“All this city got is history. If this bridge wasn’t here, it would just be another f—-d-up place nobody would visit.” – Arsenio Gardner, Selma resident
It is always “Bloody Sunday” in Washington.
Today is one of the most sacred days in the calendar of the progressive gerontocracy. It is the anniversary of the day that MLK walked over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma in 1965.
“WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden signed an executive order Sunday directing the federal government to promote voting access in a move meant to commemorate the 56th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery marches for civil rights.
“Every eligible voter should be able to vote and have that vote counted,” the president said in a virtual address to the Martin and Coretta King Unity Breakfast on Sunday just before signing the order. “If you have the best ideas, you have nothing to hide. Let the people vote.”
The order directs federal agencies to expand access to voter registration and election information, according to an administration official. That includes directing heads of all federal agencies to submit a “strategic plan” to the White House within 200 days on how their departments can promote voter registration and participation. …”
At least Joe Biden isn’t physically present in Selma this year for the annual ritual of walking over the Edmund Pettus Bridge. It is being held as a “virtual event” this year because of COVID. The bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest in Live Oak Cemetery disappeared when the “Reverend” Al Sharpton came to town a few years ago. The worst thing in history that ever happened to Selma was these “reverends.” They inflicted a far more permanent defeat on Selma than Major General James Wilson and the Union Army.
“Sunday’s commemoration will also be significantly quieter. Normally a vibrant event full of symposiums, history and people in downtown Selma, most of this weekend’s commemoration events are virtual in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. …
The virtual bridge crossing will follow much of that same format with a virtual service at Brown Chapel A.M.E starting at 10:00 a.m., followed by a pre-march rally and, finally, the virtual bridge crossing. …”
I grew up in Central Alabama and still live here.
I’ve always considered the annual “Bloody Sunday” march to be one of the biggest jokes in American politics. Every year the same Baby Boomer politicians parachute into Selma, walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge for the annual “Bloody Sunday” photo op/virtue signal and high tail it out of there before sunrise. This year is the first year it is happening without “Civil Rights Icon” John Lewis.
The phrase “Bloody Sunday” makes it sound like something terrible happened like Alabama State Troopers killed a bunch of black people. No one actually died on “Bloody Sunday” though in Selma in 1965. Today though in our own times Selma is one of the poorest, most violent cities in Alabama.
“Two Black bodies were found shot to death on Ceola L. Miller Avenue over the weekend, pushing the number of people murdered in Selma this year to 10, two more than last year, a truly tragic milestone for a city that has desperately tried to rise above the criminal violence that has plagued it for years.
Though other cities in the state record far more murders each year, Selma has struggled to shake its reputation as one of Alabama’s most dangerous cities and a year-to-year increase in murders stands to make that work even more difficult.
Any life needlessly lost is devastating – it marks a life snuffed out long before its natural expiration date, it marks moments of joy and triumph never experienced, it marks the deprivation of existence at the hands of a fellow human – but here, where so many resources have been expended in the fight against such destruction, the sting is so much worse. …”
If you visit Selma in 2021, your experience will be like visiting Pompei. After 50 years of “progress,” Selma has been transformed into a hopeless, blighted, abandoned ghost town. Sure, black people have the right to vote now, but that only benefited professional blacks like John Lewis, Charles Blow and Don Lemon and black people like that sure as hell don’t live anywhere near Selma in 2021!
I’ve been going into nearby Selma for years to document the social and economic decline which I have shared on this blog. No one in the media ever pans the camera around and shows the public what happened to Selma after the marching stopped. Joe Biden came to town in 2013 and left and said nothing about what he saw there except for his prepared lines like all the politicians do. When Obama landed in his helicopter in the post-apocalyptic ruins of Craig Air Force Base for the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act in 2015, the black residents who live there who were being used as props were seen by reporters from The Washington Post scouring a dumpster for aluminum cans and it was reported that one of them had apparently gutted and feasted on the remains of a raccoon whose carcass laid nearby.
We’re told that what happened in Selma in 1965 somehow gives these people a moral halo. I’ve always believed it says something else about them. My own two eyes tell me they are full of shit. If they truly cared about Selma and its people rather than their own self-righteousness, they would admit the obvious that voting rights weren’t the panacea they made it out to be.
Note: Selma isn’t alone in this respect.
If you travel more broadly across the country outside of the booming college towns and affluent suburbs, you will find decay all around you across the Rust Belt, Appalachia and the Great Plains. Rural decay is everywhere and is hardly limited to the Deep South.