Dear White Alabama,
I know you don’t me well.
In fact, you don’t me at all. Doubt you would if you could. I am, after all, a Yankee – and one of them “Bernie Bernstein” Jews on top of that.
Probably would help if I told you I was a non-practicing Jew, because that would make me even more of a heathen in your twisted view.
Our connections are few, really. On Sunday mornings, when y’all were at church and hearing your ministers justify your hate from the pulpit, my grandfather – I called him Poppy but, for your sake, I’ll say “Grandpappy” – would break out his string instruments. One of his favorites, played with a banjo on his knee, was “Oh Susannah.”
And once, while on vacation in Florida, all the menfolk gathered round in the hotel lobby and watched the 1973 Sugar Bowl game between Notre Dame and Alabama that received a staggering 25.1 Nielsen rating.
In the neutral ground of South Florida, it was just me and some guy with a twang and a crew cut pulling for y’all. I didn’t quite get all the Notre Dame love, but my next several decades on the planet – and opening some them there American history books — have “learned me up” a bit.
Upon further review, it was probably more dislike for ‘Bama than it was love for and often self-righteous Notre Dame program.
While Notre Dame was a Catholic school born from an era when Catholics did not have many options for higher learning, black student-athletes first showed up in South Bend after World War II and the first non-white football players came in the 1950s.
Meanwhile, Alabama’s Bear Bryant didn’t start recruiting black players until he took that 52-6 ass-whooping against racially mixed USC in 1970.
Here it was, just a few years later, and an Alabama team with black players was looking to secure a national title with a win over Notre Dame.
I would have been a bit peeved, too.
But what did I know? I wasn’t even 8 years old. I was on your side. I was rolling with the Tide (maybe the only Yankee Jew ever to do so).
But yeah, other than that, you don’t know me.
I may as well be an alien from another galaxy.
Sometimes, though, that’s we need when it comes to advice and constructive criticism.
Yes, Alabama, I’m here to tell you that you don’t have much of a positive reputation around the rest of the country.
You are right down there with Mississippi, and that’s nothing to be proud of, is it?
Even some of your other southern brethren – like in Virginia, Tennessee and the Carolinas — are a bit ashamed of you.
On Dec. 12 — 2017 years after the arrival of your lord — you have a chance to begin changing your image a bit.
No one is expecting a complete and total metamorphosis – I’ll wait while you go down to that library place two counties over, wait in line for the one tattered dictionary and look it up – and that would be hypocritical to expect one.
All of us need to look in the mirror. All of us have room for improvement. All of us have skeletons in our closet. All of us could show others a different side of ourselves.
And it has to start someplace.
It can’t be done all at once.
So let’s keep this as small as a plate of grits (I do eat them, and like them, by the way).
This Roy Moore thing – or thang – is that line in the sand.
The rest of us see you one way.
There is a reason I – and many others – have flirted with a brain hemorrhage from laughter while watching “My Cousin Vinny.”
We’re not laughing with you. We’re laughing at you.
We see you as a bunch of separate-water-fountain-drinkin’, lynch-mobbin’, cross-burnin’, toothless-smilin’, big-butt-lovin’, bible-misinterpretin’, gay-hatin’, wildlife-huntin’, George-Wallace-alter-worshipin’, Conferedate-flag-wavin’, tobacky-chewin’ traitors still fighting the Civil War and proud of your low ranking in education.
Show the rest of us we are wrong.
Stereotypes – all stereotypes, up to and including Yankee Jews – are built upon some basis of fact.
But they are patently unfair, because there exceptions to all rules.
Be the exception to that rule on Dec. 12, and do not elect that creepiest of creeps, Roy Moore, for senate.
Show us that you can put what’s right over being white, and that party affiliation is not in the Ten Commandments. Show us what being a Christian is more than selectively absolving people of their sins.
Yeah, yeah … I know your voting machines probably wired to start to overheat once a Democrat, in the post-Dixiecrat era, nears 50 percent.
We’ll send in the fire companies to put out the fires.
And, really, is Moore’s challenger, Doug Jones, so horrible?
It is only recently, since the repeated allegations against Moore being a pedophile surfaced, that he started treating the blacks in your state – a good portion of which can’t vote because of a systematic lockout via crime-and-punishment that would be more akin to North Korea – like actual people.
Yeah, yeah – he prosecuted them “good ‘ol boys” who bombed that church and killed those girls back in the 1960s, but that was one of those steps toward dealing with your history that we discussed earlier, was it not?
And trust me – as much as you can a Yankee Jew – on what I’m about to tell you: Doug Jones, at least by blue-state standards, is pretty much a Republican anyway.
But he’s not a teen-girl-stalkin’, gun-wavin’ caveman like Roy Moore, who probably belongs in jail more than he does in the US Senate.
Even before the allegations, he was so deplorable that Lord Deplorable in the White House didn’t want any parts of his act (UPDATE: He now says, “Got ’em, Roy,” because, well, every day is new low).
So, come Dec. 12, if you do us this solid – that’s Yankee talk – we’ll return the favor.
We’ll bless your hearts.
Gordon L. Glantz
Mayor of Gordonville, USA
As far as Alabama or Auburn players helping the Eagles, we’re still cool.