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Alabama voters have opportunity to redefine their racist constitution

The state of Alabama has a long and entrenched history of white supremacy originating from American chattel slavery and Jim Crow. Although several Southern states have mostly distanced themselves from their racist roots, Alabama's state constitution, which was written in 1901, has retained language referencing segregation, poll taxes, and anti-miscegenation laws.

John Knox, the president of Alabama's constitutional convention in 1901, plainly stated the goals of the racist constitution when it was ratified over a century ago: “The new constitution eliminates the ignorant negro vote, and places the control of our government where God Almighty intended it should be -– with the Anglo-Saxon race.”

Although all of these legislative blights are remnants of the past, their continued inclusion in Alabama's constitution highlights the historical persistence of white supremacy in this state, and country overall.

Alabama voters will have the power on Tuesday Nov. 8th to ratify a new constitution that erases this language from its contents, and show how far they've come as a state.

“This is an effort to show, not only the rest of the country, but the world who we are today,” said Alabama Representative Merika Coleman.


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