A&S in the News: May 21-27, 2023

Population Decline

Why Birmingham’s population decline looms large over Mobile’s annexation effort: Al.com – May 21

… “The biggest factor has probably been the fallout from the civil rights movement,” said Joshua Rothman, professor and chairman of the Department of History at The University of Alabama. “In some measure, the perception by white people that the city had become ‘dangerous’ was surely at play,” he said, “though arguably that’s a euphemism for fear of having to live in the city with segregation laws, and it’s surely not a coincidence that numerically the largest drop off in population happened between 1960 and 1970.” John Giggie, director of the Summersell Center for the Study of the South at The University of Alabama, added, “There are cautionary tales in Birmingham’s history. It’s reluctance to attack the legacy of segregation for many decades is among them. That contributed to its inability to recruit and maintain in the post-industrial economy while Nashville was able to negotiate and work on those issues earlier and recruit and retain in the new economy, whether it was IT or information base.”

Mass Shooters

Nashville parents ask: Must a mass shooter’s writing be made public?: The New York Times – May 22

.. “One of the reasons we know as much as we know about mass shooters today — things we didn’t know in the past — is because of what perpetrators do and say,” said Adam Lankford, a professor at the University of Alabama who has studied mass shootings. But in addition to listening to survivors, he added, “the best argument for not releasing it is just saying, ‘We don’t want to give these perpetrators what they want.’”
Yahoo! News

National Endowment for the Arts

NEA gives $1.2 million in grants to Alabama arts groups: Business Alabama – May 24

Arts groups around Alabama have been awarded $1.2 million in grants from the National Endowment for the Arts… The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, $10,000, to support a world premiere production of a musical featuring the music of Dotts Johnson.

Presidential Campaign

Can Ron DeSantis unseat the mighty Trump in Alabama?: Al.com – May 24

… Regina Wagner, an associate political science professor at The University of Alabama, suggested that history might be repeating itself with DeSantis in the same position as Cruz was seven years ago. “I personally think it will be hard for anyone — DeSantis, Haley, Scott, whoever else may enter the race — to get a serious shot at victory because they are essentially dividing the non-Trump vote among each other and none of them, at least so far, is making a serious argument as to why someone who likes or at least tolerates Trump should pick them over him,” she said.

Seditious Conspiracy

Oath Keepers founder sentenced to 18 years for seditious conspiracy in lead-up to Jan. 6 insurrection – 4 essential reads: The Conversation – May 25

1. Oath Keepers are violently anti-government. “Oath Keepers have participated in several armed standoffs against the government,” wrote criminologists Matthew Valasik of The University of Alabama and Shannon Reid of the University of North Carolina – Charlotte.

Freedom of Expression

Oppression in the South was not an expression of freedom: Reason – May 27

… David T. Beito is a professor of history emeritus at The University of Alabama. His books include T.R.M. Howard: Doctor, Entrepreneur, Civil Rights Pioneer and the forthcoming The New Deal’s War on the Bill of Rights: The Untold Story of FDR’s Concentration Camps, Censorship, and Mass Surveillance