With the recent abortion law in Alabama, I’ve seen a lot of “progressive” and “liberal” posts doing nothing more than disparaging all of us in Alabama, using the most stereotypical tropes about everyone being barefoot, illiterate, trash, incestuous, and so forth. Many have had quips that we deserve what is done to us by this law because we “put them in office.”
First, by that logic America deserves what Trump is doing because we put him in office, and don’t be confused, plenty of people say that abroad. I’ve been on plenty of my German speaking forums seeing that sentiment.
Alabamians don’t just fairly put them in office. The extreme conservatives of our state have gamed the system to stay in power. Their main constituency is the older Jim Crow era people, and they’re dying out. There are plenty of younger and more liberal Alabamians coming up, but the extreme right in Alabama work to keep elections rigged in their favor. This is how they keep in office:
1. Alabama has had very severe laws preventing felons from voting, including those who’ve completely finished all sentences, parole, probation. Until 2017, this includes felons for victimless drug convictions. This grossly disenfranchised poor and PoC voters. One of the reasons Doug Jones won is his was one of the first elections where many of these people could vote. For example, in this article this man had been prevented from voting from 1984 till 2017 (https://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/local/solutions-journalism/2018/11/02/can-felons-vote-voting-rights-restoration-alabama-felony-disenfranchisement/1835021002/).
2. Alabama straight up purges rolls and lies to voters. Centers will tell people you photo ID address and your voter reg address must match to vote, not true, and send people away. Democrats and esp black voters regularly get to polls and find they aren’t on the list.
3. Gerrymandering is a SERIOUS issue in Alabama. In Jones’ election he won more than half the votes, but only one district. This is because this one district is gerrymandered to encapsulate black populations into only 1 district. It encompasses most of the Black Belt, our rural predominately black swath of 17 counties (25% of our counties), with tentacles reaching into district 1 in Monroeville, West Montgomery, and impossibly through Tuscaloosa into Birmingham. What should be black voters mattering in 3-4 districts becomes 1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/12/13/how-doug-jones-lost-in-nearly-every-congressional-district-but-still-won-the-state/
4. Alabama doesn’t offer any help for voters to get time off to vote. You do have to be offered your hour lunch to go, but our counties are spread out and since you have to vote at your center based on residence, it can be impossible to vote in one hour. For example, I work .5 miles from a voting center; however, I have to drive over 20 miles away to vote near my home. If my schedule doesn’t accommodate voting before/after work, that means I leave, drive 20 miles, wait in line, vote, and drive 20 miles back. It will take over an hour. Luckily I work with great people, and it’s not an issue, but many marginalized people don’t. They lose pay they cannot afford to lose, are penalized for going over their lunch, or pressured to not go. They skip eating all together even though they have strenuous long hours just to vote. They cannot vote near their work.
5. Alabama lacks public transportation. Again, marginalized people are more likely not to have their own reliable transportation. Instead they have to carpool, walk/bike, or use our unsafe, overstretched, and not fully covering public transit (if their area has any at all which is a big if). This means many voters have no way to get to the polls, esp if that means going 20+ miles to get there. Where I live public transport doesn’t travel to our part of the metro (the poor, black, “hood” part), so if you don’t have your own car and no one can drive you, you’re not swinging back this way on your lunch break. Even people not working may have no way to get from their homes to the polls.
As a result our elections are heavily skewed to not represent our marginalised communities, which usually push blue. So no, we didn’t elect this government, because there hasn’t been a fair election.
So, though I’m beating a dead horse here, we need solidarity. There are protests, lawsuits, working with pro-choice groups and the ACLU, and groups helping women needing to get out of state for abortions.
Also, realize this law isn’t about Alabama. It’s meant to be draconian so it’s get overturned. That way they can push it up the court system to the SCOTUS. They’re hoping Trump’s appointees will overturn Roe v Wade, then it’ll be about you no matter what state you’re in, and there will be people making the same jabs at you as a stupid American who deserves what you got putting Trump in office as you’re saying about Alabama now. This isn’t an Alabama thing. It’s the conservative extremists using a state with a rigged system that keeps them in power as a dark horse so they can push their zealotry on all of you.
“Now I’m awake to the world. I was asleep before. That’s how we let it happen… Nothing changes instantaneously. In a gradually heating bathtub, you’d be boiled to death before you knew it.” Margret Atwood.
Making light of this bc you love ripping us dumb, inbred trailer trash in the South is being asleep until you see it on the Supreme Court steps.
#alabamaabortionban #alabamaabortionlaw #abortionishealthcare #abortionisawomansright #abortionaffectstransmen #alabamahateswomen #abortionisnotmurder