My Column in the Ft. Payne Times Journal
Got published as a guest column in the Tuesday, Nov. 15 issue, complete with picture of front cover of Flynt's new book.
Who knows, maybe Randy Owen himself read this and Donnie and Jackie Myers and Martha Barksdale and various librarians across the county, most friendly and some not:
Proud of this one; and I'm satisfied Momma is too:
Letters for Publication
Ft. Payne Times-Journal
I found Henegar's Regina Baker's recent letter to the TJ on Steve Flowers column about Alabama Democrats most interesting. As I remember Flower's piece, he praised the legacy of LBJ for getting things done in the Senate of the United States.
I too read Robert Caro's work on LBJ several years ago but found the upshot of Sidney Blumenthal easily googled piece of 1991 on the 48 Senate Race between LBJ and Coke Stevenson the definitive writing for what is arry in Alabama today. God knows LBJ had his faults but between Coke and LBJ in that race; well as Johnson lore goes, I join the chorus and I'm glad Johnson stole Ballot box 13 in Duval County.
For you see that lives on here in Alabama. Wayne Flynt's new memoir Keeping the Faith champions the legacy of that race as he tells times and again how the Eagle Forum of Eunie Smith and the Baptist activism of her late Bircher husband Albert Lee Smith have thwarted Alabama's chances for progress from Constitutional and Tax Reform to School Reform. At every point the religious right activism of these folks and their kind have distracted and dumbed down the best this state has to offer; at every point frustrating folks from the late Samford President Tom Corts, to the best initiatives of former Governor Brewer, to Auburn Presidents Muse and Philpott to the legacy of former Alabama Baptist Executive Director Earl Potts and his son David.
Now the Eagle Forum as revealed by the Birmingham News was the Jezebel whispering in the ear of Governor Bentley and Scott Beason doing the devil's work on the immigration reform bill. Their affiliation with the Tea Party should be of concern to every New Testament Christian in the state.
Recent works by Darren Dochuk and and Dan Williams shine the light on the legacy of Coke Stephenson and his Texas Regulars to the work of the Smiths in the 60's as they fought the best of the Baptist tradition of Hugo Black on church state issues. And you can see the Eagle Forum DNA now in the Allied Defense Fund of the religious right, dim bulbing the grand work of the Baptist Joint Committee in D.C. which Ft. Payne native daughter Cherilyn Crowe staffs nobly.
Flynt's book should be must reading for Administrative staffs of Ft. Payne and Dekalb County Schools, NACC, and the social studies teachers and promising humanities high school students. Don't take my word for it. I am in grand company with Harper Lee, Rick Bragg, Governor Brewer, Howell Raines and the brightest lights of the last 30 years in Alabama calling on all of you to look in the mirror with me as you read this book.