Rep. Gene Alday Makes Apology for Racial Remarks
Tuesday afternoon, Alday released a public apology, but many are calling for his resignation. Representative Alday is now trying to get out of hot water over comments he made comparing education funding to the welfare system. Alday says, "I’m from a town where all the blacks are getting food stamps and what I call ‘welfare crazy checks.’ They don’t work."
While Alday first defended his comments as "out of context," Tuesday, he stood before the House and said: "I am deeply sorry for my racist statements and I was wrong to say what I did, and there is no excuse for my behavior."
Biloxi N.A.A.C.P. President, James Crowell, says these comments may be indicative of a bigger problem. Crowell says, "It lets us know that things haven’t changed, that we still have people living in a time when they felt segregation was the best thing to happen to Mississippi, and it’s really not good for Mississippi as a whole."
Other N.A.A.C.P. leaders say this pervasive racism is hurting Mississippi’s progress. Curley Clark, President of the Jackson County N.A.A.C.P., says, "And as a result, Mississippi continues to be on the bottom of every economic evaluator, every type of category that a state is graded by, because some people feel like trying to suppress a certain group of people is the right thing to do."
Political analyst, Howie Morgan, says Mississippi is showing signs of moving past racism. He says, "But the actual people of Mississippi has changed a lot. Don’t forget, this state has more African American officials than any state in the nation." All who oppose Alday’s comments say to make your voice heard in the voting booth.
Clark closes, “If you don’t go out and vote, these type of individuals are going to represent you, and they do not represent your best interest, nor the best interest of the State of Mississippi.”