Alabama approves bid to cut racist phrases from Constitution

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FILE – In this July 26, 2020, file photo, mourners gathered at the Alabama Capitol following the death of Rep. John Lewis. Alabama voters will decide whether to remove racist, segregation-era language from the state’s 1901 Constitution in the upcoming election. If approved, the measure would go back to legislators and another statewide vote. (AP Photo/Julie Bennett, File)

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Alabama voters have approved a measure that would begin the process of deleting racist language from the state’s 119-year-old constitution.

Voters in the majority white, conservative state rejected similar proposals twice since 2000. But this measure passed with 67% of the votes on Tuesday.

The 1901 Alabama Constitution was approved to entrench white supremacy as state law. C

ourts have long since struck down the legalized segregation. But language banning mixed-race marriage and mandating school segregation remain.

Backers view the phrasing as an embarrassment and potential roadblock to economic development.

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