I received a copy of this in my inbox the other day:
“Dear Hunter Wallace & The League of the South Members,
We’d like to officially welcome you to the beautiful and historic Selma, Alabama. We read your sentiments about being too scared to show up in Wetumpka, so you chose our hometown, Selma, and our historic bridge as your next choice. Very good decision! We only wish you had chosen to come later in the day when Selma’s citizens were actively going about their day. In case you were unaware, Selma and the Edmund Pettus Bridge are famous symbols of the strides made to change voting rights in the United States. The bridge, named after a deplorable Confederate officer, is a symbol of hope and victory for all people in this country. It is a warm reminder that minorities in this country are not going anywhere and will be treated as equal men. It is for this reason that our bridge is recognizable all around the world and a beacon of hope for so many, so I can see why you chose it as the background for your early morning photoshoot. Who wouldn’t want to stand where the great men and women of the Selma to Montgomery March stood? It’s a no-brainer!
Did you know that Selma, Alabama is a predominately black community? With Dallas county being one of the poorest counties in the state and our incredibly high crime rate, we’re surprised that you had the gall to come into the city limits, let alone post up on our bridge and take pictures. While we might not have the best reputation in terms of poverty and crime rates, we are not ignorant to the existence of hatred, bigotry or racism from some of our white sisters and brothers. We know that the current political climate in the U.S. has you convinced that being outwardly hateful and distasteful is a fun trend that will go unpunished, but we advise you to be very careful about where and when you decide to show up. We certainly advise that if you decide to “show up” in Selma again, to also “show out” and make your presence known. How blissfully ignorant it must be to make a grand statement when there is no opportunity for those who oppose to respond. You mentioned in your press release (if you’d like to call it such. We’ve seen better.) that an SPLF representative was waiting for you in Wetumpka and publishing false stories about your “organization”. We can assure you that you will not have those types of problems in our town. You see, we will wait for you but false stories will be the least of your worries. If you’re interested in finding out what you should be worried about, we advise you to come back for a mid-day visit. You might even want to take a tour. We’re certain that you’ll be met with the same hospitality that our young people give each other.
On the outside looking in, it may seem as though we are divided. This could very well be true, but I can’t think of anything else that would unite us more than a group of disgusting, ignorant, imbeciles congregated on our beloved bridge spewing hate. So again, we encourage it. We look forward to your next visit to the birth place of the Civil Rights Movement. We hope this letter reaches you with the warmest regards.
The Concerned Citizens of Selma, Alabama
It appears that someone in Selma was highly offended by the recent League of the South flash demonstration on the Edmund Pettus Bridge:
I figured out who wrote the “open letter” this morning:
??NEW POST ALERT!!!??
Thanks again to my friend Jasmine Jones who allowed me to repost her letter on my site directed to The League of the South and their recent visit to Selma.
BE SURE TO LIKE, SHARE, AND SUBSCRIBE!!#Blogger… https://t.co/l7NR9ChJxV pic.twitter.com/TAmrrUpUeF
— Collins Pettaway, III, M.S. (@CPettaway3) July 17, 2018
Jasmine Oliva is from Selma and lives in Birmingham:
“All this city got is history. If this bridge wasn’t here, it would just be another f—-d-up place nobody would visit.” – Arsenio Gardner, Selma resident
“We’re tired and too old to be hearing 96 rounds at night. We want to go to bed at night and not hear gunshots.” – Selma City Councilwoman Jannie Thomas
I’ve been coming to Selma for years now. If memory serves, I was last there in January 2017 to take photos for the launch of Paul Kersey’s book The Truth About Selma: What Happened When the Cameras Left and the Marching Stopped. I wrote the preface for that book.
There is nothing beautiful about historic Selma in the 21st century except for the Confederate graveyard. Selma is a dirty, impoverished, blighted, crime infested wasteland. You’re right that it has the distinction of being one of the worst places to live in the United States. I’ve used an image above of the sight that greeted me on my last visit. Even the Shabbat group from Washington, DC which was visiting when I was there called it “a place that feels like an enormous prison with a Wal-Mart.”
What would be the point of the League of the South coming back to Selma in the middle of the day? Does anyone from around here go to Selma these days for anything except to gawk at the spectacular ruin? I’ve been through Selma many times on Friday nights and Saturday afternoons and even then it is still a ghost town full of idle gangbangers, abandoned houses and boarded up businesses that is slowly retrograding to the wilderness. The only thing missing in downtown Selma is tumbleweeds. I noticed that you have plenty of “No More Violence” yard signs though.
The Edmund Pettus Bridge is a symbol of the folly that was the Civil Rights Movement. I love to take friends who are visiting Alabama on tours of Selma and Dallas County for they can behold the result of the Civil Rights Movement with their own eyes. Here is a place where all social and economic progress has ground to a halt and civilization itself is collapsing after a half century of Rep. John Lewis marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge for civil rights. General Sherman’s March to the Sea wasn’t as devastating as John Lewis was to the local economy of Selma and Dallas County.
A few years ago, President Obama came to Selma for the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. He landed in what The Washington Post called “the post-apocalyptic landscape” of Craig Air Force Base. Imagine what must have went through the mind of the first black president as he passed through the Selmont area where a resident of Selma had just speared, gutted and roasted a raccoon and feasted on its carcass in front of the national news media. Obama put on a brave face when he marched across that bridge and smiled for the cameras. He never gave any indication of the living conditions he must have saw around him in Selma which are significantly worse than many Third World countries.
(MLK wrote the first draft of the Voting Rights Act in Selma)
You act like I have never heard of the Voting Rights Act. This is the home of Amelia Boynton Robinson, the “matriarch of the Voting Rights Act,” who passed away in 2015. This is where MLK wrote the first draft of the Voting Rights Act. It still stands in Selma as just another blighted, boarded up wreck. President Trump should designate it as the Rose Sanders National Monument.
(Rose was recently arrested in Selma for stealing yard signs)
(Thank God. Where would Selma be without her?)
Last time I checked, Selma had a black mayor, a black majority city council, a black district attorney, a black police chief, a majority black police force, a black school superintendent, 99 percent black public schools, a black US representative, a black state senator and a black state representative. While I am sure there has been some turnover in recent years, Dallas County voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton. The Voting Rights Act has succeeded in empowering black people in Selma and Dallas County. Congratulations, you now control every elected office of significance in Selma.
Now, I am sure you would love for the League of the South to return to Selma. After all, it is always 1965 in Selma and “racism” and “white supremacy” is the perpetual scapegoat for all of your problems. We can assume the role of the villains while you play the heroes. I have no doubt that you would love to “show out” in a big confrontation on the Edmund Pettus Bridge and make a scene for the national media. Rep. John Lewis could parachute into town for a photo op and you could all hold hands, sing “We Shall Overcome” with Al Sharpton and have another big LARP fest like you do every year there when you pointlessly reenact the Selma-to-Montgomery March.
(No one LARPs harder than Selma)
That’s not going to happen. We’re not going to take the bait. You’ve been living off the fumes of that fake news narrative created in 1965 for over half a century now. Pretty much the last thing that Selma needs in the 21st century is more civil rights LARPing and grandstanding.
I think I will take you up on your offer and return to Selma in the middle of the day though. I will come back quietly, drive around town and take a bunch of photos of Selma’s decline which I will upload to an album on Flickr. We will shoot some video, cut it up and make a documentary. The point will be to show outsiders what Selma looks like 50 years after the Civil Rights Movement. I think we will also drive out to Valley Grande to see where civilization is being rebuilt in Dallas County.
Good post from Eric here about the Selma mall. That’s your real problem. I travel to Selma once a year to snap photos and document the decline. I’ve been coming since 2011.
Note: I did this last year shortly before the Trump inauguration, but I lost all my photos when Twitter deleted my account.