By David Glenn Cox
For many years I lived in Alabama. I got married there and had kids there and owned property there. It’s a really wonderful place with a semblance of gentility and expected correct behavior. But there was a flaw, a birthmark on a pretty girl. There was a mean streak and what made it even more noticeable was how much it ran counter to the normal Alabama sensibility. Most of these people would give you the shirt off their back or lend a stranger money to help them on their way.
Alabama has mountains in the north, the Gulf of Mexico south. A Battleship in the bay and a space center in Huntsville. Helen Keller is from Tuscumbia and Martin Luther King’s first church where he led the bus boycott is in Montgomery (Pronounced: Mungumery). And if that ain’t enough you, they still got the beach and Hank Williams. But Mungumery was once voted one of the top ten cities in America to get out of. Two Interstate highways, no waiting.
You might find this hard to believe. But we once had a gun toting, cigar chewing Southern mid-sized community Sargent Rock mayor/god king. His word was law, and he didn’t like the goings on at rock concerts. So, he didn’t just outlaw rock concerts. He just made it against the law to turn down the lights. So, no rock concerts. It was his idea to build that new civic center in the first place, and now Mayor Moamar would decide what could be seen. Coming next Week! Guatemalan Folk Festival and Pan Flute Convention, not quite Blue Oyster Cult.
You could still snort cocaine off the fender of your F-150 at the rodeo. You could get drunk as shit off some Chilton County Creek Cider. Best danged moonshine in the whole state! Aged for three weeks in a carefully hand selected clear plastic gallon jug. You don’t need a commemorative jug with moonshine, you won’t remember anyway. But see that was okay, cause they were doing it to country music. And Moamar had that mean streak and a real hard on against rock and roll.
Back in the 50s Moamar was in construction, and he made his bundle building public housing projects for those liberals up in Washington. He did well for himself becoming a millionaire, until he realized that it was just plain wrong for big government to keep trying to help people. So just as the last public housing projects contracts were completed. Then just like Ronald Reagan, Moamar became a vocal Republican, but didn’t offer to give any of the money back, though.
He felt bad about the way things turned out, but it didn’t bother his conscience any to keep the money. So, when the building contractors asked to be allowed to use premade trusses for new home construction Moamar said “No.” That’s not the way we did it in 1953. I decree it illegal. So, a new house inside Mungumery cost way more than a new house outside of Mungumery.
And that’s how the mayor sparked new growth in the communities outside of Mungumery. Expanded their tax base, paid their sales taxes for them. Around the same time, the state had an affable Republican Governor Fob James, family name southern tradition, don’t ask. His claim to bank came from the invention of the concrete dumbbell. A plastic sleeve filled concrete destined to eventually crack and break and leave concrete dust on the basement floor.
But he made a lot of money from it and that’s all the counts. His critics said, he invented the concrete dumbbell in more ways than one. He was never accused of being the sharpest tool in the drawer and helped to put Sears & Roebuck where they are today.
Most of the time the Alabama governor is an affable, half honorary position and half sacrificial position. Official state door greeter and Burghermeister. And if the governor makes it through their term without doing anything at all, it is considered a raging success story. They like the way the rackets are being run, so there isn’t much to talk about changing them.
Enter Tim James D.B.A. Son of Fob. Also, a southern family tradition, daddy was governor and now it’s my turn! But Tim’s got that mean streak and he’s got it bad. He’s basing his campaign run for governor by picking on school children. Enter The Magic City Acceptance Academy, a public charter school in Birmingham. Only in Birmingham, they would have burned it down in Mungumery, twice by now. A public-school offering acceptance for people who have been bullied or otherwise consider themselves to be different.
“I will show these people and what they’re doing to these little ones no mercy,” – Tim James “Hey Glory!”
Somebodies doing something to somebody, oh God no! Not tolerance! For Jesus said of the Gays and Transsexuals in the book of mind your own fucking business; “Suffer the little children and make them suffer even more, it’s an election year. I’m trying to get elected here!”
In most communities an Acceptance Academy would be considered a commendable idea. But the man who founded the Talladega speedway thought, “You know a big superspeedway like this might be a real nice tourist attraction! Maybe the state will help me?” They tried to help him out of business. “Boy, we don’t need no race car goings on, goings on, on a Sunday. When they ain’t a spoat a be nothing going on, on a Sunday no how!”
Tim is going to take the concrete dumbbell business to a new level. Picking on school children and bullying them. A grown adult man with pockets full of money and privilege, picking on school children because they held a drag show at their high school and consider themselves to be different. Even though Tim did it too. They held a drag show at Tim’s own exclusive private boarding school, but this is different. They mean it.
“And now, right here in Alabama, millions of your tax dollars are paying for the first transgender public school in the South,” – Tim James
So what? They aren’t bothering anyone; you are!
Tim had lost his chance to be governor in 2010, after the racist statements he made became public. Tim figures the public has forgotten them by now. This time, he’s focusing his bigotry on a smaller group of smaller people and running as a proud Republican homophobe. Specifically, running against voiceless powerless, Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth grade school children, high school kids who put on a drag show. So what? Big deal! My high school put on Gilbert & Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore, and I assure you it was equally as bad as anything performed inside the Magic City Acceptance Academy. He’s just got that mean streak.
There is a star on the steps of the state capitol in Mungumery, where Jeff Davis was sworn in as the first and last president of the Confederacy. It is around four or five hundred yards or so from the front door of Martin Luther King’s church. Alabama is a place of many wide contrasts with millions of kind and friendly people but watch out for that mean streak.
Tim reminds me of something they used to say back in Alabama, “the lord done touched him on his head instead of his heart. But in either case, he’s touched all the same.”