By Harrison Neville
In Alabama, racism is dead.
In a recent campaign ad, our esteemed state governor, Kay Ivey, said that if President Joe Biden “keeps shipping illegal immigrants into our states, we’re all going to have to learn Spanish. My message to Biden: No way, Jose.”
Now, for some odd reason, numerous individuals claimed that the ad was incredibly racist. One such individual was U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, a Democrat from California.
Waters referred to the ad as “plain racist ignorance in your face.”
Ivey responded to Waters comments with a tweet that claimed there was nothing racist about her original statement, and ended the tweet by bolding stating “We’ll handle our business in Alabama.”
Yeah. Because we’ve done a great job of that so far.
After all, everyone knows that no one handles tricky issues like racism better than the state of Alabama. We handle it so well, that in the fourth grade, when a bunch of fifth graders figured out I was biracial, they told me to go back to my country.
We’re such experts in teaching history, that kids at my high school would proudly fly Confederate flags from their pickup trucks, despite the fact that they were fully aware of the fact that it was offensive to people like me and most Black people.
We are a state so lacking in racism, so well known for being open to the idea of different races interacting, that for years my mother had to deal with comments from people who thought she was a babysitter for her own children.
This is Alabama. We can handle our business just fine, yes sir.
That’s why we keep trying to write bills to ban the teaching of critical race theory in the classroom and ignore the fact that in a room full of legislators, it falls down to Black versus white.
It’s why, after the state board of education passed a ban on teaching critical race theory in K-12 classrooms, they had parents calling to report that critical race theory was being taught in the classroom because teachers were doing Black history month programs.
Because in Alabama we know better. We don’t need to talk about race. We know it isn’t a problem here, and divisive subjects like it are best left alone. And if it isn’t clear yet, when I say we, I mean a particular type of people.
Because when I say we, I don’t me. I don’t mean my mother or my grandmother, both of whom are Black. I definitely don’t mean any of my Black cousins or siblings.
I mean white people. I mean Ivey and all the various Republican representatives who have chosen to campaign on the promise of ending racism. Not the racism that Black kids get warned about by their parents. Not the racism that makes people follow you around at the store or give you a weird look when they see you coming to get your kid from the mostly white school. Not the type of racism that will get you bullied, beaten or killed.
Because, see, in Alabama we already solved all that. Ivey is cleaning up. She’s reminding us that there isn’t any racism, so we don’t need to worry when she uses minority populations in fear-mongering tactics to scare up votes. It isn’t racist, because we don’t have that problem here in the great state of Alabama.
So, butt out Waters, because like Ivey said, “We’ll handle our business in Alabama.”
After all, we all know racism is dead.
Harrison Neville is the previous Editor in chief for The Alabamian. He is a fourth-year English major whose hobbies include reading, hiking, cooking and writing. He has previously worked for The Alabamian as a managing editor, distribution manager, copy editor and SGA columnist.