ELAINE HARRIS SPEARMAN COMMENTARY: Alabama remains home of backward thinking, ugly actions

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Gov. Kay Ivey has provided the best evidence to the nation and the world of why Alabama has the reputation and image that it does.

It is difficult for anyone with a modicum of intellect to think that anything great could be happening here with the leadership that Alabama has locally, on the state level and certainly on the national level.

No matter how angry supporters of regressive thinking, acting and comments get, they may as well face the truth: Alabama is the poster child for backward thinking and ugly actions.

A Texas columnist wrote that “it was impressive to see that Alabama officials (often trying to win that coveted 50th spot as America’s worst state for meeting people’s needs) has been setting the national standard for effective pre-K programs.”

The effort began 20 years ago, according to the columnist, and is led by the secretary of early childhood education, who states that the program is laser focused on retaining the highest quality educators and providers for our youngest learners.

Ms. Ivey gets no credit for this achievement. She does get credit for writing her ugly statement regarding a national attempt to control a virus that is killing these very children, their parents, grandparents and loved ones.

I have come to expect nothing from this governor and those of her ilk. This is a “leader” who publicly announced that she would be carrying out former President Trump’s agenda. I leave it to the reader to determine just what that agenda is. Most of the more than 328 million people of this country have a good idea of what we can expect. She did follow his lead by placing her horrific comment on Twitter.

I have no margin of confidence in a person who made it to the top of Alabama government, but who engaged in blackface as a young adult. Her seeds of injustice, unfairness and basic ignorance were already sown. They have produced the monstrous governor that she is today.

As the world mourns the dead of 9/11, we also mourn the more than 600,000 dead from the virus that began well over a year ago. Instead of disappearing, it is mutating and multiplying, and more deadly than ever.

I cannot tell the readers how many people that I have come in contact with who are thankful for testing negative. They have lost mothers, fathers, aunts, wives and husbands. Many have children and grandchildren who are very ill, some too young for the vaccine.

What will it take for the governor of this state to stop adopting ludicrous, unhealthy and downright unintelligent positions? Will it take the loss of her friends or loved ones? It should not take all of that!

She should be a better person regardless of her political ambition and attempts to appeal to the sourest of Alabama residents, much less the people who stormed the Capitol.

I liken Ms. Ivey’s stay in government and leadership to the one person who stayed too long at the party. The make-up runs, the once beautiful dress is wrinkled and frumpy. Eyelash and mascara run like the dye from Rudy Guiliani’s head at his so-called press conference. It is past time to go home.

Ms. Ivey’s statement, “As Alabama did in past years, we could once again be subject to government by federal court order rather than government by our own elected officials.” This statement was made in her attempt to get legislators on board with her prison system reform plan.

Stoking further dislike and distrust in federal courts and the federal government has been, and still is, a hallmark of Southern governance and leadership. That is the mentality and behavior that the former president tapped into, and was a major precipitating factor for the domestic terrorists whom we witnessed storming the Capitol.

For many Americans who have endured so much at the hands of elected and appointed officials, and are continuing to endure it, the federal courts and the federal government have been their only recourse.

Why? Because without this oversight, under the guise of the old states’ rights mantra, governors and others like Kay Ivey would run roughshod over you, me and any other fair-minded American citizen.

Elaine Harris Spearman, Esq., a Gadsden native, is the retired legal advisor to the comptroller of the City of St. Louis. The opinions reflected are her own.

This article originally appeared on The Gadsden Times: Criticizing Ivey's stance on Biden's COVID-19 plan

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