I confess that I have not been the best of friends with you in the past as I’ve not stayed in touch. Hell, it’s been over twenty years since I left your Tennessee Valley area with its farms and rolling pastures. But as they say, Alabama has never, ever left me.
There are days when my mind is filled with wonderful memories of growing up in such a beautiful place. Picnics on Monte Santo Mountain, fishing at Guntersville Lake with Pop, the smell of Grandma’s raspberry vines, magnolia trees, sounds of cicadas, highways overrun with kudzu vines. Huntsville, Florence, Muscle Shoals, Gadsden, Auburn, Birmingham and Mobile…I have lived all over the state and know it coming and going.
How you may have changed over these last years I’ve been away, I reckon I cannot say. But I find it hard to believe that you have changed so much that backing an accused pedophile for senator sounds like a grand idea. It’s not, and you know it’s not.
Oh, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that many of you don’t believe the women accusing Roy Moore. Alabama is the deep south where men, white men, reign supreme by way of intimidation and perverted interpretations of the Bible. I was 8 years old and living just up the road from Gadsden in Huntsville when Moore was Etowah County’s district attorney. I have no personal stories of him to tell. Only stories of what it was like back then to be a girl in Alabama. Stories of what the culture dictated my place was.
For those who are too young and those who have forgotten, Alabama was not far removed from those shameful days of fighting desegregation, water cannons and church bombings. The majority of the white men who committed those crimes were never charged. They still lived in our towns and owned the businesses we frequented. They still policed our streets and filled our judicial systems. They went to our churches and coached our football teams. Everyone, black or white, male or female, knew not to cross these men. To do so would not only invite their vengeance, but could possibly invite that of the KKK or the League of the South (LOS). Just as African American families taught their young how to behave when stopped by the police, we young, white girls were taught as well that it was a white man’s world and to guard ourselves. Those men demanded respect and if we did not give it, they would take it.
It was real, and you know it.
Now I’m not saying that Moore was Klan, even though we all know that area was well known for KKK activities and even lynchings. It is a fact that Moore had the support of the LOS. One of his biggest funders was a LOS leader and he welcomed the neo-confederate group to speak at his anti-homosexual rallies. So, there is ample evidence to show that Roy Moore enjoyed their support as they did his.
It was no secret. We all knew who had ties. For a young girl to come forward about being sexually assaulted by Roy Moore during that time invited everyone in a small town like Gadsden to know their business. Worse though, it invited not only the wrath of law enforcement, but of these white supremacist groups.
Keeping their mouths shut for all these years was a matter of survival and you know it.
But maybe that’s still not enough for me to convince you not to vote for this man. Maybe I need to change the perspective a bit then. Would you feel any differently about Roy Moore if his victims had been boys? What if the victim’s story found in The Washington Post read like this:
It was early 1979 and Moore — now the Republican nominee in Alabama for a U.S. Senate seat — was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney. He struck up a conversation, Bobby and his father say, and offered to watch the boy while his father went inside for a child custody hearing.
“He said, ‘Oh, you don’t want him to go in there and hear all that. I’ll stay out here with him,’ ” says Bobby’s father, Joe Bob, 71. “I thought, how nice for him to want to take care of my little boy.”
Alone with Bobby, Moore chatted with him and asked him for his phone number, he says. Days later, he says, he picked him up around the corner from his house in Gadsden, drove him about 30 minutes to his home in the woods, told him how handsome he was and kissed him. On a second visit, Bobby says, Moore took off his shirt and pants and removed his own clothes. He touched him over his underpants, he says, and guided his hand to touch him over his underwear.
“I wanted it over with – I wanted out,” Bobby remembers thinking. “Please just get this over with. Whatever this is, just get it over.” Bobby says he asked Moore to take him home, and he did.
Was that jarring? It should be.
So, I ask you, why is it more offensive or wrong when the victim is a boy? There’s no way on God’s green earth that Alabamians would ever tolerate or much less vote for a man who abused boys in this way. You should be just as irate and disgusted by Moore’s pedophilic behavior with young girls as you would be if the victims were young boys and you know it.
I can hear the Alabama Republicans now: “I cannot vote for a democrat!” Then don’t vote or write in another Republican. “What about Senator Al Franken or Representative John Conyers,” I hear. Well I agree, they should be investigated and held accountable. The difference is that they are already seated in their positions; they’ve already been elected. Moore has not.
Alabama’s history during this time, like other states, was not to be envied. These men have always ruled Alabama, and it has left the state with a deliverance style reputation that most Alabamians do not rightly deserve. It’s up to you to set your destiny, to determine your reputation.
A vote for Roy Moore is a vote for those old racist, sexist southern ways that kept us all quiet and fearful. It is wrong and immoral, and you know it.
PS-WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!