"Sweet Home Alabama" Is Pro-segregation, Right?

The Lynyrd Skynyrd song "Sweet Home Alabama" is supportive of racial segregation, right?
http://www.skynyrd.com/lyrics/70-77/sechelp/soni.html
It criticizes Neil Young for his anti-lynching song "Southern Man", correct? We know that Young and the band got along just fine, but that doesn't alter the lyrics of the song, eh?
Well I heard mister Young sing about her Well, I heard ole Neil put her down Well, I hope Neil Young will remember A Southern man don't need him around anyhow
The lyrics praise George Wallace, the infamous segregationist Alabama governor of the era, in several place, correctamundo?
In Birmingham they love the governor Now we all did what we could do Now Watergate does not bother me Does your conscience bother you? Tell the truth
[...]
Sweet home Alabama Oh sweet home baby Where the skies are so blue And the governor's true Sweet Home Alabama Lordy Lord, I'm coming home to you Yea, yea Montgomery's got the answer
The only possible defense is that the lyrics were written in character, am I right or am I right? But the band never claimed that this was the case, is that accurate?
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Ari < snipped-for-privacy@despammed.com>
Right?
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In Birmingham they love the governor (Backup singers go "Boo boo boo") They're booing Wallace.
HOWEVER, "We all did what we could do" means they did all they could do to get him in office. That's coming from one of the co-writers on the song.
It all boils down to the man who wrote the lyrics probably had SOME conflicting feelings on this subject and it's up to you to interpret what it means to you. I think Ronnie wrote it that way. If you're racist and think the song is racist, then buy the album! If you aren't racist and think the song is anti-racism, then buy the album! If you write songs that are like this, then you aren't leaving anyone out.
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Or they're mocking people who would suggest to Southerners that they shouldn't love Wallace. "Boo boo boo" isn't much of a criticism. The rest of the lyrics state that "the governer's true", and that "Montgomery's got the answer", without any booing, so it sure sounds like a pro-Wallace song to me.

Right. Those lines about loving the governor and Watergate are meant to suggest that, hey, at least Wallace isn't Nixon. It's an extremely weak tu quoque, to be sure - they compare supporting a guy who turned out to be a crook to supporting a guy who ran to maintain racial segregation.

Except the racists who think it's anti-racist - are there any? - and the anti-racists who think it's racist.
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Honestly, none of these guys were from Alabama. Most of the band was from Jacksonville, FL and Ed was from California. He now lives in TN. They didn't vote for Wallace but I'm sure they followed him. Back in 74, Wallace gave them all plaques declairing them Honorary Members of the Alabama State Militia. Ed still has his.

Nooo, they're saying Watergate was a thousand miles away and they aren't worried about it. You know, of course, Wallace changed his views on segregation and won with BLACK votes later on. Read up on that, it's kinda crazy.

I don't guess there are many because it seems everyone in the US has purchased a copy and not too many people think it's a bad song. They were just musicians, not politicians. Ed King is very proud of that song. I've had to opportunity to sit down and jam with him on that song. He taught me parts that even Gary Rossington doesn't know!
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If I'm being deliberately stupid, how come the rest of your message offers precisely zero arguments for why the song isn't supportive of racial segregation? Instead you talk about the accuracy and timeliness of Neil Young's song, as if those things had any bearing on the matter.
But hell, we can talk about Young's song, too, if "Sweet Home Alabama" is too tough to defend.

"Southern Man" came out in 1970. I'm not a Southerner nor was I even alive then, but I do know that at that time pro-segregation politicians, like George Wallace, still enjoyed a considerable amount of popularity in many parts of the South. Lily Belle with the golden brown hair couldn't have legally married her black man in Alabama till 2000. The racists who only wanted to maintain racial segregation may have been offended by being cast in with the racists who used bullwhips and burned crosses, but I can't say that I have much sympathy for them.
[...]
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Some of them may have voted for Wallace in one or more of his runs for president. He ran as a Democrat in 1964, 1972, and 1976, but didn't get the nomination, and as an American Independent Party candidate in 1968. He carried Alabama among a handful of Southern states.

I read the lines "In Birmingham they love the governor / Now we all did what we could do / Now Watergate does not bother me / Does your conscience bother you?" as suggesting that Watergate doesn't bother the lyricist because he "did what [he] could do" and that Nixon supporters should look at what their boy has done before booing Wallace.

Wallace didn't really recant till the late '70s and "Sweet Home Alabama" came out in 1974.

The music is one matter, the lyrics another. Besides, in my experience people rarely think about rock lyrics too deeply.

Non-politicians can make political statements. Clearly the song has some political content, as it talks about a politician, mentions a political scandal, and criticizes another song with political content.

That was nice of him.
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I don't even consider his runs for president. He never made it - may have!

According to Ed, they didn't care about Watergate. It was too far away. They weren't comparing Nixon to Wallace.

I'm just saying the guy wasn't some hard core racist running around with his bedsheet wrapped around him.

It's JUST a song. A damn good one, at that.

But what impact does this song have politically? None.

Ed is a great guy. Not the hard core racist I think you're seeing them as...
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You were the one who introduced the question of whether the band ever voted for Wallace. I merely pointed out that it was possible for them to have done so.

If that's the case, the line about Watergate is a bit of a non sequitur.

Not only was Wallace a racist, in the late '60s and early '70s he was the public face of racism in the USA. His change of heart came after he had mostly lost his fight to deny equal rights to African-Americans.

I don't recall suggesting that it's something other than a song.

"Sweet Home Alabama" is a very popular song which appears to associate a segregationist politician with Southern pride. Regardless of its current political impact, that shouldn't be ignored when we talk about it.
I suspect that the song's current political impact is fairly small - Wallace is dead and racial segregation is largely a thing of the past in the US. At the time it came out, however, Wallace was reportedly pleased with the song, so he probably thought that it helped his public image.

I don't know whether Mr King is a racist. Although the lyrics to the song reflect badly on the band, their existence doesn't necessarily lead to the conclusion that all band members are or were racists.
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Isn't that an Oxymoron??
mac
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Yes but Jimmy Carter gives folks the wrong judgement call on wiretap technology since he knew about it wiretap has gone supercomputer and thats beyond satellite which during Carters day in office and before wiretap had a pole climber a black or white van and some earphones and a tape recorder if lucky to afford it otherwise its digital and imagery and lots of language calls so the problem I got with Jimmy carter is that his Center was paid for by the US Government and it seems that he don't care that much about wiretap he don't understand and shuns it away as if that is going to make things any better for all the people that go to The Carter Center in Georgia aside from terrorist threats maybe Jimmy carter is trying the Southern cover your A^$* trick to lure the terrorists to some other place besides where he has his documents so he can lookup pole climbers and tag numbers for all the King generation that have died or grown old. I do not have anything against black people, some I think are more than cute and then there are some I would certainly like to be close friends with but the world is passing folks by because of the talk against wiretapping, software development for the supercomputer is not a commercial venture, rather being so secret that it seems why anyone would want to disclose to a court the important issue details which do not need disclosure but rather closure on a permane\ant basis by NSA not CIA and that is the wiretap problem as I see it the news media is playing the hand for public suppport because of politics and it has nothing to do with politics who is going to be safer knowing of a threat or whom is not and if government passes the opportunity someday supercomputers will be coming out of Japan that other nations can buy up and begin endorsing their own wiretapping against any American business or individual and thats where our supercomputer technology needs support and programming backup so to prevent such as that from hogging the satellites. Look China has so many people populi and Russia and European countries are battling for services always and here come the middle east with our gas and oil money to start their own thingy and they them ISLAM's that want immediate justice not the courtroom type justice we are accustomed to and folks are being killed and its just a blessed cartoon and they are hipocrits to believe that someone will hire them to climb a pole and easedrop during a riot and that makes me wonder if that is going to always be the problem that Denmark could have had a supercomputer link and they could have accessed it during the flag buring as a diversion.
Southern Smarts Show Jimmy Carter Is More Than Ignorant Of Supercomputer technology and its capabilities to perform googles of mathematical problems faster than he could perform one and it boils down to language conversion and notification of leads to follow up on from certain inputs. Ity is necessary, it is a real need and I don't need the Southern Hospitality of Jimmy Carter and his old administration that think otherwise, there are to many people without jobs and which do not possess the ability to have the job so I don't see any new jobs occurring out of wiretapping laws just more free tickets to nowhere that government has not got to pay the bill if it is law and that is all it amounts to Lobbiest that want the money from every spur of the moment thingy whether it will save another 911 from happening or not they simply are money hoggish, besides Carter is a Republican and so is Bush and Republicans control the government so how does that seem at all possible that Bush wants his voters to survice terrorism and Jimmy carter don't give a hill of beans to make it possible for even himself to survive thus making himself a worldwide civil rights target and so many church burnings makes me wonder if them arsonists coming from Georgia to get their jollies in Alabama by buring churches.
Screwy administration administrators don't even have the ability to describe what a future readout of wiretap information would look like cause they so hooked onto the pole thingy themselves because they cannot afford the supercomputer doing it for them when they need it done. Thats Special Access Key Time anyway and they would go on record in more ways than one by computer security and thats worse than police ADT security.
I say find the Hackers, who cares to find the Terrorists let them get all of them before they blowup the world in which we live and destroy our lives as they have so many others, if it requires wiretapping by supercomputer technology let it happen and stop complaining that humans are not doing a good enough job at it as it seems with knowledge of terrorists in America prior to 911 and knowledge of hurricanes prior to Gulf states disasters.
Put the supercomputer we own to work! Need I say more! Want me to push a few buttons for a while!
Thanks Michael I try not to sound like a prophet but sometimes I get riddled and forget theres a different life I have to tend to from day to day and thats when I am offline. Jimmy carter did not inspire me, Wallace inspired me to be better than him. Just how can I campaign this matter like the politicians do on television free time, thats what they are pushing for and Carter is trying to oust out Bush to take the Republican votes for himself so he can decide what to do?
"Sweet Home Alabama" is what the feeling is, not routy and rude like Carter at a funeral. "Alabama" doing it makes some folks happier. Carter cannot write the Lyrics much less read the lyrics a supercomputer can make the words in all languages and styles even a hip-hop version besides the genre CHRISTIAN RAP Carter seemed to play into.
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