Let’s Make April Confederate Slavery Memorial Month
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has proclaimed April to be Confederate Heritage Month, and April 25th to be Confederate Memorial Day. He gave the declaration as a sop to the right wing extremist group Sons of Confederate Veterans, many of whose members like to walk the streets of the South wearing their great grandfathers’ Confederate uniforms – or recreations of them.
It’s quite clear that, in places like Mississippi, Confederate Memorial events are really celebrations of the Confederacy, and all of its atrocities. Governor Bryant squeals in protest to the national media when he’s asked about why Mississippi is commemorating a traitorous regime known for its terrible human rights abuses. He says that Confederate Heritage Month is all about remembering everything about the Confederacy, the good and the bad…
… but then, his declaration of Confederate Heritage Month and Confederate Memorial Day didn’t even acknowledge the existence of slavery, the cruel practice that imprisoned huge numbers of human beings, forcing them to work for no money, to live in squalid conditions, without any legal rights. It was slavery that motivated the formation of the Confederacy in the first place.
So, lets’ do what the dishonest and dishonorable state government of Mississippi won’t do. Let’s use April to remember what the Confederacy was really all about. Let’s observe April Confederate Slavery Memorial Month, in which we take note of the depravity that people celebrate when they wave the Stars and Bars, when they stage Civil War re-enactments, and when they sing Dixie.
Every day for the rest of the month, I’ll be noting the reality of life in the Confederacy, and for the enslaved southerners before the Civil War.
It’s the Ugly South, which politicians like Phil Bryant show us has still not been replaced by the mythical New South.