In a move that had been rumored for the last few weeks, former U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner has assumed the role as chief of staff for Gov. Kay Ivey.
Last November after Ivey was elected to a full term, Bonner was named a senior adviser to Ivey.
Bonner is replacing outgoing chief of staff Steve Pelham, who will become Auburn University’s vice president for economic development and the chief of staff to Auburn University President Steven Leath.
It was a day of celebration, unity and tremendous optimism as Governor Kay Ivey and other statewide elected officials were officially sworn into office on Monday.
The weather played into the symbolism of the occasion, as a cold, overcast day – a storm almost certainly imminent – gradually became sunnier and sunnier as the afternoon pushed on, much like the outlook of the state under Ivey’s steady guidance.
Political insiders and everyday Alabamians from every nook and cranny of the state gathered in front of the Alabama State Capitol steps for the inauguration ceremony, which began promptly at 10:00 a.m. From the state’s richest man to the single mom who checked her little girls out of school just to see Ivey’s historic oath of office, it was a day that transcended the lines that divide us.
Because Ivey’s inauguration message of “Keep Alabama Growing” is a theme meant for all. It is a message of hope – that even a little girl from Camden, Alabama can rise to be duly elected as the state’s chief executive through hard work and perseverance.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff to honor Birmingham Police Sgt. Wytasha Carter, who was killed in the line of duty on Sunday.
“I am directing flags be flown at half-staff as a mark of respect for Birmingham Police Sergeant Wytasha Carter who was killed in the line of duty early Sunday, January 13, 2019,” Ivey said in a statement. “Sergeant Carter laid down his life protecting the people of Birmingham, and the entire state of Alabama mourns this tremendous loss.”
"Frontier Airlines will begin direct flights from Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport on April 11, the airline announced today. Frontier Airlines will start by offering direct service to Denver, Orlando and Philadelphia from Birmingham. Introductory prices will start at $39."
"At 87, Clint Eastwood is not only trying new things, he’s trying daring new things, and his new film 15:17 to Paris represents one of the most audacious gambits of his career. To dramatize the tale of three Americans who tackled and subdued a heavily armed Islamist terrorist on a train out of Amsterdam in 2015, Eastwood cast the young men, none of whom had professional acting experience, as themselves. It’s a decision with little precedent in the entire history of motion pictures."
But, someway, somehow, when this pastor puts this racist garbage on his church, I hear people saying there’s some truth to what he’s saying. Let me say this to everybody: A broke clock is right twice a day; that doesn’t make it right.
The same garbage that I hear being spewed — that there’s some truth in what he’s saying — is the same thing the Ku Klux Klan said when they tried to justify what they were doing. Racism is racism, whether it’s black or white — it’s wrong on any front — and I’m sick and tired of sitting here waiting, listening to people trying to give an excuse for it.
We demonize the white man when he shows racism or we think there’s racism, but when it comes to the black community, if somebody spews racism, we say, “Oh, they can’t be racist.”
Yes, they can.
And let me say this: For everybody that thinks that every white person is out to get the black community, it’s not true.
Are there racist people in the world? Yes. Are there racist black people in this world? Yes. And, at the end of the day, will racism ever go away? No, it won’t, but there are white people who truly want to do something to help.
WATCH Lockett share these thoughts:
Now, I don’t know Pastor Hodges personally, but everything I’ve seen these people do from Highlands, and from everything I’ve researched, I haven’t heard anything bad, that they’re trying to take over the community, trying to get black people to leave the Church of the Highlands to go to the black Church of the Highlands because they don’t want the black people in the white Church of the Highlands.
Last I checked from everybody I know, they’re diversified to the hilt and it’s not 50/50, but there’s a lot of blacks that have been going to the Church of the Highlands for a long time.
It’s time for people to wake up and stop buying into this racism crap.
Now, let me pause and not say “racism crap” — the “racism rhetoric” that we’re hearing. Everything in America is not racism and if we continue, like we’re doing now, to holler racism about every single thing, when true racism shows its ugly head, no one is going to listen because people are tired of hearing it.
Now, when we’re talking about the church, we’ve got two men of the cloth here. My question is: What you have to say, you couldn’t call that man to sit down with the pastor and see what his reasoning was and see what the program was? You had to put that out there? I don’t agree with it. I think it’s horrible.
The First Amendment, everybody has a right to freedom of speech, just like I’m doing right now, but let me just ask this question: What the hell does the black community want? Do we want an answer to problems or, if a black person doesn’t find the answer, it can’t be right because it’s white?
Let me say that again: Do black people want an answer to their problems or, if it’s white, it can’t be right? Think about that because here’s a man, a pastor in a congregation, saying, “Hey, we want to help.” Now, do we know it’s going to help? We don’t know, but one thing I know for sure, what we’re doing right now is not working.
I don’t have the right answers — my program’s not working — and whatever other programs that we are doing in our communities right now are not curbing the violence and stopping crime. So, if these people want to come in and it works, why not implement their program in your church? Or, if you have a program that’s working, why don’t you show the mayor what you’re doing and he’ll implement that?
But to go out and crucify and demonize somebody trying to help you and not asking for taxpayers’ money — he couldn’t come after that — they’re not asking for your money from your church — they’re not asking for that — and they’re bringing their own funds and their own resources and so we demonize that?
We say we want help. “What is the white man going to do? When are they going to lend a hand?” But, now they’re trying and we’re saying that we don’t want it — some people are — even if it’s coming from the church.
In our community, when are we going to realize that there are some times that we have to open our hearts? Yes, we’ve been hurt. Yes, white people have screwed us over. Yes, but we did not get our civil rights by ourselves.
And let me say this in closing: Black people community, if we’re ever going to move forward, we have to understand we always have to be optimistic and we always have to remember our heritage but there are cases where sometimes people just want to help.
And, if we are true Christians at the end of the day and you believe in God, it doesn’t matter the color of a man or woman’s skin that brings the help to you. If God is sending help, He’s sending help and, sometimes, we just need to listen and obey.