A small county in rural Alabama is making national news for passing a motion declaring that the second Monday in November will be forever recognized as "Barack Obama Day".
Normally small county resolutions that affect a mere 40 of this nation's 301 million residents would not capture a national audience. In this case however the AP has discovered one of those pivotal occasions where they can pursue what should be an obvious national event while at the same time implying the obvious racism of the rest of the state that supported John McCain "largely on strong support from White voters."
MARION, Ala. - In central Alabama's Perry County, government workers already get a day off for President's Day, Martin Luther King Day, and Veteran's Day. In 2009, they'll get one more: "Barack Obama Day."
The rural county, which overwhelmingly supported Obama in last month's presidential election, has approved the second Monday in November as "The Barack Obama Day." Commissioners passed a measure that would close county offices for the new annual holiday and its roughly 40 workers will get a paid day off.
Perry County has 12,000 residents, most of them Black. Voters there backed Obama by over 70 percent in a state that gave 60 percent of the overall vote to Republican John McCain based largely on strong support from White voters. - Save the date: Ala. county passes Obama holiday
The article also noted that the lone dissenting vote on the county board was a white Democrat that put the county's financial interests ahead of the headline seeking event.
The Perry County Commission's three Black members and one of its two White members voted for the Obama holiday.
Commissioner Brett Harrison said Wednesday he voted against the resolution because of the costs to the county, which has a $2.2 million annual payroll and is one of the poorest in the state. He said closing the courthouse would also idle some state employees.
"I'm a Democrat, but just in these financial times, it's not using the county's money wisely," Harrison told the Associated Press by phone Wednesday. "The recognition is certainly well-founded."
Turner said copies of the resolution, adopted at a Nov. 25 meeting, have been mailed to Obama and his transition team.
Suck up moment? Probably; for both the AP and Perry County Alabama.
I still find it amazing that the Associated press can manage to find racism even in victory; especially since their pre-election machinations of the closeted white racist voter didn't materialize on election day.
But from my perspective this seemingly off handed labeling has more sinister implications. This wink and a nod style journalism has aspects of McCarthyism. Only now the media has new villains, white people that don't support Barack Obama, heterosexuals that don't support gay marriage, parents that propose abstinence as the best way to prevent pregnancy and global warming "deniers" that separate the politics of global warming from the science behind the cyclical nature to the planet's climate. This is just to name a few of the villains, usually Republican, religious and/or southern white Democrat.
As a side note Wikipedia's entry on Perry county has been updated with a verbatim cut and paste of the AP article. Thus the media narrative has become a historical artifact.
Finding a county ruling that affects 40 people in a nation of over 301 million Americans is no small feat. I guess the rest of the population will have to sit in a sort of awed jealousy until other county boards can follow suit; save the date!
Correction: The Wikipedia entry includes an unlabeled attribution to the Yahoo syndication.