The governor’s comments, during his first public remarks after his inaugural address on Jan. 17, demonstrate a shocking lack of sensitivity for someone in his position.
In an apology on Jan. 19, following a meeting with members of the local Jewish community, the governor said he meant no harm and that a person’s color or religion are not reasons to hate.
Bentley’s original comments had suggested a troubling question: How could he represent all the diverse citizens of Alabama if in one of his first acts as governor, he discounted non-Christian constituents? What kind of representation will minority religions have in a state lead by someone with these views?
It is encouraging that his apology noted that he will be the governor of all Alabamans. Now the governor will have to demonstrate in word and action that he stands by the sentiments expressed in his apology.