Alabama is attempting to revise it’s racist past by taking steps to posthumously pardon one of the most publicized cases of false imprisonment in black history.
Via ABCNews reports:
Nine black teens who were wrongly convicted of rape more than 80 years ago are set to receive posthumous pardons.
The nine “Scottsboro Boys” were accused of gang rape by two white women in Alabama in the early 1930s. With the exception of one boy, all were convicted by white juries and sentenced to death row. The allegations, however, were false. While they were eventually freed without executions, the boys languished for years in prison, missing out on opportunities for education, jobs, marriage and life in general. The last of the men passed away nearly 25 years ago.
Now, Alabama is trying to right past racial injustices and improve its reputation. The state House and Senate have voted unanimously in favor of a bill to posthumously pardon the teens. Governor Robert Bentley is expected to sign it.
While civil rights organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) lauded the decision, they said that racial tensions still exist, and that there is more work to do.
NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous pointed out to the Associated Press that Alabama is currently involved in a Supreme Court case involving whether a section of the Voting Rights Act should be upheld.
Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 requires places with a history of discrimination, including Shelby County, Alabama, to obtain preclearance before altering their voting laws. Shelby County says the law unfairly punishes them for past injustices, but voter rights groups, including the NAACP and a group of Latino advocacy organizations, say voters who don’t speak English as a first language continue to be discriminated against, and that voter-roll purges unfairly target minorities.
“Unfortunately,” Jealous told the AP, “Alabama still needs to consider its present.”
This is one of the most infamous cases in AMERICA’s shady history — forget about Alabama. Of the nine men falsely accused of forcing sex on two train-riding skanky white girls (who were definitely spreading legs for white men) some of them were not even physically able to have sex at all! They had their names torn down and the shame of being attached to this case. It’s great that they’re being pardoned now — but Alabama owes them and their families more than just a pardon.
And we agree with Ben Jealous — there are plenty of steps the state needs to take to address racism HERE and NOW!