Target: Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant
Goal: Do not promote Confederate appreciation by making April “Confederate Heritage Month.”
The Governor of Mississippi has recently proclaimed April as Confederate Heritage Month in his state. His proclamation states that the citizens of Mississippi should “earnestly strive to understand [their] heritage.” He also believes that Confederate history deserves study and reflection despite its complexity. The governor chose April because it is the month that “the Confederate states began and ended a four-year struggle.” This is not the first time he has made this proclamation; in 2012, he used almost the same wording.
The proclamation was met with a mostly negative reaction on social media. Many of the responses criticized the Governor for attempting to celebrate a racist army in the same fashion as Black History Month. Others believe that the proclamation isn’t true because it does not appear on the governors’ website. Nonetheless, the proclamation came during a time when Mississippi was dealing with 12 different bills requesting the removal of confederate imagery on the state’s flag. There is controversy surrounding that as well; the bills never reached the statehouse floor due to stalling.
The Confederate army was full of men who treated their slaves as less than dirt. Please sign the petition below to urge the governor to not promote Confederate appreciation in Mississippi.
Dear Governor Bryant,
States across the South are doing what they can to get rid of anything that promotes appreciation to the Confederate army. They’ve changed their laws and their flags, and yet Mississippi remains as the only state in America to both have the Confederate flag on their state flag and have a month dedicated to Confederate history. It leaves a bad taste in the mouths of those offended by the flag and those that know about its history.
The Confederate flag is widely believed to be tied to acts of racial violence. A bombing at a Walmart in Mississippi can be directly tied to the Confederate flag; a white man told the police he did it after he discovered that the store no longer sold Confederate flags. Many people also believe that the deaths of Otis Byrd and Frederick Jermaine Carter, two black men who were found hanged in 2015 and 2010, respectively, were lynched. There is also the case where a former student of Ole Miss put a hanging noose and a version of the old Georgia flag, which contains the confederate flag, around the neck of a statue of the University of Mississippi’s first black student.
These are all reasons why you should not make April “Confederate Heritage Month.” Please do not celebrate a racist history.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Brian Snyder