CIRCLE EIGHT, DANTE’S INFERNO — George Wallace was the governor of the State of Alabama in 1963 when the John F. Kennedy administration ordered the U.S. Army to stand prepared to help enforce racial integration at Alabama University. This was a year after Wallace famously ended the Democratic National Convention with a speech demanding that segregation — the act of legally forcing blacks and whites to use separate facilities and businesses — by declaring “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” Wallace died in 1998, but The Political Garbage Chute was able to contact his representation in Dante’s Eighth Circle of Hell, and the super-conservative southerner’s ghost agreed to a brief interview with us.
The Political Garbage Chute: Thanks for agreeing to this interview, Ghost Wallace. I know you’re a busy man down here, what with rotting away for all eternity and the what-not.
Ghost of George Wallace: My pleasure. As soon as I was assured I wouldn’t be speaking to an uppity black or something, I knew I’d be okay.
TPGC: Well, we wanted to get your reaction to the law that Republican Governor Mike Pence just signed onto the books. It was billed as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, but many see it as nothing more than a throwback to the kinds of laws that you and so many segregationists wrote and signed – Jim Crow laws as they were known. What do you think of Indiana’s new law?
GGW: Are you kidding me? I fucking love Indiana’s new law! How brilliant is that? Just use the First Amendment’s freedom of religion clause as thinly-veiled cover for your law discriminating against someone! Why didn’t we think of that?! We just argued in favor of using God’s design for the races as a guide, we never thought to just simply sign a meaningless law reaffirming a right to something you already have in order for that right to be twisted in something that is literally a subversion of someone else’s freedom. Brilliant!
TPGC: So clearly you still think personal religious beliefs give someone legal cover to discriminate?
GGW: I just believe in the freedom of association is all.
TPGC: But freedom of association only applies to being involuntarily drafted or enlisted into a group you don’t wish to join, does it not?
GGW: Oh sure, to all you high-fallutin’ folks who believe in the rule of law and constitutional precedent, maybe. But I ask you this, why should anybody be forced to do something for someone they don’t agree with? Would we force a Jewish baker to bake a swastika cake?
TPGC: But isn’t that a false equivalency? Nazis aren’t part of a protected class of people, for starters. And secondly, the issue of florists and bakers denying service to LGBT couples isn’t that they are being forced to bake a cake with pro-LGBT messaging; it’s that they are refusing to provide the same service to a group of people that they provide to everyone else, while in the public square, and while depending on governmental corporate protections of their assets, isn’t it?
GGW: Uhh…Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. Next question.
TPGC: We’ll move onto the next question in just a moment. I want to stay on this idea, because I see conservatives making the same argument all over the place about a Jewish baker making a swastika cake or a Muslim shop keeper being forced to sell bacon at his store. It seems to be a distortion of the issue to pin it on the products refused instead of the service. The issue is public accommodation, is it not?
GGW: Public accommodation? Kiss my grits! Why should someone get to live a life free from being discriminated against? Do you know how many people called me a racist asshole when I was alive? Do you know how many people discriminated against me because I was a racist?
TPGC: But isn’t the difference that you chose to be a racist while LGBT people don’t choose the L, G, B or T in their lives?
GGW: No, the difference is that I am a good, God-fearing American Patriot who doesn’t think we should mess with what God wanted.
TPGC: And what exactly do you think that is then?
GGW: For the blacks and gays of the world to realize that they are different from us. For them to realize their station. For them to realize that God and Jesus are white, even though if he existed Jesus would have been from a very non-white part of the world. For them to just accept that they live in sin — a concept that can’t be proven and is only a construct of religion — and that their sin entitles us to write laws truncating their freedoms.
TPGC: So the basis of the laws you’d support is your personal views of religious scriptures then?
GGW: Amen, brother.
TPGC: And that makes you different from the Taliban in Afghanistan, and ISIS in Iraq and Syria…how?
GGW: Because I’m a Christian, doy.