Former State Attorneys ask People to Condemn Hate


A number of ex-state attorney generals have asked the United States citizens to condemn hatred with gloves off. The sixty-seven former attorney generals have taken the example of an incident which took place in Alabama about 40 years back where the Americans citizens took note of white supremacist incidents coated with hate and bigotry and took a stance!

The Baxley tale

During the latter half of the 1970s, the Alabama Attorney General Bill Baxley received a threatening letter from the Ku Klux Klan grand dragon, Edward R. Fields, who was angry with the attorney general because the Alabama Government had reopened its investigation into the bombing of a Birmingham church in 1963. The KKK leader demanded a proper response, and Baxley obliged. He wrote a sarcastic one-line letter to Fields- telling him to buzz off.

The KKK subsequently publicized the response, thinking that it will shame the outspoken attorney general. The reaction was just the opposite, with the public lapping up the acidic retort.

The sixty-seven former attorney generals released a statement addressed to the unnamed public, and tellingly not to President Trump and any official in his administration. This decision was deliberate. James A. Tierney, a former attorney general of Maine, said that the signatories are not trying to lobby any person. The context, however, is clear. President Trump has refused to do what a head of a country should actually do: condemn hate in an unequivocal manner and also those who wallow in it.

Shoring up morals

The letter starts with a paragraph saying there are times in a nation when an individual is asked to respond directly towards the source of hate. The letter, indirectly referring to the Baxley correspondence, said that the incident should serve as an inspiration to those who are uncertain when there is a moral crisis.

The signatories of the letter represent both Republicans and Democrats, involves 36 of the 50 states, including Puerto Rico, District of Columbia, and Guam. Baxley, now 76 years old, termed the statement a touching gesture- one of the few that was made on his behalf. He acknowledged that both Republicans and Democrats are on that list. He said that it was an excellent step as these kinds of issues need to be condemned without any respite.

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