq

      Younger, hunkier racist bigots, mayhap?

    • Bj Lincoln

      That’s the thing. There are always young racist bigots in the wings.

      • JCF

        Lower percentages: there IS progress…

  • Macbill

    I wish there was a just God: just knowing slimeballs like Moore would fry would bring a smile to my face.

    • (((GC)))

      Yeah, people like Moore almost make me wish there were a hell so he could be sent there.

  • The George Wallace Jr types, unrepentant and indeed proud of their racism, misogyny, homophobia and general bigotry didn’t disappear in the 1970s. They just went away for a bit, kept on raising their children to embrace the same hatred, and now they’re back.

    Make no mistake: If they can they will re-institute segregation, overt racial discrimination, bans on interracial marriage, sodomy laws, and return women to statutory 2nd class status.

    Moore’s actions in keeping the racial segregation and Jim Crow language in the Alabama Constitution are no fluke, they aren’t merely some symbolic gesture. This is what he believes should be!

    • licuado de platano

      At least George Wallace repented (somewhat) later in life. This current crew is unrepentant.

  • But unfortunately, to the stereotypical Alabama voter this is a selling point… I just can’t finish this thought. Thanks America for breaking me.

  • Ken M
    • Ken M

      AL, it seems, is always the “last state to catch up.”

      • And the first state champing at the bit to go running back into the most savage practices of the past.

  • GanymedeRenard

    I’m socked. SHOCKED, I tell you! /s

  • Hank
    • Halou

      Those people with the logos of America’s defeated enemies really know how to “respect our flag”.

  • boatboy_srq

    And of course the objection was because ejamacating Those Other People® is expensive. Uh-huh.


    • During the depths of the darkest days of the Depression in the 1930’s when school districts were trying to shore up finances to keep the schools open, would close every black school in their district to make ends meet.

    • Halou

      Even if that were the case it would be an expense that has been paid for decades without any negative consequences.

      • boatboy_srq

        Without any negative consequences? Are you serious? All those millions of taxpayer dollars wasted, when they could have been refunded to good, upstanding White folks.


  • Rocco

    Every photo I see of the esteemed judge and his “wife” reveals an uncanny resemblance between the two. Maybe it’s time for special trip to the eye doctor, or maybe less MSNBC…

  • JWC

    Now down here,ya all don wanna be rushin things Jes set a spell and we’ll consida it The dunb fucking racist bastard

  • Travis Morrow

    Wow. Even symbolic adjustments that require nothing from him are too much. Knowing black people are free and don’t have to pick his cotton is too much. But if I punch him in the face for it, I’m the criminal.

    • Halou

      Louisiana bigots did the same thing a few years ago when it was proposed that the ‘sodomy’ law be abolished. They decided to keep it because it sends a message to other states just how pious they are, and because god would have destroyed the universe if they took down a law that was already taken down.

  • Baltimatt

    And what about the 2012 referendum, which was only mentioned in passing?

    But even with the support of the state’s Republican leadership, the vote is not as straightforward as it appears. There’s been a surprising backlash against the amendment [to remove the segregation language] from unexpected quarters.

    The state’s teachers union, the Alabama Education Association, is fighting the amendment, as is the state’s powerful black political caucus, the Alabama Democratic Conference.

    There do seem to be differences between 2004 and 2012 regarding the language of the amendment (fear that the latter would remove a constitutional right to education), but politics makes strange bedfellows.

  • When did Folks from Alabama begin thinking that wearing a cowboy hat was a thing?

    • Tread

      When they though they could rock that Texan cowboy-cred.

  • Daveed_WOW

    Please don’t make it sound like this will alienate his base. It won’t. It energizes them. They LOVE him for it. These people are not naive or stupid. They are evil.

  • Halou

    How does officially desegregating schools that are already desegregated by court order increase taxes? Why is it so bad that black Americans have as much spent on their education as white Americans?

    If anything, forcing a district to have twice as many schools for the same area would be a tax burden.

  • TheManicMechanic

    Because Alabamesus.

  • Gregory Peterson

    FYI, Alabama’s constitution still calls for ‘separate schools for white and colored children’
    By Valerie Strauss March 10 Washington Post.

  • Gianni

    And he was an elected judge more than once. Is there some kind of mind-altering drug in Alabama’s water? They don’t appear to be thinking clearly.

  • JCF