Nov 19, 2023

My Vote FOR George Wallace


The year was 1982, and the choice in the Alabama Governor's race was this:

The Democratic nominee: Racist George Wallace.

The Republican nominee: Racist Montgomery Mayor Emory Folmar.

As Steve Flowers writes in his weekly column, Wallace was trying to reform his image and in fact had gone to Rev. MLK's church asking for, and receiving, forgiveness in 1979.

"He ran on the race issue and segregation for decades. He rode that horse as long as he could. However, when Black Alabamians were given the right to vote in 1965 and soon after constituted 25% of the Democratic primary electorate, Wallace instantly changed his stripes and went down Dexter Avenue to the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s church and had a conversion experience and begged forgiveness for exploiting the race issue. The Black voters forgave Wallace and elected him governor that last term in 1982. 


The wheelchair Wallace used in later years.

   The 1982 election was the only time I voted for Wallace, backed into that decision by Folmar's nomination.

From an article in The Christian Science Monitor:

Emory Folmar openly labels the Democratic Party the party of black radicals. With a pistol strapped to his belt to symbolize his commitment to law and order, he defends ''honest, hard-working white men'' against ''welfare blacks.'' ''Affirmative action,'' he concludes, ''is un-American.''

A day after I moved from Birmingham to Montgomery to host "For The Record" on Alabama Public TV, I heard a live interview with Folmar and was shocked at his views. Wallace appeared to be a logical choice, so I  held my nose and cast my ballot for him.

     If Folmar ever asked for forgiveness, I'm unaware of it. 

1 comment:

  1. Tim I was a lawyer in my early thirtys in 1980. I became local county chairman of the Wallace campaign. Not because of what he had done in the past, which I abhored, but because both the Democratic and the Republican alternatives were worse. George Mac Millan sold his soul as Lt. Governor to ALFA on the current use property tax comstitutional amendment that will make Alabama poor forever and the openly racist Republican who set the tone for today's Republican party.