What is Roy Moore’s record on civil rights? (Real-Time News from AL.com)

What is Roy Moore’s record on civil rights?

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On the campaign trail, Republican U.S. Senate candidate raised eyebrows when he said the last time America was great was when families were united “even though we had slavery.”

But Moore’s history of questionable remarks and actions on civil rights dates back to before the campaign.

In 2004, Moore opposed proposed Amendment 2 to the Alabama Constitution, which would have stricken language mandating that schools be segregated and makes mention of poll taxes. He argued that the real motivation behind the amendment, which narrowly failed, was to increase funding for public schools, and therefore increase taxes, according to an October 2004 Birmingham News story. Moore also pointed out that the U.S. Supreme Court already declared segregation unconstitutional, making the amendment moot.

“This is a hidden agenda. It’s a bait-and-switch. It deceives people to think it’s about race and poll tax, both of which have been declared unconstitutional and repealed in instances,” he told the Montgomery Advertiser at the time.

The issue came up again in 2011, when the amendment was also defeated, this time by a larger margin. Moore said the amendment was bad for Alabama’s image because it reminded voters of the state’s past.

“Painting Alabama as still racist is not a good thing for our state,” he told the Associated Press in a March 2011 interview.

In 2001, during Moore’s first stint as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, he denied a suggestion by black lawmakers to include a statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. alongside a monument to the Ten Commandments in the state judicial building, along with quotes from King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Moore was ousted over the Ten Commandments monument because it favored one religion over others in government space.

“The placement of a speech of any man alongside the revealed law of God would tend in consequence to diminish the very purpose of the Ten Commandments Monument,” Moore wrote to the lawmakers, the Birmingham News reported in September 2001.

Moore eventually paid for a King monument in the building’s rotunda, but black lawmakers said they were dissatisfied with Moore’s decision not to include excerpts from that speech but instead from King’s April 16, 1963, Birmingham jail letter.

“It looks OK. It’s not a bad plaque, but the inscription on the plaque is nothing we recommended,” state Rep. Alvin Holmes, D-Montgomery, told the News.

In 2003, during the Ten Commandments controversy, Moore compared himself to King in his fight to keep the statue. He made the comparison after the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals likened Moore’s stance to that of “those Southern governors,” such as then-Alabama Gov. George Wallace, who defied court orders to desegregate.

“Oh, it’s far different from what Wallace did. Wallace stood in the doorway to keep people out. We’re trying to keep God in. Wallace stood for division. We’re standing for unity. This is more like what Martin Luther King did in standing for rights for the people of Alabama and the people across this nation,” Moore said in an October 2003 interview with CNN. “Our rights come from God, and if we do not acknowledge God, we do not know where our rights come from. Indeed, we stand for the proposition that all men are created equal because they’re ‘endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'”

Moore’s Ten Commandments statue also drew the ire of the American Jewish Congress, which filed a complaint against Moore in 2003 over the then-chief justice’s vow to ignore court orders to remove the monument because courts have been proven wrong before.

“There is a higher law. That’s the whole point,” Moore told the AP . “The U.S. Supreme Court was wrong in 1857 in the Dred Scott decision when they said black people were property. In the 1940s, the courts in Germany were wrong when they allowed the slaughter of millions of Jewish people. And our courts today in this country are wrong when they restrict the acknowledgment of God in our schools and other public institutions.”

In 2015, Moore invoked segregation when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage. He said the court ruling was “worse” than its decision affirming segregation.

“I believe it’s worse because it affects our entire system of morality and family values,” he told CNN in an interview.

In September, during a campaign rally in Florence, Moore was asked by a black attendee when he thought the last time the country was great. Moore didn’t give an exact time period, but said it was “when families were united” despite slavery.

“I think it was great at the time when families were united — even though we had slavery — they cared for one another…. Our families were strong, our country had a direction,” he said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Moore campaign could not immediately be reached for comment.

Alabama

via Real-Time News from AL.com http://bit.ly/2zzWl2c

December 7, 2017 at 11:15AM