How to Help Abolish Confederate Memorial Day
If you live in Alabama or Mississippi, you obtusely contend that the Civil War had nothing to do with slavery, and your alarm clock screams “The South shall rise again!” every morning, then today’s your lucky day.
Why? Because it’s Confederate Memorial Day!
Yes, it's been approximately 153 years since the Confederate Army surrendered to Denzel Washington and the rest of the Union forces. And yes, monuments honoring The Ghosts of Treasonous Generals Past have since sprouted throughout the South, accompanied by questionable legislation with a complimentary side of revisionist history.
But because it’s a new day, and some of us actually want to leave our crazy ex where they belong in 1865, here’s how you can help abolish a holiday that glorifies the defectors who fought tooth and nail to keep Black people enslaved.
How to help make Confederate Memorial Day a thing of the past
Two states still give their people the day off for Confederate Memorial Day: Alabama and Mississippi. You might want to call their Senators and tell them that's so not 2018:
- Alabama Senator Richard Shelby: 202.224.5744
- Alabama Senator Doug Jones: 202.224.4124
- Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker: 202.224.6253
- Mississippi Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith 202.224.5054
While you have her on the phone: ask Governor Ive to reverse the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act, which she signed into law last May. The law requires local governments to obtain state permission before removing, altering, or renaming historically significant monuments, buildings, or streets located on public property for 40 years or more years. If only the same rules applied to Beyonce.
The law also established the Committee on Alabama Monument Protection, whose 11 members are tasked with (you guessed it) deciding the fate of historical buildings and monuments. This caveat conveniently became law after Mayor William Bell played hide and go seek with the Linn Park Memorial in Birmingham.
How to help commemorate what really happened
The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which documents the racial terror that defined slavery and Jim Crow (as well as its present-day legacy), opens this week in Montgomery. You can get tickets here, and donate here, and learn more about the Equal Justice Initiative (its nonprofit sponsor) here.
You can also celebrate a heroine who didn’t take up arms for the right to keep humans as livestock. The planned Ida B. Wells Monument is a more than halfway to its fundraising goal.