If you're a student at Troy University or a resident in Troy, Alabama, then you are probably aware of the current petition to rename South George Wallace Drive. The reason? Former Alabama governor George Wallace is quoted as saying the following in his 1963 inaugural address:
"I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever..."
The petition, started by a student at Troy, aims to see the road renamed after Congressman John Lewis.
Supporters of this say that having the road currently named after George Wallace is celebrating his ideas about segregation.
Does it bother me that George Wallace said this? Absolutely. I am a lover of peace and equality. At the end of the day though, history remains history. George Wallace, despite his accomplishments, sayings, and deeds, was the governor of Alabama. History remains history. If anything, this road is a reminder of where we’ve been and where we’re at now.
I don't think in any way, shape, or form, that keeping the road named as is, is supporting segregation or reflecting badly upon the city of Troy. It is just part of history that George Wallace was our state’s governor and we happen to have a road named after him. I don't think that naming the road after George Wallace is glorifying him for his opinion on segregation.
It’s not like every time I drive down George Wallace Drive I am wishing we could go back to a discriminatory portion of our country’s history. It does acknowledge that he was a key person in Alabama’s history (four-time governor) but I don’t think the name of this road as it stands points to any specific ideal expressed by Troy University or the city of Troy.
In no way am I supporting George Wallace for his prejudicial actions. Instead, I am proud to be a student at “Alabama’s International University” and part of its diverse population.
From now on, I will drive down George Wallace and be thankful for all the obstacles and adversity that has been overcome in Troy’s history.