BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman hopes the national conversation about racism, police brutality and power will help Americans gain a new perspective on the issues.
His new book, “Stealing Our Democracy,” chronicles his time in federal prison on bribery and conspiracy charges. For years, Siegelman has argued that he was imprisoned on false charges.
“This is a moment in time, a moment in history, that we as Americans must seize to help heal the wounds of this country,” Siegelman said.
Siegelman was the last Democratic governor of the state and is the only person to ever hold all four of the state’s top elected offices: secretary of state, attorney general, lieutenant governor, and governor. He hopes the country will finally address longstanding issues of systemic racism that he said still plague America today.
“Didn’t God create us all equally? And if you don’t believe that, you’ve got to get it into your mind that the United States Constitution requires that they treat all people equally,” he said.
He praised Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin for removing a Confederate monument in Linn Park at the demand of protesters, calling it a step in the right direction.
“It’s going to take time, and frankly it’s gonna take the news media having conversations like this that it’s OK [for people] to change their minds, their views, and to open their minds and their hearts to people of whom they have not felt were worthy of their compassion and their love,” he added.
The man who once held the most powerful offices in Alabama is hoping the powerful in our country will be held accountable.
“We as people have to take action at the ballot box to make sure we elect the right people who will do the right thing to change policy and laws to make sure people who abuse their power-whether they’re police or prosecutors, or presidents- are held accountable,” he said.
“Stealing Our Democracy” is on sale now. Siegelman will hold a book signing Friday night from 5 to 7 p.m. at The Wine Loft.
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