Target: Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant
Goal: Do not declare a month dedicated to Confederate heritage.
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has declared April to be “Confederate Heritage Month” in the state. The 25th of April is already set aside as a day for Confederate Appreciation, but Bryant is extending it to include all of April. Bryant wants to focus on the appreciation of the Confederacy before the Civil War.
It should seem obvious that Bryant wants to highlight a period in which the state was grounded in slavery. It was obviously a dangerous and violent time in America’s history, and Bryant wants to honor the people who fought for it. In his wording, Bryant said, “It is important for all Americans to reflect on our nation’s past,” also claiming it will help Americans “gain insight from our mistakes.”
Bryant was very vocal recently about keeping in place Mississippi’s state flag, which features the Confederate logo. If he were serious about using the slavery era to learn from mistakes, he would devote the month to honoring the countless number of slaves and their descendants, not the white men that fought to own them. Please write to the Governor and let him know that “Confederate Heritage Month” is a shameful idea.
Dear Governor Bryant,
We are writing to let you know that we think a proposed “Confederate Heritage Month” is a shameful idea. You are honoring one of the most violent and degrading times in American history. We understand that you are proud of your state’s Confederate history, but honoring it in this way is not the right way to do it.
By fighting to keep the state flag with the Confederate logo on it, you have already shown that you are ready to side with the history of a long time ago. America has moved on from that time, and Mississippi needs to as well.
The wording in your statement is very thinly veiled. You say that you want Americans to learn from the mistakes of that era, and to reflect on the nation’s past. If you genuinely wanted this to happen, you would honor the countless slaves who were forced to work under extreme conditions and lost their lives, and their Mississippi descendants. Instead, you are actively choosing to side with the people who fought to own and abuse these slaves.
A month honoring them is shameful to America’s image and to its black citizens. Please reconsider your objective in who you are honoring.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Pumbaa80