I was born and raised in the state of Alabama and from a very young age I often heard stereotypes about my state. Some of them don’t really bother me. I don’t care that people think that we wear overalls, don’t wear shoes or that we don’t have cars and drive everywhere on our tractor. I don’t even care that people think we are missing all our teeth or that we’re all dumb. But what I find extremely insulting is people who think the entire state of Alabama are racists, particularly to the African Americans.
First of all any kind of stereotype is extremely insulting, especially when the stereotype paints people in such a despicable light. I profess to be a Christian and in order to be Christ-like I do my best to love everyone of every race, sex, or gender equally. To have someone assume I’m racist because I was born in Alabama is basically the same as spitting in my face. Let’s say there was a town of 32,000 people and 31,999 of them were racist. It still wouldn’t be right to say that town is racist because it’s extremely insulting to that one person who isn’t.
Why do people think Alabama is racist? Let me guess. You think Alabama is a racist because at one point in time we had slavery. Or maybe you think Alabama is racist because Rosa Parks started the Montgomery Bus Boycott here. Perhaps you think Alabama is racist because Alabama is where Autherine Lucy tried to go to school but was denied. It’s kind of ironic that many people’s opinion of Alabama is that they are still living in the 50’s and are still racist. The truth is the people who think Alabama is racist are the ones who are still living in the 50’s.
Rosa Parks and Autherine Lucy’s historic attempts at racial segregation did both happen in Alabama. So don’t think that just maybe those events had an affect on Alabama? After all they did have an affect on the entire country. When something that major happens it’s going to affect the place it happened even more than the rest of the country. Take for example the most recent huge historic event in the United States history. On September 11th, 2001 terrorists hijacked planes and flew them into the World Trade Center. It was an event that had an affect on the entire nation. However, it’s safe to say it had a bigger affect on New York than anywhere else. It amazes me that somehow people think that the Rosa Parks and Autherine Lucy situations made an impact on the entire nation except for the place they actually happened. That makes no sense.
The racist stereotype also doesn’t even fit in with Alabama’s other stereotypes. People say that we lose all our teeth and wear overalls and don’t wear shoes. We have raggedy old trucks we never bother to fix; some people even think we sleep with our family members. Now do you think that somebody who doesn’t care about any of those things cares about whether somebody is black or white? From the sounds of people’s idea of an Alabamian we don’t seem to care about anything, so why would he care about the color of anybody’s skin?
Of course those stereotypes are all untrue also but one stereotype that isn’t false is that Alabama is full of nice and hospitable people. It’s also true that Alabama is a very religious state. Ninety-two percent of Alabama considers themselves to be Christians. Last time I checked being nice doesn’t mean only being nice to white folk. Last time I checked it wasn’t a sin to be black. So if the stereotypes that Alabamians are nice religious folk are true, which they are, then it doesn’t make sense to assume that Alabamians are also racists.
It especially makes no sense since the stereotype of a lot of northern cities is that they’re so rude they flick people off in the street, yell at each other, and murders go on so often that people don’t even flinch. Now I don’t believe those stereotypes are true all I’m saying is it’s kind of backwards that the part of the country that is known for nice religious people is where the racists supposedly are at while the place known for its rudeness isn’t known for racists.
I also find it hard to believe that the state of Alabama is racist considering there are a lot of African Americans living here. Twenty-six percent of Alabama’s population is African-American. That’s the seventh highest percent in the United States. Why would African Americans being hanging around Alabama if it’s racist. Do you really think they sat down with their family and decided “ok guys if we live over in this state we could live a very normal peaceful life where we’ll never be bothered. But if we live in Alabama, let me tell you how much fun it’s going to be. People are going to call us names! They’re going to put us to work and they’re going to burn down our houses! It’ll be fun! Let’s move to Alabama!” Plus if the percentage of blacks in Alabama is higher than other states then wouldn’t that mean that the blacks would also have to be racists against themselves in order for Alabama to be as racist as people think. How does that work exactly?
How does one come up with the fact that Alabama is racist anyway? Has anyone ever taken a poll? Do they just assume Alabama is a racist state because there are racists in Alabama? If that’s the case then the state you’re living in is racist too. There are racists in every state, there are murderers in every state, there are thieves in every state but I’m not about to call your state a bunch of murdering racists crooks so don’t say it about mine.
Next time someone says Alabama is a racist state, ask them when they visited. I bet ninety nine percent of the people who mock Alabama have never even taken a step in the state of Alabama before. They’re just an ignorant bunch of fools who think that because Rosa Parks sat on a bus fifty years ago that we’re still racists. Personally, I hope those same people never do visit Alabama.