|When the primary form of job opportunity is working at a state-run liquor store, it's time to rethink the whole notion of racial equality|
The only reason it's economically disadvantaged is because it's an area devoid of whites and with a surplus of blacks:
Kimberly Spruell has to travel 45 miles to the nearest Walmart; 80 miles to the nearest mall; 42 miles to a hospital with more than four doctors; and now 45 miles to the driver's license office.
She used to go to the state park for picnics but now that's been shut down.For years, residents of Wilcox County like Spruell have believed the state's elected officials had a certain disregard for the Black Belt. And when the state legislature passed measures Sept. 30 to combat the General Fund budget deficit, Wilcox County was directly affected.Spruell must drive those great distances to find a Walmart, a mall, and a hospital, because the area where she lives is proof of the Visible Black Hand of Economics: businesses and outside capital investment have determined "Alabama's Black Belt" would put them in the red if they dared open up shop there.
All those living in the Black Belt have going for them is a few state-run liquor stores the black population once kept solvent... but now the state is closing those too. [Alabama's Black Belt feels the state cuts: 'There's nothing to do here.', Al.com, 10-11-15]:
Band Director Ryan Campbell watched his Sumter Central High School Tigers marching band strut last week on a field outside the gleaming new public high school in Sumter County.
"Where are the white kids?" a visitor asked.
"At the academy down the road," Campbell said, referring to private Sumter Academy.
"What's the future here for these kids?" the visitor asked.
"There's nothing to do here," Campbell said. "The best we can do is educate them the best we can."
"Nothing here." It's the image Alabama's historic Black Belt has fought for decades, often with little help from Montgomery. And new decisions by state leaders have people here wondering if, this time, Alabama is writing off the Black Belt for good.
So far this fall, state government has:
- Closed every state park south of I-20 and west of I-65 in the Black Belt
- Closed 11 offices where people can get their first driver's license, which is the primary identification they'll soon need to vote
The loss of driver's license offices and the link between driver's licenses and the voter ID law drew national attention. National media excoriated the state, and the Department of Justice was asked to investigate. Jesse Jackson paid a visit last week, and Gov. Robert Bentley insisted the cost-cutting had nothing to do with race.
- Announced plans to closed [sic] five of the area's state liquor stores which could mean layoffs in an area where jobs are few
But added to spotty cellphone and Internet service, shuttered hospitals, de facto segregated schools, hollowed-out small towns, and not enough good jobs, the closings have Black Belt leaders worried.In a sane world, whites in South Africa - increasingly being disenfranchised and targeted for extinction by the state - would be granted refugee status and allowed to settle in Alabama's Black Belt region, immediately turning the area into one where the primary goal upon graduating high school wasn't getting a job at a liquor store...
In our insane world, white people will be blamed endlessly for the sorry conditions black people create in the absence of whites...