By Hunter Wallace
“LIVINGSTON, Ala. – Band Director Ryan Campbell watched his Sumter Central High School Tigers marching band strut last week on a field outside the gleaming new public high school in Sumter County.
“Where are the white kids?” a visitor asked.
“At the academy down the road,” Campbell said, referring to private Sumter Academy.
“What’s the future here for these kids?” the visitor asked.
“There’s nothing to do here,” Campbell said. “The best we can do is educate them the best we can.”
“Nothing here.” It’s the image Alabama’s historic Black Belt has fought for decades, often with little help from Montgomery. And new decisions by state leaders have people here wondering if, this time, Alabama is writing off the Black Belt for good. …”
Both articles blame Montgomery for the mess Washington has created here.
1.) The first blow to the Black Belt was the abolition of slavery. The region emerged from the War Between the States relatively unscathed, but Washington never had any plan to restructure the economy beyond the heartfelt superstition that “free labor” is superior to slave labor. Abolition predictably led to economic collapse like it had in the Caribbean.
2.) The second blow was the Republican Party’s domination of the federal government until the 1930s. Whether it was high tariffs, Union Army pensions, lack of credit, or internal improvements, the federal government’s economic policies systematically favored the Northern manufacturing belt over the agrarian ex-Confederate South.
3.) The third blow, which was the most damaging, was successfully imposing the Civil Rights Movement on the South. In the Alabama Black Belt, this led directly to black majority rule and integrated public schools with tiny White minorities all over the region. Washington got its way and the result was a White exodus.
4.) The fourth blow has been globalization since the 1990s. Trade policy is set in Washington and textile jobs and light manufacturing – like the steel industry in Birmingham – have fled the region for China, Mexico, and other Third World destinations. Aquaculture has been driven out of business in many places due to foreign comeptition.
Along the way, the boll weevil and the mechinization of agriculture helped to expedite depopulation. The current state of the region is largely due to Washington’s domination though. Nothing of much importance in settled here at the state or local level.
We’re living out the progressive utopia whether it is free labor, free trade, or civil rights and integration. It doesn’t work here, but then again it doesn’t work anywhere else either.