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Like many random things I see on the internet, the flyer below seemed like it could have been a gag that someone whipped up on Microsoft Word, took a snapshot of, and circulates every year just to rile up folks’ racial sensitivities for a cheap joke.

So we’re supposed to celebrate a man who fought to keep black people enslaved on the same day we celebrate MLK? I’ve never heard of such a thing! I had to wonder, are there people out there still so steadfastly attached to the Civil War that they would declare what we all know is Martin Luther King Day as both a celebration of the civil rights leader and of Robert E. Lee, the great Southern hero of the Civil War?

The answer is yes, and no. Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi all celebrate Robert E. Lee’s birthday as a state holiday, and depending on which date Martin Luther King Day falls, both might be observed on the same day. The celebration of Lee’s contribution to Southern history pre-dates Martin Luther King completely, having been first observed in 1943. So this sign is probably the real deal. But it’s hard to ignore the pro-Confederacy culture in these states that allows for the reverence of a man who was literally on the losing side of history, and that’s what shocks me.

I’m not from the South and have limited experience with it, so please enlighten me…other than simply wanting to return to “the good old days” when the South thrived because of a slavery economy and black folks knew their place (i.e. a racist undercurrent), is there a legitimate allure to notions of the Confederacy today?

 

 

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  • angela

    Here is food for thought. If you celebrate Thanksgiving, which is a national holiday, should I assume you hate me? And want to continue take my home away and force my family to walk hundreds of miles, where some 4000 of my ansestors, Cherokee Indian, died. Am I to get angry when every store, restaurant, tv program, etc. puts out happy thanksgiving? Am I to hold on to the evil of some and pass it forward to all of you?

    • Socially Maladjusted

      angela

      woman, I am not an american, I’ve already told you I’m a black man born raised and living in the UK.

      But if I was black man born raised and living in america, I would not celebrate thanksgiving. i would simply continue to do what I already do –

      Remember the suffering of ALL those who have fallen victim to white supremacy.

      Mourn Their passing,

      and

      Honour Them by keeping Their story alive until Justice has been done in Their behalf.

      Don’t try to make me responsible for the genocide that white people commited against your people – assuming of course that you really are a Native american.

    • angela

      Well to be accurate, you said a black British man, which very well could have been living in the melting pot of America. Please accept my apology for assuming as such. As for my nationality, why would I need to lie? (That’s just silly)
      I also apologize if you felt I was trying to make you feel any responsibility, that is actually the polar opposite of the point I was trying to make. I live now, in my own skin. I will not forget anyone’s life, white, black, yellow…. But I also do not blame others for things, them their selves haven’t done. That, was my point.
      Again, you are in my prayers. I can love you, a stranger, a brother in human race and hope one day you find peace in humanity… There are some good people on this earth, of all colors!!!

  • Not being from the south yourself, I see no way you could truly understand. He is a great part of our Heritage! Southerners have nothing but the utmost respect for this one of a kind, great man! & not just whites. There are plenty blacks that feel the same way! The war was not started because of slavery…. There were plenty free men of color who fought in the war alongside our white brothers in gray. Most northerners don’t know the true heritage of the south. There were plenty black plantation owners as well! Research it… If you can find true representations of the history & heritage of our beloved South. No matter what northerners may think…. General Lee will always be in the true southerners heart. Always!