Alabama and the Interracial Marriage Ban, or, Still Cracker After All These Years

Okay…the bill to end the on-the-books-but-unenforced ban on interracial marriage in Alabama was approved.

This is good.

It was approved, however, by a margin of 60%-40%.

What the hell? How can 40% of people - even in Alabama - still think that interracial marriage should be outlawed? That was a little disturbing to me. I guess I expected more. It bugs me that if I were married to a person of a different race and walking with him out in Huntsville, 4 out of every 10 people we walk past are thinking, “Shee-it, that kinda thang should be agin the lawr”…and would actually vote to see it done. I mean, everyone’s entitled to their opinions, bigoted or otherwise, but to seek legal enforcement of those cracker opinions is completely unjustified.

I don’t know - maybe I’m being histrionic. Maybe I should just be happy it finally was struck down. Does this bug anyone else?

{raises hand} Over here!

It disappoints me, but it’s not the sort of thing that would surprise me at all. Man, that sounds cynical. Truth is, though, America is and always has been bigoted. The only difference is we apologize for it now (sometimes). “On nation, under God” (for instance) is undeniably a declaration of religious belief on the part of the state, yet it’s been upheld (IIRC) in court with head-scratching language like "historically, the USA was indeed founded ‘under God.’ " (a paraphrase of a half-remembered third-person quote).

I was shocked to find out that this was even a law (though over-ridden by a federal law). I first heard about it last year, and just shook my head in disbelief. Unfortunately, this goes hand-in-hand with all of the other similar type laws and propositons on the books not just in Alabama, but all through other uptight states as well.

For instance, why should I not be allowed to buy beer on a Sunday? That’s ridiculous. I hardly ever buy beer, so it doesn’t affect me, but why restrict the sale? I have never stepped foot in a strip bar, but why prevent full nudity “to protect the children of our community”? Last I heard, you needed to be 18 to get in. Who decides these idiotic things?

I enjoy living in Alabama, but as a Yankee used to more liberal thinking, some of the things I see down here make me sick. The Huntsville area is at least a little more progressive than the rest of the state - I couldn’t deal with living anywhere else in Alabama. Madison County is one of the few in Alabama that voted in favor of a lottery.

So Gundy, you’re in Huntsville? I’m out in Monrovia!
I was wondering if there were any other dopers around here.
Send me an e-mail if you’d like.

Oh my My hometown is mentioned!

Actually Grundy I live in Huntsville Alabama. Huntsville is not a good choice in your generalization. Huntsville has more out of state residents than anywhere else in Alabama. Due to NASA, Boeing, RSA (redstone arsenal)plus the other High tech related jobs here. Hell, a year ago we had 1500 St louis folks move down. (something to do with the Apache projects).
I dated a beautiful nice black woman a few years ago. I was not stared at or felt ostricized in any way. No, some of the backwood areas of Alabama I can easily see such ignorant critisisms and moronity. Not that Huntsville is a cultural mecca of diversity. It is less racist (thank goodness).


It bugs me, I can’t believe the vote to do away with the idiot law had opposition! I sure would like to see every state in this country see their citizens as equals.

…hey, if you think Balabama is bad check THIS out:
Daily Press
Newport News, Va.
Friday, March 17, 1995

Mississippi on Thursday accomplished what the rest of the nation did 130 years ago: It ratified the constitutional amendment abolishing slavery.

Without debate, the state House of Rep. approved a resolution ratifying the 13th Amendment. The state Senate had acted earlier.

Clerks of the two chambers will notify Congress of the action and it will benoted in congressional records. No action by Gov. Kirk Fordice is requested.

The union comprised 36 states at the time slavery was abolished in 1865. Only Mississippi hadn’t ratified the amendment. At the time, state lawmakers were
angry they had not been reimbursed for the vaule of freed slaves.

Hey, Osip, your point is taken. I’ve been to Huntsville - I’m from Chicago - and, you’re right, as Alabama towns go, it’s pretty forward-thinking. I just used it because it was the first Alabama town to spring to mind. Still, I’m surprised that you didn’t encounter any problems dating a black woman (assuming you’re white) - last time I was down there, my parents got raised-eyebrow looks, and my dad is white, my mother is Mexican. This was a while ago, so perhaps - hopefully - things have changed considerably.

So, no, Dire Wolf, I’m not in Hunstville. Sorry. But Osip is! Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match… I think it’s another example of legislating morality - right in line with your liquor and nudity examples. It’s crap, is what it is.

MonkeyMan, I could go on forever about the “Under God” stuff. That’s a whole 'nother thread.

I’d like to hear from someone who voted to keep the law and hear their rationalization. Although I hope I don’t find that someone here…

writefetus - holy shit, that’s worse than Juneteenth. The article didn’t mention any opposition though. Do you know if there was? Anybody who still wanted to get paid in '95?

Damn that’s old news.

He’s a better version. It wasn’t really necessary to pass it, as it’d already become law, and they were ticked over not being reimbursed (whatever, guys) so they never acted on it. Realistically, it was a law anyway. It came up in 1995 because a few Reps wanted some publicity before the next elections, so they dug it up and passed it.

So what does this change? Zippo. Like Alabama’s ban in interracial marrages being voted out. Just some old laws being repealed.

Or have you checked to see if you can drive a car on sunday in your state? Most you can’t. :wink:

Thanks for letting us know about this election result. I’ve been too busy with my nose in the newspapers, online, on cable TV to remember to look for the results on this so called “local issue”. Glad that it’s been changed. And yes I am still dismayed that a significant number of “Americans” [who are supposed to be for personal freedom and the pursuit of happiness w/o interference of govt forces] are still thinking that we need sex police.

And just what’s wrong with Juneteenth?

Er…nothing’s wrong with the day I suppose. The way I understood it - and please correct me if I’m mistaken - is that federal troops waited to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation until the slaveowners got through with one more cotton harvest. I’m sure I got the cynical version, though. What was the gap, two and a half years? Seems like a similar type of ‘oversight’ to me… I’m not Texan, and my knowledge here is limited, but I understand Juneteenth is celebrated as a holiday in Texas, but that just seems weird to me. Am I misinterpreting?

I live in Birmingham. I was not actually surprised that the amendment was on the ballot. I was surprised there was any opposition. I asked my husband who would vote against such a thing (against the amendment, therefore against interracial marriage, I mean). He said: “Well, the guy next to me did. Loudly.” All I can do is cringe. I mean, 60/40? I was even more embarrassed when I saw the guy from the Confederate Heritage group (don’t know the exact name)on the news. He was ranting about how no one could show him an example of how this law and the subsequent press would negatively affect Alabama’s economy. I find it interesting that people here have reduced this to an issue of state economics. What’s the problem with saying you oppose the law because it is racist and wrong? And if you do support the ban at least have the balls to admit to being a bigot.
Sorry if this seems kind of random. I was up late watching the election.
PS - now if anyone really wants to go back in time, I’ll take you to the small town I grew up in in Mississippi. The public high school has two proms, one for whites and one for blacks. I guess hispanics can pick deciding on pigmentation. :oThe HS also has two homecoming queens and kings, and all kinds of stuff like that.

Where did you go? I’d bet its safe to say they don’t do that anymore.

Boy, they would just love my SO and me: an interracial homosexual couple!

Here is some information on Juneteenth. A little different that what you were told. And the parties aren’t just in Texas.

It’s my birhtday, so I celebrate it every year.

Saint Zero - I am referring to Aberdeen High School, located in the Golden Triangle. I graduated in 1993 and they were still doing it then. (Well, in all honesty, I went to private school. I lived in Aberdeen, a one stop light town.) I will find out if anyone wants me to. It was one of those things that made people uneasy, but no one wanted to do anything about it.
Don’t get me wrong. I love going back to visit my family and refuse to disown the town. I think by not admitting where I come from I cannot combat stereotypes of white trash, which I basically am because of where I come from.
The town, however, is kind of like stepping into the past. I can’t explain it. There are no “white’s only” signs on anything, but it’s like you can feel that they were there once. Everything feels like a different time.

Thanks for the link, jesuslynch, but I still don’t get it. I read it through and it sounds like what I’ve read before - but I don’t understand why people would celebrate finally being told after 2 1/2 years that “Oops! Those past couple of years you were no longer someone’s property. Been meaning to tell you. Sorry 'bout that.” Seems like it would be a day of infamy to me.

Ah! I was looking cause I thought I recalled one HS intergrating its Proms, and couldn’t recall the name. Now I know what to look for. :slight_smile:

Oh, and don’t feel to odd. My HS (in Jackson) did away with the Opposite Races rule my 10th grade year in 84. OF course, JPS being 75% black to begin with, I’m stunned it hadn’t been overturned earlier. Dunno why these things hang around so long without being challenged by either side. :confused:

I missed this thread when it came up last month. I didn’t think about this until searching through some archives of an online magazine (Slate, I think.) They were talking demographics. They were saying that it was entirely possible that the majority of white voters didn’t vote to kill the interracial marriage ban. Think about it. A 60-40 split is not that big of a spread. Let’s say about 25 percent of the population is black. (From the 1990 Census) And say that about 25% of the voters of this proposition was black. And assume that all of them voted to allow interracial marriage. (This is just to make the math easier. Though I’m sure there are many blacks who blanch at the thought of interracial relationships, I’d doubt large numbers of them would vote to keep this law.)

Doing the math after following all assumptions (I can’t emphasize that enough) shows that among whites the bill could have failed among whites by a vote of 47%-53%.

By that math, I’d be curious to see any exit polls about the demoraphic of the voters and how they voted (and the percentage of the population versus the percentage who voted). If the voter turnout was low, I’d be less concerned. If black turnout was high, I’d be more concerned.