Columnist didn’t consider all aspects of Selma

Published 5:08pm Saturday, February 2, 2013

For those who have a brother or sister, you know the kind of knock down, drag out fights that are possible between “loving” siblings.

There’s the “she’s taking too long in the bathroom” fight, the “he’s touching me again” fight and the ever popular “stop staring at me” confrontation.

But, while siblings are more than happy to fight amongst themselves, there is a special bond that calls on siblings to fight for one another against someone else.

In other words, we can fight each other, but don’t you dare pick on my brother or sister.

Such is the case with the recent online posting by the ever-divisive columnist, John Archibald. One of the carryovers from the now nearly dismantled Birmingham News and the online media outlet Al.com, Archibald thought it be a great idea to list the top ten “hottest” cities in Alabama and those that are “no-so-hot.”

Using Census data, crime statistics and other factors, he sat back on his pedestal in Birmingham and levied his opinion on which cities are among the best and among the worst to live.

Of course, the well-to-do neighborhoods in the Birmingham metro area performed very well in the opinion piece. Communities such as Hoover, Alabaster and Vestavia Hills were near the top of the list. Mountain Brook was declared, by Mr. Archibald, to be the best in Alabama.

I’m sure he’s been to each of those places. We’re sure he’s enjoyed the dining, the shopping the ambiance of such places as these Shelby County communities.

Then came his list of “not-so-hot” places. Communities such as Bessemer, Anniston, Oxford and Prichard were among the 10 cities blasted by Archibald’s opinion.

And, of course, because all he used was Census data, crime statistics and other information — and not hands-on experience — Selma was among the ten “not-so-hot” locations in Alabama.

Apparently Mr. Archibald has never attended Jubilee, where tens of thousands of people celebrate our nation’s voting rights struggle. Maybe he’s never had lunch at Lannie’s or Hancock’s.

Maybe Mr. Archibald has never walked the Edmund Pettus to watch a sunset over the Alabama River.

Since Selma was among the “not-so-hot” places in Alabama, he must not have been here during a Pilgrimage, touring one of Selma’s gorgeous historic homes or taken a stroll in the springtime through Old Town or New Live Oak Cemetery.

If all Mr. Archibald did was use Census data, crime statistics, unemployment rates and average annual income, yes, Selma is among the places in Alabama that has struggled. But, those struggles have nothing to do with the people who live here, the area that we are all fortunate enough to call home and the tremendous potential we have for great things.

I’ll admit I took great offense to Archibald’s column, not because what he reported wasn’t accurate. It was. I was offended because it did not share with his readers the complete picture of Selma and the amazing people who live, work and play here every single day.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1445295330 Kimesha Sunshine Alvarado

    Selma isn’t and shouldn’t be listed as great place to live! Education is lacking, sustainable wage earning are sucked up by cliques and cousins, crime is high, children get robbed by gunpoint walking home from school. Most people live under poverty level! I’m here because I know that we can change all things listed above.
    but we are not like Hoover and the Pilgrimage nor the Jubilee are reasons to say Selma is great!
    both events are (not by venue or organization) are segregated.
    Selma has a ways to go and the man was accurate in his assessment. Sometimes the truth hurts!
    I love this town and every day I am here I strive to be a better Selmian…and to foster change and I interact within our beloved city…but its not top 10 for nothing but crime, declined health, and poverty!

    • popdukes12

      Sunshine, I sure hope you don’t get one of those e-mails from the paper. This comment doesn’t fit the cotton candy and unicorn narrative. pops

  • popdukes12

    Thank God for Prichard Alabama (who was the only one Selma out ranked). They filed for chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in 2009. Incidentally, even they didn’t float bonds to cover the pension plan. pops

  • popdkes12

    You’re right Tim. Give that man a Lannies and he’ll change his mind and maybe even his religion. Sorry to hear the bad report, and I know it had to hurt. pops

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