Target: Georgia Governor Nathan Deal
Goal: No longer celebrate Confederate Memorial Day as a state holiday.
The collection of Southern states that rose up in insurrection against the United States so that they could continue to own black people as property is still celebrated annually by Georgia’s state government. This is a reflection of, at best, continued willful ignorance of history or, at worst, continued racism. Demand that this state holiday be permanently revoked at once.
The Confederate States of America failed in its attempt to secede from the United States during the Civil War, a conflict precipitated by the South’s economic reliance on African slaves and its desire to continue to be able to own them. Unfortunately, Georgia seems to have a hard time letting this failure go. Like such notable holidays as Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year’s, and Independence Day, Georgia’s government has honored “Confederate Memorial Day” with statewide recognition, forcing all state agencies and government apparatuses to close on April 26th every year.
That state workers in Georgia are being forced to recognize a holiday memorializing a collection of states that went to war for explicitly racist and white supremacist aims is wrong should be more than obvious. Sign the petition below to demand that Georgia Governor Nathan Deal end this misguided holiday once and for all.
Dear Governor Deal,
I am writing you today regarding your state’s official annual recognition of Confederate Memorial Day. This is an outdated and offensive holiday, and there is no excuse for Georgia’s continued celebration of it.
While I understand the compulsion to express geographic pride, that compulsion becomes intensely problematic when it overlaps with expressly racist history. It’s because of this that claims of embracing Confederate history and imagery as nothing more than “Southern pride” are so laughably tone-deaf—it is not “Southern pride” for anyone except white people whose ancestors went to war for the right to own black people.
Confederate Memorial Day is a very visible example of this willful ignorance. Elevating historic racists to an honored holiday portrays at best a begrudging tolerance for violent white supremacy, and at worst a joyful acceptance for it. The Confederacy can never be disentangled from racism—it is part and parcel to what the Confederacy was, and what it represents now.
It goes without saying that racism should not be a part of American life—ceasing to venerate the Confederacy is the least your state can do to achieve that goal. I demand that you permanently end Confederate Memorial Day in your state once and for all.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Zscout370 via Wikimedia Commons