WFSA-TV (Montgomery), January 12, 2009
They’re part of a long standing tradition that will soon become a part of Presidential history.
The head of the Alabama NAACP, however, wants Mobile’s Azalea Trail Maids to stay home on Inauguration Day, claiming the group reminds him of slavery.
“These are not just regular costumes. These are the costumes that remind someone of the plantation in Gone with the Wind,” Edward Vaughn said in a phone interview.
Vaughn went on to say the group would be the laughing stock of the Inauguration. County leaders say nothing could be further from the truth.
“We want everyone to know that these young ladies do not need to be identified with slavery,” said Mobile County Commissioner Stephen Nodine.
“I don’t see what the dresses have to do with racism. I don’t see it. It’s just a regular dress to me. Just a dress they wore back in the day,” said Carolyn Tius of Montgomery.
Organizers stand behind the tradition, but opponents say tradition is the problem.
“We needed something that could show Alabama’s great progress rather than something that shows a shameful past,” Vaughn said.