Good Morning, Alabama on this day of our Lord, December 13, 2017. Good morning Fannie Lou Hamer, Martin Luther King Jr. Diane Nash, Amelia Boynton, John Lewis, Jimmie Lee Jackson, Stokeley Carmichael, Fred Shuttlesworth, Viola Liuzzou and all you great freedom fighters who struggled for the black vote in Alabama and the demise of Jim Crow.
What a glad and glorious morning made special just for you. We remember when you marched across the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, Alabama in 1965 encountering racists on horses wielding cattle prods, tear gas and who beat you within inches of your life. We remember how Alabama Governor, George Wallace, declared “segregation now segregation forever.” In the midst of this violence and terror, you looked to the heavens of your slave ancestors, demanded all freedom loving people keep their eyes on the prize, and swore that before you be a slave it was better go to your graves and be free. Martin King told us that although the moral arch of the universe is long, it bends towards justice.
Well last night in Alabama that arch bent towards justice just like you said Martin. Judge Roy Moore, Steve Bannon, and President Donald Trump used the resources and fascist propaganda of the powerful to try and re-enslaved those you embraced as God’s children. Like the oppressors of the historic movement, Moore rode to the voting booth on a horse named Sassy where he cast his vote to become US senator from Alabama. If elected, Moore was hell bent on doing the bidding of President Trump and Bannon to oppress women, people of color, the poor, LGBT and all people who joined the great movement a half century ago to make America and the world a great oasis of real freedom and democracy. The despots all most pulled it off.
However, the work of the freedom movement proved them wrong. That movement all you freedom fighters developed sprung forth with intense vigor. Black women who grasped Mrs. Hamer’s declaration after enduring numerous beatings, that she was “sick and tired of being sick and tired” went to the Alabama polls in record numbers and spearheaded the downfall of the new Bull Connors. So too did many others of that wonderful coalition carved together by the Emmitt Till and Rosa Parks generation. This morning Judge Moore and the horse he rode in on headed to pasture the same way your generation made Bull Connor an impotent steer. Although the struggle continues, Freedom Fighters of Alabama you struck a blow heard around the world. O Happy Day!