Alabama’s state offices closed Monday for Confederate Memorial Day, an event that is nothing but a chance to promote hate and White supremacy, civil rights groups have said.
The state-declared holiday, observed the fourth Monday in April, actually honors Confederate figures who fought to keep Black people chained to slavery. Confederate Memorial Day traces its roots back to 1866, the year a resolution to set aside a day to recognize Confederate soldiers who lost their lives in the Civil War was passed. Students in Alabama, as well as in Mississippi which commemorates the day as well, have the day off in recognition of this horrifying anti-Black racism. However, activists are not here for it.
The Southern Law Poverty Center and Faith In Action AL, a group fighting for systemic change for Alabamians, was spearheading a movement to get this Confederate-happy day canceled indefinitely.
To keep it all the way real, Alabama has a past drowned in hate. The “Cotton State” is notoriously known to history as one of the most racist states in the country. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. faced the racist hate in Alabama during his historic March from Selma to Montgomery in 1965, and today, the state still commemorates folks who stood for that racism.
The fight against this so-called celebration of the Confederacy, however, may just be stronger than the proponents who endorse the observance. Though there are still hundreds of Confederate statues standing across the country, several statutes have come down during the last year. The monuments, erected after the Civil War, will continue to be challenged until each one of them crashes to the ground.
And schools named after Confederate figures have also been met with opposition, forcing changes that no longer embrace racism.
The way forward will likely include more wiping away of symbols of whitewashed history. Folks may be asking themselves this question: When will Alabama find its way to the right side of history?