It is of course a violation of every known law on earth, as well as common decency, for Rumpole to read the FACDL listserv. The listserv is private and the contents are intended for their own, dues paying, members, who like an exclusive Boston Back-Bay club, do not want just anybody on their premises (and especially the author of this award-winning blog).
And yet, an FACDL member posted a "Response to Rumpole" which in turn promoted several of the FACDL Member-moles to immediately send it to us. So much for the distaste for snitches.
So here it is. Unedited. A zinger. A response. Written to us, but forbidden fruit- which is of course the sweetest.
I agree with 99.5% of "The N Word" of a few minutes ago. Let's get that on the record. But the last sentence? I've got a bone to pick with that one:
There are judges in Iran and North Korea shaking their heads at this decision.But George Wallace, in whatever ring of Hell he resides, is smiling.(emphasis mine)
Here's what I know, guys: 1) There's no such thing as hell, but that's another discussion for another day. 2) If there were, then George Wallace did more to redeem himself from its fiery pit than maybe any other politician of his former ilk.
Unlike Lester Maddox or Farris Bryant or Jesse Helms (or too many others I could name--some of whom hold office today), George Wallace actually recognized his wrongs and repented. Would it have ever happened if Arthur Bremer hadn't shattered his spine at that shopping center in Laurel, Maryland, in 1972? We'll never know..
But after his rehabilitation, when he returned to office, he not only apologized for his past positions--frequently and publicly--but his policies and appointments were much more humanized, much more sensitive to the realities of his black constituents, than those of most other Southern governors of that era, aside from Jimmy Carter (who, from where I sit, will always be the gold standard). As he was often quoted, "I never knew what it was like to live as a minority in this country until Ibecame one." (This is not just anecdotal--I know this from people who were there and saw it up close and personally.)
Old images do die hard, I understand. But I no longer hear the name "George Wallace" and picture an icon of hatred standing in a schoolhouse door. Instead, I picture him behind his executive desk, in his wheelchair, humbled by his experience, but all the wiser for it, and willing to use the power of his office to make amends as he could. By all accounts, the state of Alabama was all the better for it.
To paraphrase Maya Angelou: He did what he knew.. When he knew better, he did better. I can think of no greater epitaph. We should all aspire to the same.
Tony Moss, Esq.