The civil war between the Union and Confederates ended 153 years ago and states are still celebrating Confederate Memorial Day despite the party being in favor of slavery.
Government offices in southern states Mississippi and Alabama have closed for today (Apr. 23), acknowledging it as a state holiday.
In 2015, the state of Georgia removed the day and Robert E. Lee’s birthday from appearing on its calendars and replaced it with “State Holiday.” It’s unclear what the new name represents. Georgia also forbids the display of Confederate symbols. The shift came after the murder of nine Black people in a Charleston, South Carolina, church, by a white supremacist three years ago, CNN reported.
Gov. Phil Bryant of Mississippi, issued a proclamation in 2016 that declared April as “Confederate Heritage Month” in the state. The proclamation received major backlash from residents, but he defended it, saying “history deserves study and reflection, no matter how unpleasant or complicated parts of it may be,” according to his spokesman. He also declared April 24 Confederate Memorial Day to “honor those who served in the confederacy.”
People are perplexed about the decision to essentially celebrate the lynching, killing and enslavement of Black people.
One resident of Mississippi, Lea Campbell, wrote on her Facebook last year, “I’m troubled that in a state made up of 40% people of color, our leadership continues to openly sanction the use of taxpayer funds to endorse a neo-Confederate agenda. It is time to move forward.”
Other social media users and people have also questioned the commemoration of Confederate Memorial Day.
Former TV One host Roland Martin wrote, “Today in Alabama is White Domestic Terrorist Day. They call it Confederate Memorial Day.”
Today in Alabama is White Domestic Terrorist Day. They call it Confederate Memorial Day. This means all kids are out of school on a day to celebrate folks who wanted to keep Black people enslaved. Imagine Jews being forced to recognize Adolf Hitler Day. SAME THING.
— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) April 23, 2018
The Southern Poverty Law Center joined the conversation and tweeted, “The Confederacy was a white supremacist regime.”
Alabama state offices are closed today for a state holiday: Confederate Memorial Day.
The Confederacy was a white supremacist regime dedicated to preserving slavery. We should not glorify our racist past. https://t.co/WrZCjA6eQ8
— Southern Poverty Law Center (@splcenter) April 23, 2018
Clinton Smith, a PhD candidate at Harvard University posted,” They rebuke the “downfall of slavery” and they fear “the lust of half-civilized Africans.”
Today Alabama observes Confederate Memorial Day. Here is what Alabama wrote when they seceded from the Union in 1861. This is what’s being celebrated as an official state holiday in 2018.
They rebuke the “downfall of slavery” and they fear “the lust of half-civilized Africans.” pic.twitter.com/dyMHhYRtWI
— Clint Smith (@ClintSmithIII) April 23, 2018
There was a Nazi rally in Georgia on Friday, a white supremacist killed Black people in Tennessee and today is Confederate Memorial Day in Alabama.
A reminder that America has a violent white supremacy problem and it got worse after Trump got elected.
— Denizcan James (@MrFilmkritik) April 23, 2018
In Alabama, Confederate Memorial Day is an official holiday. Kids miss school to honor traitors who fought for slavery and a different flag. American children should not be taught to celebrate white supremacy. This racist tradition needs to end immediately.
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) April 23, 2018
You terrorize & enslave an entire race for over 300 yrs. Ban them from your privileges for the next 100 years. Fill two thirds of your prison cells with them until today & you're angry when they don't applaud your history?
FUCK YOUR Confederate Memorial Day! pic.twitter.com/rzmxdG1WjI
— StanceGrounded (@_SJPeace_) April 23, 2018