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Historic Selma Struggles With Blight

In 2000, mayor-elect James Perkins, Jr. receives the key to the City of Selma

In 2000, mayor-elect James Perkins, Jr. receives the key to the City of Selma

Alabama

When I last visited Selma in 2011, I was struck by the obvious decline of the city: the blighted homes, the abandoned shopping centers, the syphilis billboard juxtaposed next to the old antebellum homes.

I noticed the potholes, the trash on the side of the road, the knee high grass in the medians, rusting cars, the “rewilding” of abandoned gas stations, the tumbleweeds blowing through the downtown business district, etc.

Two years later, the Selma City Council is still struggling with the classic symptoms of the Black Undertow:

“It is easy to drive around Selma and find abandoned houses and yards that are landscaped with rusting items that don’t look anything azalea bushes and dogwood trees. We always tout the greatness and beauty of our city — we still think Selma’s historical architecture and loving warmth make up for these little eyesores — but what we really need is someone or something to enforce the codes that are in place to keep it that way. …

And we agree. These yards and violations around the area are obvious, ugly and really put a damper on the fervent efforts of city leaders to beautify Selma.”

In 2000, Selma elected its “first black mayor”: James Perkins, Jr.

“But the nine-term mayor also gave ammunition at times to critics who portrayed him as a relic of the Old South. During this year’s campaign, Smitherman claimed that Perkins would hire only blacks at City Hall and would scare off white businesses

The election returns reflected a stark racial split, and so did the early reactions. Blacks danced in the streets, proclaiming Perkins’s victory to be the final leg of the Selma-to-Montgomery march. Teary-eyed whites viewed the revelry and predicted Selma’s imminent decline, with Jack Smitherman, the defeated mayor’s nephew, predicting Selma would go broke in a year and become a “monkey town.” (The former mayor, however, was gracious in defeat.)”

Note: In 2010, Selma was 80.3% African-American. Like Birmingham, Selma’s population peaked in the 1960 census and has declined by about 25% since the city made world headlines for “Bloody Sunday.”

9 Comments on Historic Selma Struggles With Blight

  1. Sad indeed. Especially sad that Amurrica refuses to connect the dots from Detroit to Philly to Chicago to Atlanta to Birmingham, etc.
    Off topic Hunter, but I’d like to go on record once again by saying that the Surpreme Court will give us sodo-marriage, probably this year. The perverts in robes are looking at two cases this week. I can already see them ramming up our…literally. Of course lame stream Republitards will come on and tell us how the rulings were actually cleverly conservative.

  2. My understanding is that one case concerns the State intruding into civil right (by outlawing sodo-marriage), the other from my understanding is whether the federal judiciary should intervene to allow rights to sodomites. My guess is they will rule the States cannot interfere but the Fed can.

  3. “Jack Smitherman, the defeated mayor’s nephew, predicting Selma would go broke in a year and become a “monkey town.””

    Sadly, true.
    Fifty years after “historic” Selma, Amurrica is full of monkey towns.
    BRA is a monkey nation, with a nigger in the White House being emblematic of the monkey political system.

    The “covertly” anti-white party of “Honest Abe” Lincoln, Michael Steele, Juan McCain, Lindsay Gramnesty, and Tim Scott is just a lightweight version of the openly anti-white Democrat monkey party.

    Only a monkey could be happy with the political system of BRA. No white southern man should be. The days of the yankee antiracist geldings and their negro pets, both driven by their intemperate animus delendi, are numbered.

    There are limits on destruction, after all. Eventually you run out of things to destroy.

    Deo Vindice

  4. Oh, you mean Gay-braham Lincoln, I guess.

  5. RobRoySimmons // March 26, 2013 at 1:40 pm //

    They need to hire the two jews Bloomberg and Emanuel they drive blacks out like the Klan in its heyday. Selma would be gay and SWPL safe in no time, and with bonus “Diversity Safe” blacks completely checked out and certified safe for mingling with productive people.

  6. I remember when Craig AFB closed down just south of Selma. Much of the base housing had just been built up in an attempt by a couple of Alabama State Representatives to pour federal dollars into the base in hopes of discouraging the closure. Despite the attempt, the base was closed in late 1976. All the base housing was turned into low income housing. By 1979 as I drove along highway 80 and looked at the housing, I was appalled at how quickly the residents had turned the area into a dump.

    When my grandparents had a business in Selma from 1975-1989 they had been robbed so many times they couldn’t get insurance. I still have relatives in the area, but they live on the outskirts and shop on in Prattville. How long that area will be safe, no one knows.

    Queers can call what thye have marriage, but I, for one, will never acknowledge it.

  7. @Hunter When are you going to link back to twitter, so your articles get a larger audience? You are a unique Southern voice, all you need is a little amplitude!

  8. I just stumbled across this article while surfing. I am a Northerner. My mom, a southerner, visited her older sister who had moved to NYC. She met my dad there, and never made it back South. That was late 1950s.

    Well, she made it back South for holidays and such. But for me, one of their offspring, I had the benefit of having full summers in the South, for 13 years straight. It had gotten so my NY accent, and Southen twang, would automatically switch, at the crossing of the Mason Dixon Line. I cherished my summers in the South. I could be controlled throughout the year, at that age, with threats of denying my summer vacation if I didn’t . … (fill in the blank; I was a sucker for it and would comply just to remove the threat. I ended up turning out to be a pretty good kid, and still maintained my coolness. Not an easy balance, but I digress) . . .

    The South was such a stark contrast to big city life, which also has its appeals.

    It’s business as usual anywhere you go, but the not so subtle differences between the two were what influenced my decision to one day make the South my home. It happened in my mid-40s. I do not look back, much.

    I share all that to say, we can co-exist. Why all the bitterness, hatred and fear? Life is so much better sans these utterly useless and destructive emotions. May I suggest love, internal peace and happiness. Apply these things, to all things of you. And let’s eradicate the division and live fuller lives. I promise you, you will find it Liberating.

    Hope I helped someone, because everything about this article, from its title, contents and commenters, are disturbing and insulting to the civil mind. The whole frame of mind on this matter is sick and diseased and is pretty much, putrid. And you all need help. I hope for your own sakes, that you find it. If you don’t, oh well. I have found mine, and life is good, and regardless of you. The Truth is cleansing, like a fire. And I know some truths, that you probably know, if you do the math. You can embrace the truth, or be like a tree that does not bend for the wind. For me and my house, I choose truth and life in abundance.

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