There are two very vocal sides to the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act, which was passed back in 2017 by the Republican-led legislature and signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey.
Some say it did not go far enough in creating a punitive measure for violating the law, which imposes a $25,000 fine against cities or counties that remove monuments that have been in place for more than 40 years.
The cities of Mobile, Birmingham and Huntsville all have violated the law by removing monuments and have paid the fine.
Others insist it goes too far, given it takes away power from local governing authorities and transfers it to the State of Alabama.
One of those arguing the latter is outgoing State Rep. Mike Ball (R-Madison). Ball had opposed the measure in 2017 and insists the law remains an overreach to this day.
During an appearance on Mobile radio’s FM Talk 106.5, Ball urged listeners to “get back to the American Revolution” versus “staying in the Civil War.”
“The thing is, we’ve gotten in a time and a place where politics has gotten so far polarized,” he said. “The extreme left, the extreme right — they fight over each other. Right-wing populism, left-wing populism are solidly at war. And one of the things both sides like to do is they like to rewrite history to match their perspective. You know, my background — I was an investigator. A win as an investigator is not winning your theory over other theories like it is in politics and law. An investigation is finding out what happened, what the truth is.”
“And so, there are efforts to rewrite truth and rewrite history according to how they want,” Ball continued. “And back about a hundred years ago, there was a movement here to institute, memorialize, romanticize the Civil War from the direction of one side. And there’s another side now that wants to completely demonize one side over the other. And the side that is in charge was reacting to that. And when we reacted to that and passed the Memorial [Preservation] Act, we went way, way too far in this state, sanctifying these monuments. And they even went way farther than that. They took away naming rights of schools from school boards. And you know, it was a huge departure from bottom-up governance, which is one of the principles the founders of our country put in place.”
“We need to get back to the American Revolution as opposed to staying in the Civil War,” he added.
@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.