White People Behaving Badly, (Part 7)

Terry Barr
6 min readNov 10, 2017
He’s not from Texas, and he’s not my Hero (Photo courtesy of Splinter News)

I just told my wife that it’s time for another edition of my intermittent series: White People Behaving Badly. Her response was:

“Is it Roy Moore?”

And she hadn’t yet been awake for ten minutes.

Right answer, and she gets to play on.

I will state first and foremost so as to save others the strain: Roy Moore is innocent until proven guilty of chargers that he repeatedly made advances toward and molested young girls ages 14–16 when he was a 32-year old assistant in the Alabama judiciary.

First, about Alabama and sex offenders:

“Alabama’s sex offender laws are among the most stringent in the nation. Home to more than 11,000 registered sex offenders, Alabama is among four states that put sex offenders on a mandatory registry for life and the only state that puts the sex offender stamp on a driver’s license” (“As Some states reconsider sex-offender registries…” The Anniston Star, Nov 10, 2017).

But is Roy Moore a sex offender?

In the New York Times’ account of the charges, dated today (Nov 10, 2017):

“One of the women, Leigh Corfman, told The Washington Post that she was 14 when Mr. Moore, 32 at the time, drove her to his home in Gadsden, Ala. He took off her shirt and touched her bra and underwear while also guiding her hand over his pants, Ms. Corfman told The Post.

‘I wanted it over with — I wanted out,’ she told the newspaper.

CNN reported that it had spoken with Ms. Corfman’s stepfather, who said the family ‘stands by’ what was reported in The Post” (“Sex Allegations Against Roy Moore Send Republicans Reeling,” The New York Times, November 10, 2017).

Okay, there is the possibility that the girl and her stepfather, mother, and several friends are lying and are trying to besmirch a politician’s good name (even I winced at that last statement) and overall striving to have a Democrat pick up the Senate seat vacated by Jefferson Beauregard Sessions.

I have two daughters, and it’s impossible for me to imagine encouraging one of them to put her name out into the public arena for money, for political spoilage, or anything else when it concerns being the victim of such lewd and immoral advances. What does the Corfman family stand to gain? If you say “money,” then go ahead and keep worshipping your paper idols.

Some Alabamians are already at that altar, or one like it, including state auditor Jim Ziegler and Christian Coalition Chairman, Randy Brinson:

“Randy Brinson, president of the Christian Coalition of Alabama, said he expected voters would mostly give Mr. Moore the benefit of the doubt.

‘Until I see something different, I would support Roy Moore because of what he says he’s going to do and who he is as a person,’ Mr. Brinson said.

Mr. Zeigler said the account given by Ms. Corfman was ‘the only part that is concerning.’ As Mr. Zeigler described it: ‘He went a little too far and he stopped.’

Had the girl been 16 at the time and not 14, he added, ‘it would have been perfectly acceptable.’”

Ziegler also stated,

“There’s nothing to see here…Single man, early 30s, never been married, dating teenage girls. Never been married and he liked younger girls. According to The Washington Post account he never had sexual intercourse with any of them’” (NY Times, 11/10/17).

My wife interjects, “Wow…that makes sense.” She’s being funny, by the way, and as she begins disparaging my home state — “Sure it makes sense, it’s Alabama” — I begin racing through my mind to argue that…

Ugh. No arguments. A few years ago, I had even made peace with Lynyrd Skynyrd. Now, it’s acid reflux time.

Oh Mr. Ziegler. I just don’t know where to start. But what about here:

According to the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, the age demarcation for pedophilia is 13. So “Judge” Moore isn’t technically an alleged pedophile, because his accuser was fourteen at the time. Did he know her age, though, if he did what she said? What lies in the heart of a predator? I don’t know about you, but I can’t tell a person’s age merely by looking.

Still, as Mr. Ziegler asserts, a 32-year old man pursuing a 16-year old girl is “perfectly acceptable.” Once, a 28-year old man wanted to take our 17-year old daughter to a downtown baseball game. Our daughter asked if she could go; we said NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

At first she didn’t understand. She thanked us later.

You see, with a 28 or 32-year old man and a 17 or 16 — don’t even mention 13 or 14 — year old girl, well, things are intended. Things happen. And they are usually not good. Why does a thirty-something man even want to hang out with much less pursue an adolescent. I can think of only one reason and it makes my skin crawl.

Alabama, though, has some insight into this problem:

“Legislation filed by a Munford lawmaker on Thursday would require offenders convicted of sexually assaulting a child under the age of 12 to be surgically castrated before their release from prison.

The offender must be 21 or older and must pay for the surgical procedure themselves, the bill filed by state Rep. Steve Hurst, a Republican, states.

The bill will assigned to the Alabama House of Representatives judicial committee.

As written this law would be one of the toughest in the country against sexual offenders” (“Alabama lawmaker wants convicted pedophiles surgically castrated, Al.com, March 4, 2016).

This lawmaker didn’t say what should happen to a predator who attacks a girl age 14–16, but man, Alabama, that’s quite the step regardless.

Alabama governor Kay Ivey did not endorse Moore before these charges, and she calls them “deeply disturbing,” now. Moore vows to fight on and according to him, all of this is a liberal media conspiracy to get him.

The Washington Post, in my judgment, doesn’t go on the record with charges unless there is deep and wide corroboration. I know. I’m a liberal hack, too, as I was told last night in a rather preposterous Facebook argument (and yes, I also know that “preposterous” and “Facebook argument” are redundant).

“You really believe this crap, hey lets pull the Weinstein card since he might become a senator, why didn’t she come forward when he ran for the judgeship? Quite possibly because it didn’t happen.Yeah it’s news like tawana Brawley and the Duke lacrosse team among others!
If it was true it would have been a lot more credible had she made it known when it happened or shortly thereafter…”

I commented to this “writer” that I didn’t know whether the charges were true or not, but I wasn’t dismissing them out of hand like he was or claiming that I knew why the now young woman waited to make the charges, or even why she made them at all. But just because she did wait does not make her charges invalid. In fact, most of us understand how extremely difficult it is for a woman to come forward with charges against a powerful man. Charges that he advanced on her (although standing up to the powerful is becoming more widespread in Hollywood and entertainment circles).

Reputations can be so easily sullied, and if these charges against Moore prove to be false, I will blog again my mea culpa (my wife will hold me to it).

I want to end with this haunting reminder of where we are today, and how far we’ve traveled from the way things used to be:

On July 14, 1908, “…in Middleton, Tennessee, a mob of one hundred hanged Hugh Jones for allegedly making an advance on a seventeen-year old white girl. Less than twenty-four hours after that, an elderly black man was shot to death in Beaumont, Texas, after a gang of marauding whites mistook him for a younger African American accused of hitting a thirteen-year old white girl. The mob was setting two black-owned businesses afire when the victim passed, but paused long enough to kill the man.”

The next week in Dallas, TX, an 18-year old Black man named Tad Smith was lynched by a crowd of 1000 whites. His crime was to be “accused of raping a white woman.” We don’t know how old she was. Smith was tied to a stake and burned to death with kerosene (Blackmon, Slavery By Another Name, 324).

“‘Like most Americans the president believes we cannot allow a mere allegation, in this case one from many years ago, to destroy a person’s life,’ Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, said in statement from Danang, Vietnam, where the president is attending an economic summit meeting. ‘However, the president also believes that if these allegations are true, Judge Moore will do the right thing and step aside.’”

How very civilized.



Terry Barr

I write about music, culture, equality, and my Alabama past in The Riff, The Memoirist, Prism and Pen, Counter Arts, and am an editor for Plethora of Pop.