Roy Moore: A relic of the old racist South

By Dorothy Inman-Johnson
Special to the Outlook

Roy Moore, Alabama’s GOP U.S. Senate candidate, is under investigation for alleged sexual assaults against minor females when he was in his thirties and his accusers were ages 14, 16, 17, and 19 at the time of the incidents. This is the same Roy Moore who recently stated on the campaign trail, “I want to see virtue and morality returned to our country and God is the only source of our law, liberty, and government”. I wonder how many other young girls have had similar experiences with him since, but have been afraid to come forward against a man in powerful positions like assistant district attorney or Supreme Court Chief Justice in Alabama.

The apple does not fall far from the GOP tree with the current President boastful that his celebrity and wealth gave him the freedom to make unwanted advances against women. In Alabama, however, the Trump slogan “Make America Great Again” harkens back to a time for white men when they held all the power, and women and minorities knew their place. These feelings have never been more pronounced as they are in states in the deep South like Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Roy Moore is a product of that era.  In Alabama and Mississippi, though Barack Obama won 98 percent of the Black vote in those states, he received only 10 percent of Alabama’s White vote and 11 percent of the White vote in Mississippi. In Louisiana the Black vote was 94 percent with only 14 percent  of White support for Obama. In spite of the White vote deficit in most southern states, Obama was propelled to victory in the 2008 Presidential Election with 365 electoral votes over John McCain’s 173; and spent eight scandal free years as one of the most highly regarded presidents nationally and internationally in our history.

Yet, Roy Moore’s foundation (Foundation for Moral Law), under the direction of his wife Kayla Moore, released a video falsely claiming Obama was a Muslim and pushed the debunked Birther theory claiming Obama was not a U.S. citizen. It was men like Roy Moore who denied basic rights of citizenship to Black residents until laws were passed to force compliance; just as it took a Civil War to force these same states to free the slaves. And the comments from white GOP leaders about Moore’s accusers show they have the same lack of respect for women as they have for Black people. These are just a few of the quotes in support of Moore after being accused of molesting a 14 year old girl. Alabama State Representative Ed Henry said of Moore’s accusers, “If they believe this man is predatory, they are guilty of allowing him to exist for 40 years. I think someone should prosecute and go after them”; the blame the victim tactic. The Marion County GOP chairman stated, “I really don’t see the relevance of it. He was 32. She was supposedly 14. She’s not saying that anything happened other than they kissed”. Though that alone is a crime, the 14 year old accused Moore of much more lewd behavior. Geneva County GOP Chairman Seibenhener seemed oblivious to the law when he stated, “Moore isn’t being accused of ‘forcible rape’. I know that 14 year olds don’t make good decisions”. It’s very instructive that this guy does not understand that any rape is forcible; and further that he does not hold the 32 year old man accountable for his bad decisions. Bibb County Republican Chairman Jerry Pow said he would vote for Moore even if he did commit a sex crime against a girl. But the worst comment by far was to imply that the birth of Jesus somehow can be compared to Moore’s behavior with this minor child.

The overwhelming opinion by most GOP leaders made it clear they would rather support Moore and elect a possible pedophile to represent Alabama in Congress than to allow Democrat, Doug Jones, to be elected. You might ask what Doug Jones did to make him so hated by Republicans and many White voters in Alabama. His crime is simply not being racist and not being Republican in a state characterized by both. Instead, as a U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Alabama appointed by President Bill Clinton, Jones made sure the last two Klansmen responsible for bombing the 16th Street Baptist Church that killed 4 little Black girls were finally brought to justice.

Moore, twice removed as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court for repeatedly violating the Constitution and U.S. Supreme Court decisions, claims to be the biggest Bible thumping Christian in the state while willfully violating God’s and man’s laws. He does not deserve to be trusted in any position of leadership. And we certainly do not need more like him in Congress.

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