“Roll Tide Roll” is a misplaced metaphor being bandied about in the National media, one day after Doug Jones’ stunning upset win over Roy Moore. Misplaced because the Roll Tide as in the Crimson Tide is not what led to Jones’ victory which seemed unlikely just a few days ago. Yet the media is quick to roll the words roll tide off their lips as if the spirit of the roll tide can explain what occurred on Tuesday.
It can not.
Moore’s defeat can be attributed to the roar of the Tiger coming up from the rich black soil of Alabama’s “Black Belt” and her urban centers in Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile in Tuesday’s election.
A more reflective metaphor would be “Roar Golden Tigers Roar,” in reference to the Tuskegee University Golden Tigers, which symbolically represents all Black Alabamians as the University of Alabama Crimson Tide traditionally represents white’s in the state.
Both schools have accomplished football programs. Alabama has won over 903 football games, while Tuskegee’s over 560 wins is more football wins than any other Historical Black College and University in the country.
Alabama has won 29 Southeastern Conference (SEC) titles. Tuskegee won its 32nd Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) crown this year.
Albeit, the Tide did roll just enough in the Moore-Jones race to make a difference, but the power punch came from the roar of the state’s Golden Tigers.
Black voters cast 96 percent of their ballots for Jones, four more percentage points than the 92 percent of Blacks who voted for the reelection of President Barack Obama in 2012.
The turnout of Black voters in Tuesday’s runoff election in Alabama was 40 percent, which is higher than the turnout percentage in 2008 and 2012 when Barack Obama was on the ballot.
Jones spent the weekend stumping for votes on the campus of Tuskegee University. He dined with students in old Thompkins Hall, a building erected in 1905 by students, who made the bricks by hand and read the architectural blueprints drawn up by Robert Taylor, the first Black architect to graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
While Moore left the state to attend the Army-Navy football game over the weekend, Jones was petting the Golden Tigers. On Tuesday, those Golden Tigers, as we like to see down in the “Bowl” on Saturday afternoons in the fall, rose up and roared.
Roar, Golden Tigers, Roar!
Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist. He is a Contributor at The Hill, SCLC National Magazine, Southern Changes Magazine and Black College Nines. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org