Why Are Some States Still Commemorating Confederate Memorial Day?

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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.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center joined the conversation and tweeted, “The Confederacy was a white supremacist regime.”

Clinton Smith, a PhD candidate at Harvard University posted,” They rebuke the “downfall of slavery” and they fear “the lust of half-civilized Africans.”

Others added:

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