What do ham radios, canning preserves and firearms safety have in common?
They’re all classes taught by a new non-profit conservative organization known as South Alabama Liberty. Dedicated to educating the public on everything from political candidates to disaster survival, the group has been growing exponentially since it started with eight friends in an Enterprise restaurant about a year and a half ago.
The group is the brainchild of Clint Grantham, an aircraft mechanic at Fort Rucker. He decided that information would never be more important after what happened in the 2020 presidential election. Simply, he said, “It frightened us.”
So Grantham invited seven friends he knew extremely well (“men I would trust with my children’s lives”), and they met to discuss how they could make a positive change while getting everyone in the community more informed about important issues.
“We have been asleep at the wheel," said Grantham. "People have to be involved.”
One week after the first meeting, each member of the group brought a friend, bringing the membership to 16. The following week, everyone brought their wives. The group continued to grow and eventually held a political event before the recent primary to help voters become more informed.
“We quickly figured out who could be trusted, who was a true conservative," Grantham added.
The group decided that education went beyond politics. A tornado that had knocked out local cell service made them quickly realize that people needed basic life skills in the event of a catastrophic event.
“We saw for ourselves what a disaster could do," Grantham said. "We have to have a network; we need to be able to communicate.”
They put together a ham radio event which resulted in more than a dozen new members. The group also held classes on canning food, something that could come in handy if supplies run short. Firearms safety classes were also on the agenda.
Grantham said he became interested in politics as a child while seeing his father watch C-SPAN. He said his dad was a Democrat, but what he saw going on in Washington on the floors of Congress made him mad, and he eventually switched parties.
“It got me started paying attention," he said.
The group is currently redesigning its website which will soon be filled with lots of information about candidates in the upcoming election.
“We’ll help people get more educated about a particular candidate," Grantham explained.
Interested people can join on the website, and it’s clear the group wants to become a clearinghouse of information since the signup form asks, “What skillsets do you want to learn or share?”
Rather than try to create a national organization, Grantham wants to keep the focus of South Alabama Liberty local.
“If we’re going to fix Washington, we have to fix our cities and counties first," he said.
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