MONTGOMERY, Ala. (August 2, 2020) – America is changing. Alabama is changing. For the last 50 years, Alabama has struggled to shed its reputation of racism, bigotry, and hatred. In the 1950s and 60s, Alabama stood as the symbol of Jim Crow’s South and typified racial inequality. Although it has been a challenge, the state has made tremendous strides and still has much work to do towards racial reconciliation. Many Alabamians — both black and white — are committed to doing that work. Still, there are some among us who cling to an old Alabama. A racially divided state. One where hatred and bigotry rules the day. On the same day that Alabama honored its native hero and civil rights titan John Lewis, Will Dismuke, an Alabama legislator, participated in the celebration of the KKK’s first Grand Wizard.
As if celebrating the violent, divisive figure wasn’t enough, Dismuke posted mementos of the celebration on social media. Surely, the timing of the social media post was intended to be a not so subtle dog whistle that Nathan Bedford Forrest should be the one honored on that day and not the Honorable John Lewis. Notwithstanding the motive, Representative Will Dismuke’s gesture was vile, repugnant and beneath the dignity of the legislature. As such, the Alabama Lawyers Association (“ALA”) request that Representative Dismuke tender his resignation to the legislature and not seek public office again until he commits to serving all people. Alabama will move forward—despite the “Will Dismukes” among us.