Reprinted with permission from Alternet
Mississippi Republican Governor Tate Reeves has signed a declaration making April Confederate Heritage Month.
"The new document, which Reeves apparently signed on April 7, 2021, appears on the Sons of Confederate Veterans' Camp 265 Rankin Rough & Ready's Facebook page. Reeves is from Rankin County," reports Mississippi Free Press' Donna Ladd. "The proclamation does not yet appear on the secretary of state's official proclamations page at press time."
It still does not.
But here it is, from the aforementioned Facebook page (screenshot below.)
"Darn' tootin' it is!" the post reads. "It's official- April is Confederate Heritage and History Month in our state of Mississippi and we observe it with pride!"
Ladd explains why Reeves' proclamation is exceptionally problematic.
"Reeves," she writes, "takes a more 'all sides matter' approach—hearkening back to the 'reconciliation' approach of the United Confederate Veterans and the Daughters of the Confederacy. Led by former Confederate officer and first Mississippi State University President Stephen D. Lee of Mississippi after Reconstruction ended, Confederate revisionists pushed for a strategy that ended in 'lost cause mythology' through textbook censorship and public marketing, including through the proliferation of Confederate statues and memorials across the South."
This "redemption" ideology—which actually advocated for maintaining white supremacy and turning back new-found rights for Black Americans–taught that the north was just as responsible as the south, if not more so, for what some southerners still call the "War of Northern Aggression." "April is the month when, in 1861, the American Civil War began between the Confederate and Union armies, reportedly the costliest and deadliest war ever fought on American soil…," his proclamation begins.
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