Happy Confederate Memorial Day!

No, it’s not a misprint, and I haven’t lost my mind.  In my home state, today is Confederate Memorial Day.  This holiday is officially observed in eight Southern states, with most celebrating on different days.  Confederate Memorial Day is a day to honor Confederate soldiers who died during the Civil War. 

In my home state of South Carolina, state employees, over 60,000, have the day off.  Before the year 2000, state employees had two floating holidays.  Martin Luther King Day was not a state holiday, meaning state employees had to work the third Monday in January, unless they took that day off as a floating holiday.  The same was done for Confederate Memorial Day.  In 2000, Senator Robert Ford from Charleston wrote a bill to make Confederate Memorial Day AND Martin Luther King Jr. Day state holidays.  It is interesting to note that Senator Ford is Black. 

Yes, the Confederacy is part of our history, and I’m sure I have school friends and know people who had their ancestors fight in the Civil War for the Confederate States of America.  When I read some of the comments on this article, I had some thoughts.  Yes, African-Americans have such sayings as “Black is Beautiful” and “Black Pride”, but these sayings weren’t made to belittle another race or to be racist.  In my experience, “White Pride” has been something stated by racist Americans.  And as Dot Scott said, just because the Confederacy is part of our history doesn’t mean we have to celebrate it.  That would be like America celebrating Nathan Bedford Forrest or Germany celebrating Adolf Hitler.  I’ll be the first to say that my state has multiple things to work on-budget, education, poverty, and the like, so it may seem futile to bring up the issue of today’s holiday.  But I think South Carolina politicians should know that this holiday still doesn’t sit well with all residents and natives. 

The Confederacy should not be forgotten, but it definitely should not be glorified.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.