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Alabama approves bid to cut racist phrases from Constitution

Alabama approves bid to cut racist phrases from Constitution
Posted at 4:05 PM, Nov 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-05 18:06:37-05

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Alabama voters have approved a measure that would begin the process of deleting racist language from the state's 119-year-old constitution.

Voters in the majority white, the conservative state rejected similar proposals twice since 2000.

With more than 1.7 million votes cast, the amendment passed with 67% support on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported.

That means more than 585,000 people voted against it, the AP reported.

Election 2020-Alabama Constitution-Race
This undated image released by the Alabama Department of Archives and History shows Alabama's 1901 Constitution, which was intended to maintain white supremacy in the state. With the nation focused on racial justice because of the police killings of George Floyd and other Black people, state voters are being asked to remove racist phrases from the document once and for all. While no organized opposition has emerged, some worry that a conservative backlash against protests over racial injustice could harm the chances for passage. (AP Photo/Alabama Department of Archives and History)

The 1901 Alabama Constitution was approved to entrench white supremacy as state law.

Courts have long since struck down the legalized segregation. But language banning mixed-race marriage and mandating school segregation remains.

Backers view the phrasing as an embarrassment and potential roadblock to economic development.

According to the AP, the document has been amended 948 times and is considered the nation’s longest constitution.