Tuesday, June 22, 2021

redneck mystic musings from Redneck Kingdom Alabama

A Birmingham, Alabama native I met in the Key West homeless shelter posted on Facebook yesterday.

Sloan Bashinsky

I’m from the Redneck Kingdom, too, and like you, am from Birmingham, which was run by whites until about when George Wallace apologized (he said) his segregation forever ways. It’s a blue belly city now, surrounded by mostly white burbs and mostly redneck countrysides. Trump strongholds. Was thinking a little while ago, if blues are Marxists, does that make reds Nazis?

One thing that seems to unite reds and blues in Alabama is school sports, especially football and basketball, where blacks are crucial and even dominant on team rosters. 

Imagine Alabama's head football Coach Nick Saban winning national championships with only white players? Not imaginable. Imagine Coach Saban winning national championships with only black players. Imaginable.

Last September (2020), Coach Saban upset a lot of Alabama reds when he led a black lives matter march of Alabama athletes, coaches and staff across the Tuscaloosa campus. 



After the BLM march, Coach Saban spoke where Alabama Governor George Wallace once stood defying Alabama National Guardsmen. The National Guardsmen won that football game, the school was integrated. 

It took much longer for Alabama's football team to integrate.

The Crimson Tide started getting beat by integrated schools such as Southern Cal and Nebraska. Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant for some time had wanted to integrate his team. Alabama fans and politicians, nearly all white, were tired of losing to Southern Cal and Nebraska.

Coach Bryant recruited black football players. The Crimson Tide won more games. 

The Southeastern Conference integrated. Southern public lower, middle and high school sports integrated. Private white school sports integrated. To win games.

Along the way, some people tried to get Coach Bryant to run against George Wallace. They thought only Coach Bryant, alleged to walk on water, could beat Wallace. Coach Bryant considered it, then decided he was a football coach, not a politician. 

By and by, Wallace ran for president on a States Rights Party ticket. He drew a large national following of what today might be called MAGAs. 

By and by, Wallace was shot in the gut and he had to tend to that a good while. He didn't recover well, he was crippled. He said he was wrong about segregation, he courted blacks, some went over to his side.

I don't know how all of that played out in the afterlife. I know in Alabama today, nearly all reds are white people. I know those white people, who are Crimson Tide fans, were very happy that Coach Saban's mostly black team won all the marbles last year, and are hoping the same will happen this year.

Even as most of those reds believe blacks stole the 2020 election from Donald Trump. Trump started and continues to feed that white lives matter movement.

Meanwhile, the United States Supreme Court yesterday handed down its unanimous decision that college athletes are entitled to modest compensation from their schools for putting life and limb at risk and making their schools a whole lot of money.

While the Alabama state legislature moves toward passing a law that allows Alabama college athletes to make money off autographs, endorsements, etc. I can imagine back Crimson Tide football stars making a bit more money from that than their white teammates.

If that state law passes, I think it will open lots of cans of as yet unrecognized worms. Perhaps colleges such as Alabama simply pay their athletes a fair standard salary and a bonus based on how well they perform. Isn't that how American corporate executives are paid?

sloanbashinsky@yahoo.com

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