Posts Tagged ‘Poitevint’

Just because you can do it, does not mean you should.  Why are the young men in my neighborhood riding around with stereo speakers in the grill of their cars and why do they play crude music at 11:49 on Sunday morning while passing my A.M.E. church in Sylvester, Georgia.  Like Eddie Murphy said about the guy who shot the Pope, “Make sure he goes to Hell.”


Sometimes we all do things that we will regret in the future.  Last week, the nation was buzzing about former Alabama Governor George Wallace.  We know now that Governor Wallace’s incendiary rhetoric was driven by a lust for power and fame; that his statements and actions did not reflect what was truly in his heart.  Toward the end of his life, Wallace had the support of the many Alabama African Americans—take the time to read the following Time Magazine article from 1982. 


George Wallace Overcomes — Printout — TIME



It is spiritually disorienting to see a black driving a car with Alabama plates and a Wallace bumper sticker. It is surreal to walk into Wallace’s state campaign headquarters, a neobellum low-rise former furniture store on the edge of Montgomery. There, amid the deep shag carpeting and the clickity-click of computer printers churning out voter lists, sits Mrs. Ollie Carter, a black Wallace worker. All day she phones around the state with a gentle, churchgoing courtesy, asking blacks for their support, reminding them to vote.

Mrs. Carter claims that 98% of the blacks she calls say they are supporting Wallace. She taught elementary school for 19 years in rural Shelby County, and remembers that none of her pupils had their own textbooks until George Wallace became Governor. Wallace people almost always mention his record in improving Alabama education (though the state still ranks among the lowest in literacy), especially those free textbooks for the children, and the system of 26 junior colleges he started around the state. And the fact is that, leaving aside the low growls of race, Wallace was generally quite a good Governor. As for all of that racial viciousness, Mrs. Carter squares her frank and open countenance, earnest and astonishing: “He has made some mistakes. But haven’t we all? You have to understand. The races are more bold and honest with each other in the South.” That is true. So is the opposite; the exchange between the races in the South has also been a drama of long silences, of the unstated.

One theory has it that Alabama blacks have always been cynically knowing about George Wallace, that they have figured all along that his segregationist behavior and rhetoric were matters of political expediency.


We are at a crossroads in southern politics.  I am concerned with the temperament of the next generation of the GOP.  Sarah Palin and I finished high school in 1982 (same year as the above article) and I don’t want to see this charismatic leader turned into the early George Wallace for “political expediency.” If she makes the right moves and avoids the nutty elements, she could be the positive head of the new conservative movement. 


There was a great article on the AJC Political Insider recently about who would be the next leader of the Republican National Committee—Georgians Newt Gingrich and Bainbridge’s Alec Poitevint were mentioned. I worked in the House when Gingrich was speaker and we Dems must respect his intellect.  Newt always wanted the best results for America; the question becomes how do we get there.  Newt is a Republican who knows those rural Black voters are conservative—Rep. Sanford Bishop’s long service proves this fact.  


Obama success to date is not necessarily Democrat success.  It could be a statement by the American people that bickering and bitterness is unbecoming.  In the AJC article, State GOP Georgia chairwoman Sue Everhart emerges as a sensible leader for the future of her party.  Does she know that African Americans could sway several Georgia congressional races and the senatorial race next month?  (Obama keeps saying “and some Republicans”.)


Newt knows and Everhart is learning that the African American community in the South is moderate and the opportunity for cooperation with conservative is there; but the far right sounds like the George Wallace of old rather than the last George Wallace.   Colin Powell always said that the party that gets the “sensible center” runs America.  We will learn next year if the far right or the far left repels the center into the other major party.  



In the coming race for chairmanship of the RNC, the name of Newt Gingrich comes to mind | Political Insider

“But on the other side of the GOP gulf are those who worry who worry that the GOP has limited itself by catering too forcefully to the Christian right and other interests. This is the “narrowing” that former secretary of state Colin Powell spoke of on Sunday, just before endorsing Obama.

Everhart counts herself among those who want to broaden the GOP reach, not purify it. “[Gov.] Sonny Perdue wasn’t elected by Republicans. He was elected by Democrats and independents, too,” she said.”


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