First term Mississippi state house representative Gene Alday, a republican, hails from the tiny hamlet of Walls. It is tucked away in the far northwest corner of the state, close enough to Memphis, TN to be considered part of its extended metro area. Walls was called Alpika up until 1906 when the town fathers renamed it in honor of civil war veteran Captain June Walls who settled there in the 1880s. Presumably Captain Walls served in the confederate army, or navy, because there aren't a whole lot of burgs in the deep south named after soldiers who fought for the union.
The current population of Walls is a little over 1,200 human beings. According to a 2014 demographic breakdown 60% of them are African American while 34% are of Anglo/European descent.
57 year old Gene Alday is one of the 34%. His bio says he was born in Tunica, MS, attended Northwest Jr. College, and Elkins Institute. In addition he did stints as both the chief of police and mayor.
He is also the type of guy the late Captain Walls would have probably voted for.
The other day he was interviewed by a writer from the Jackson, MS newspaper, the Clarion-Ledger. The talk was supposed to be about an increase in state education funding and in particular additional monies to improve literacy in the Magnolia State. As you can probably guess, because he is a rube republican, Mr. Alday is against all that.
Unfortunately for him, in the middle of the interview with reporter, Jerry Mitchell, the representative of state house district 25 went off track just a tad. According to Mitchell, one of the reasons Alday opposes an increase in school funding is because, "I come from a town where all the blacks are getting food stamps and what I like to call crazy welfare checks. They don't work."
He went on to describe a visit he made to a local emergency room. "I liked to died," he said. "I was there for hours because they (black people) were in there being treated for gunshots."
Yes, sometimes the new south looks disturbingly like the old one.
According to the Huffington Post when the interview hit the pages of the Clarion-Ledger both Mississippi's governor and speaker of the house began jabbering all sorts of stuff about how Alday's comments didn't reflect the values of the state's republicans. House Speaker, Joe Gunn was careful to cover not only the local GOP's ass, but his own when he said Alday's opinion didn't reflect the views of the republican party, or the leadership of the house of representatives--in other words, him.
Alday immediately began spewing the usual litany of excuses. He told a Jackson TV station, "I didn't say anything wrong. The interview--he just took me out of context." His other complaints included, "He called me late at night," and "He asked for one thing and started asking for another." That's right, I was tired, or drunk, or just plain too stupid to understand the questions. The elevator finally plunged full speed into the basement when he said he thought he'd been speaking off the record.
Here is the truth, Brother Alday. If you said it, whether you're off the record, or not, everyone knows you believe it.
However, that sort of Mr. Obvious logic didn't deter him. He told the TV station, "I'm definitely not a racist at all. I mean I get along with everybody and I've spent a lot of time helping people." He went on to say, "In my little town they had little civil rights walks and I was with them. I'm with everybody."
That's right, "they" had little civil rights walks in Walls. Well, it appears, "they" need to have a few more because it sure looks like a lot of that 60% of the population isn't able to vote for one reason or another.
Let's face it, how else can you explain a cretin like Gene Alday holding an elected office in a place where "they" don't work.
If there are any questions I'll be in the bar.