The Watcher Cat

The Watcher Cat

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

No, You Are Not Atticus/Nor was Meant to Be

They have to be kidding me:
Alabama is not unique among states in strongly opposing same-sex marriage, and it is not alone in bristling under a federal court order that goes against a substantial popular majority.

It is, however, the only state where probate judges who would issue same-sex marriage licenses were instructed not to comply with a federal court order. “In terms of what’s been going on in marriage equality in the past 18 months, this is really the only type of defiance of its kind,” said Sarah Warbelow, the legal director for the Human Rights Campaign.

Such brazen and often futile campaigns are practically hard-wired into the state’s character. Long after George Wallace’s stand against integration in the schoolhouse door, to which Chief Justice Moore’s stance has been inevitably compared, the state’s record of taking on the federal government in long-shot battles has continued to set it apart even from its conservative neighbors.


“It’s like our oxygen is defiance and our identity is aggrievement,” said Diane McWhorter, an Alabama native and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book about civil rights-era Birmingham, “Carry Me Home.”

While saying that Chief Justice Moore and Wallace were “on the wrong side of history,” Ms. McWhorter also said their losing battles brought to mind one of the icons of Alabama literature, the proto-civil rights lawyer Atticus Finch, who unsuccessfully, and unpopularly, defended a black man in a small-town trial. “What they have in common is their heroism is bound up in the futility of their cause,” she said.
(My italics, her emetics.)

Like Siegfried Farnon, I don't like addressing my readers--or Ms. McWhorter, for that matter--in these terms, but also like him, "I am bound to tell [her] that [she is] talking the most unmitigated balls, bullshit and poppycock."

There is nothing of Atticus Finch in defying a federal court order to keep a historically discriminated against minority from achieving equality. He was firmly in the other camp.

Bob Ewell, maybe. Not Atticus.

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