Ivey: “I offer my heartfelt apologies for the pain and embarrassment this causes, and I will do all I can – going forward – to help show the nation that the Alabama of today is a far cry from the Alabama of the 1960s.”
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) is facing calls for her resignation following the unearthing of a college skit from 52 years ago. Back in 1967, Ivey performed in a skit called “cigar butts” in which she wore blackface.
This will be the first test of “Democrat privilege” whereby Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and AG Mark Herring weathered photos of blackface surfacing from the 1980s. Is it only Democrats who are “privileged” enough to survived decades-old indiscretions? Or did Democrats lose a valuable piece of political weaponry in letting Northam slide?
A contemporaneous audio interview came to light in which Ivey and her then-fiancé discuss the college skit, and the twenty-first-century leftie outrage brigade sprang into action.
The skit was called “cigar butts,” and a couple of the university students who starred in it thought the performance was hilarious.
Then an Auburn University senior, Ben LaRavia, recounted the act on a campus radio show. It was 1967, at a Baptist Student Union party, and he was there with his fiancee at the time: now his ex-wife and Alabama’s Republican Gov. Kay Ivey.
“Cigar butts,” LaRavia said, involved “crawling around on the floor looking for cigar butts and things like this, which certainly got a big reaction out of the audience.”
It also involved blackface.
LaRavia, chortling as he described Ivey’s outfit, said she wore blue coveralls, “and she had put some black paint all over her face.”
“That was just my role for the evening,” Ivey says later in the interview.
Fifty-two years later, Ivey is one of the state’s most powerful politicians, and on Thursday she apologized for participating in the racist skit while dodging calls for her resignation.
Ivey has apologized in a video to the citizens of Alabama in which she states, in part:
“While some may attempt to excuse this as acceptable behavior for a college student during the mid-1960s, that is not who I am today, and it is not what my administration represents all these years later. I offer my heartfelt apologies for the pain and embarrassment this causes, and I will do all I can – going forward – to help show the nation that the Alabama of today is a far cry from the Alabama of the 1960s.”
Watch the whole thing:
Unsurprisingly, some circles have not accepted Ivey’s apology, including the Alabama chapter of the NAACP, and there have been numerous calls for her resignation.
“It is not acceptable any time or place,” Rep. John Rogers, D-Birmingham, said. “Do us a favor and step down.”
. . . . Rep. Juandalynn Givan, D-Birmingham, said Ivey should have apologized in person.
“I don’t care if it was 52 years ago or yesterday,” Givan said. “She is the governor of the state of Alabama, which is still considered one of the most racist states in the U.S. This is who she was then. It is who she is now. I have nothing for her. I don’t accept her apology. She should have stood before the people of Alabama herself.”
“She should resign. I don’t think she should have been elected, and I think she is a racist.”
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin called on Ivey to do more than apologize.
“Blackface is a horrible stigmatization of the black experience, a practice with roots that are planted firmly in our nation’s racist past,” Woodfin said in a statement. “Gov. Ivey, an apology is the right place to start, but that’s not enough. Not when you serve in the seventh most black state in America.
“Admitting wrongdoing is the first step toward growth. But it cannot end there. Gov. Ivey, I urge you to continue that healing process by reaching out to the black communities you serve, hearing their needs and making transformational investments in opportunities for black residents who have been disproportionately and systematically disenfranchised.”
And state rep. Terri Sewell chimed in on Twitter.
Racism – in any of its forms – is never acceptable, not in the 1960s and not now. Governor Ivey’s actions were reprehensible and are deeply offensive. Her words of apology ring hollow if not met with real action to bridge the racial divide. https://t.co/6uxqEyQq6X
— Rep. Terri A. Sewell (@RepTerriSewell) August 29, 2019
However, there are Alabama lawmakers, including Democrats, who do not think Ivey should resign.
Other prominent Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton, of Greensboro, and U.S. Rep. Terry Sewell, District 7, reacted to the news, but did not call for Ivey to step down.
Singleton said he spoke with the governor by phone and “I felt that her apology was sincere.”
Sewell added that “only real efforts, not words, can end the racial disparities that exist in Alabama in health care, education, wealth and housing, to name a few,” and followed that by saying “Governor, there’s a lot of work to do!”
Republicans, including the state party and political leaders like Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh, have accepted the governor’s apologies with calls for the state to put the issue behind them.
“Governor Ivey has expressed her deepest apologies for this incident,” Marsh said. “I hope we as a state can put this behind us.”
If anyone can withstand this onslaught of outrage from the perpetually outraged left, it’s Ivey. She has come under repeated fire for her stance on protecting Alabama’s Confederate statues, for banning “free speech zones” on public college campuses in her state, and for signing into law Alabama’s “Human Life Protection Act.” And she hasn’t blinked an eye.
It remains to be seen how this plays out. If the left thinks it’s found in Ivey a shrinking violet they can bully, they are in for a surprise when they discover that she’s a steel magnolia.DONATE
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