Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Growing Up in the Conservative Paradise, Alabama

This was a post I saw on Washington Monthly. It was in a thread discussing the candicacy of Roy Moore for Governor of Alabama and the fanaticism of so many of his followers. It was written by a person whose threadname was Ducktape. It's about growing up in Alabama.

It's nothing new. I spent my teenage years in the "Christian State of Alabama," and was subjected to required school assemblies that were nothing more than fundamentalist harangues against integration under the guise of "moral inspiration."

The price of dissent -- even silent dissent -- was enormously high. As was the price of knowing any more than the uneducated teachers: I got an F for an entire grading period in 7th grade for the crime of telling my social studies teacher that "Arab" and "Italian" weren't pronounced "Ay-rab" and "Eye-talian." I was followed and threatened by the principal with a physical beating ("paddling") when I slipped out of a school assembly where the preacher we were required to listen to was railing on about "n*****s".

My parents (bless them!) scraped together every dime to send me away to boarding school from the tenth grade on, but the last couple of months of my ninth grade year I was subjected to public harrassment by the principal and some of the teachers (interestingly, not the students) because I was going away and "thought I was better than everyone there."

Just in the last couple of weeks, I found out from my mom that the principal had written to the headmaster of my new school and told him that they had made a huge mistake by admitting me, and had alleged a lot of things that I was entirely shocked, even now, to hear.

By the time my next-younger sibling was getting into high school, my dad quit his job and took a lesser position in a company that was located elsewhere, in a good school district NOT in Alabama.

J. Miller's Comment: Anywhere--anywhere--that right-wing fundamentalists have political control, they will use it to force their views down everyone else's throat. Period.

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