See you later Bama…or not
MONTGOMERY, AL–As leaders from around the world converge on Soweto, South Africa to celebrate the life and mourn the passing of Nelson Mandela, the southern American state of Alabama is taking a different stance. Governor Robert J. Bentley has decreed that Alabama will observe a moment of silence so that residents of the state can attempt to wipe the memory of Mandela from their collective consciousness.
“There are so many remembrances of Mandingo, I’m sorry, I mean Mandela, that, frankly, the good people of Alabama are growing weary of feeling sad all the time,” says Governor Robert J. Bentley, “We have been besieged by tragedy in the past weeks. First, our mighty Crimson Tide were swindled out of a chance at a third straight national title. Then, the great Paul Walker, star of The Fast and Furious and all its progeny, was taken from us much too soon. The passing of Mandela is just too much.”
When asked if attempting to forget a man who was so influential in the easing of racial tensions, not just in South Africa but across the globe, could be considered as disrespectful, if not an example of outright racial bias, Bentley is defiant.
“First of all, Mandela wasn’t one of ours,” Bentley says, “And by one of ours I do not mean as a piece of property, as it is no longer legal, even in the great state of Alabama to own those people. And by those people I do not mean black people, per se, but African people. There is a difference. I am simply saying that Mandela belongs to Africa, not to Alabama. Only not in an ownership sense.”
An informal poll of Alabama residents shows that the majority of Alabamans support Bentley on the subject of Mandela. In fact, no Alabaman we contacted had ever even heard of the legendary leader who was instrumental in ending apartheid and served as South Africa’s first black and democratically elected president.
“Nelson Mandela? Is he the one that played Morgan Freeman in Shawshank Redemption?” asks Junior Simms, a Montgomery lawyer, “That was a good movie. And his name was Red! How do you like that? Even though he was blacker than a bag of charcoal at midnight. Them Hollywood folks, they got some imagination!”
Bentley says that if the moment of silence and day of forgettance is successful, the state will tentatively plan another in case the great Coach Saban to Texas rumors turn out to be accurate.