Many people in the southern United States just refuse to let go of the region’s Confederate past, which is literally a disgusting stain on American history.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has proclaimed April as Confederate Heritage Month. That, in itself, is frustrating. What’s more is that in honoring this “heritage,” he has made no mention of the fact that the confederacy was pro-slavery.
“Gov. Bryant believes Mississippi's history deserves study and reflection, no matter how unpleasant or complicated parts of it may be,” said Clay Chandler, a spokesman for Bryant. "Like the proclamation says, gaining insight from our mistakes and successes will help us move forward."
Yes, it could do that. It could also just inspire more “Dylann Roofs” to come about.
Governors of other Southern states have issued similar proclamations in the past and Georgia law designates each April as Confederate History and Heritage month, Mashable reports.
Apparently, it has been a long standing tradition for Mississippi governors to also proclaim Confederate Heritage Month, however, that was before the 2015 shooting at a Charleston, South Carolina church in which nine innocent lives were taken by a Confederacy fanatic.
Ever since the racially motivated mass shooting that both shocked and devastated the country, the Confederate flag and other monuments have been very controversial — deemed symbols of racism and oppression.
People who support the flag and statues that honor confederate leaders argue that they are only meant to represent “Southern pride,” yet they conveniently overlook the fact that the Confederacy fought to continue slavery, which is nothing to be proud of. Gov. Bryant is continuing the damaging pattern by omitting that fact from his proclamation.
Democratic state Rep. Ed Blackmon — who is also a member of the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus — said he takes no issue with people honoring Confederate ancestors, while also noting that, “At the same time, I would hope the governor would consider that people have problems with the Confederate flag.”
He referenced the fact that the Ku Klux Klan used the flag as a symbol of racial oppression: “That’s a part of history you cannot deny,” he said.
Bryant could have at least alluded to the fact that slavery isn’t something to celebrate by stating that while “gaining insight from our mistakes and successes” and coming to a “full understanding” we should also be cognizant of making sure we do not praise or repeat those “mistakes.”
Banner Photo Credit: Flickr user Darryl Moran