In Mississippi, Governor Phil Bryant has declared April as Confederate Heritage Month, and the last Monday in April as Confederate Heritage Day. Unfortunately, this is not an April Fool’s joke.
Bryant signed an official proclamation regarding the month of April’s new designation, which you can view on his website, between Physician Anesthesiologists Week 2016 and Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Action Day 2016. The Governor’s proclamation was requested and championed by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, who are busy engaging in the practices of revisionist history, according to the Jackson Free Press.
From Bryant’s proclamation:
“April is the month in which Confederate States began and ended a four-year struggle; and on Confederate Memorial Day, we recognize those who served in the Confederacy; and April 25, 2016, is set aside as Confederate Memorial Day to honor those who served in the Confederacy; and it is important for all Americans to reflect Upon our nation’s past, to insight from our mistakes and successes, and to come to a full understanding that the lessons learned yesterday and today will carry us through tomorrow if we carefully and earnestly strive to understand and appreciate our heritage and our opportunities which lie before us: Now, Therefor, I, Phil Bryant, Governor of the State of Mississippi, hereby proclaim the month of April 2016 as Confederate Heritage Month in the State of Mississippi.
Makes you wonder exactly what he’d like us to reflect on—the clinging to slavery part, or the reclaiming slaves as stolen and/or escaped property part, or the bloody fight Mississippians put up to maintain black people as less-than-human chattel upon which to build and keep their economy going? Yes, let’s really reflect on that heritage, shall we?
Bryant uses the word “mistakes,” but you get the sense he doesn’t eman it; he’s refused to change the Mississippi state flag, which is the Confederate symbol, and said the state’s residents should decide. In 2001, Mississippians voted to keep the flag as is, with the majority of the support coming from the demographic you would expect.
According to the Free Press, Mississippi joins Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Texas and Mississippi in the elite group of states that celebrate Confederate Heritage Month (called Confederate History Month in some states). In Virginia, Governor Bob McDonnell tried to implement the “celebration” in 2010, but faced a backlash and released an apology for “not mentioning slavery in the proclamation.” Governor Bryant, on the other hand, dismisses McDonnell’s controversy and corresponding statement as “something that doesn’t matter for diddly.”
Contact the author at Hillary@jezebel.com.
Image via AP.