They do, however, have the Swampers

Gary Yonge writes in The Guardian today about a referendum in the state of Alabama to remove racist language from the state constitution. The effort is more symbolic than political, since the provisions which were to be removed are already illegal (Yonge says as a result of subsequent civil rights legislation; alternatively, they are preempted by the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution). One representative passage, courtesy of the Guardian article:

"Separate schools shall be provided for white and coloured children, and no child of either race shall be permitted to attend a school of the other race."

The referendum to remove the language appears to have narrowly failed, but by a margin small enough to require a recount. So educational apartheid remains in the text of Alabama's basic legal document, because a majority cannot be formed to reject it.

If Alabama were a country, it would be expelled from international organisations, boycotted and isolated. But it isn't. Not that I know what it is.

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