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.

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8 Comments

  1. I’m torn on this one. For some, the major purpose of the confederacy, and their reason for commemorating it, has very little to nothing to do with race. Many are misled into believing the major issues was slaves, but the abolition of slavery was a by-product; the war was classic states rights versus federal government rule, a “you can’t tell me what to do” tug of war. I’m sure some of those that fought for the confederacy cared more about that than slavery one way or another. It’s especially pertinent today, when many states feel the need to oppose what the federal government is enacting, such as the healthcare reform and etc. I guess for me to feel strongly one way or another, I’d have to know what they are really observing–the loss of life on the Confederate side, the fight for states rights, a time when Blacks weren’t equal with whites, etc. Since I don’t think I’ll ever know, I feel much the same as I do about the Confederate flags I see here.

    I see many people wearing or displaying the Confederate flag here (FL.), and it means different things to different people. To some, it’s just a simple of the Southern states. To some it means you’re a redneck. To others, it means white supremacy and not liking Black people. I’ve met some nice people who wear confederate flag t-shirts and claim to be “rednecks.” I’ve also met one gentleman with confederate flags decorating his dorm room to intimidate and express hatred towards his Black roommate.

    As a Southerner raised “up North,” I know that not all of my conclusions about why people here observe certain days or display certain things are correct, so I try not to jump to conclusions so swiftly; however, it still triggers a little something in my mind. I guess out of respect, I’d request they didn’t observe it. At the same time, an extra day off is hard to pass up (j/k 😉 ).

  2. I have said it before and I will say it again: anyone who claims to be Southern and yet despises either the Confederate flag or the Confederate history of the South is like someone claiming to be a collector and admirer of fancy oil paintings and beautiful watercolors…and is absolutely colorblind.

    Ma’am I think your thinly veiled hatred of your fellow Southerners shows too much…not to mention the worn-out “Nazi Comparison” (there you actually had me use the N-word!) shows that you may speak Southern, but your heart just isn’t in it.

    You mention “white pride” and I have no beef with anyone who supports racial pride….even if I think such thinking is totally limiting and completely ridiculous considering that at the cellular level human beings are all the same despite the pigmentation God blessed a person with at birth. However that you should bring up ethnicity at all shows you see skin color first and foremost….a true Southerner does not.

    Also “Happy Confederate Memorial Day” would not be the appropriate thing to say since its about honoring veterans of a war, the term should be used with more reverence since it is specifically about honoring men and boys of all races, religions and creeds who fought to defend the independence of South Carolina and the Confederacy from an illegal and unconstitutional invasion by a hostile force.

    There are plenty of holidays for everyone and plenty of room in America for everyone….if you choose to deny Confederate memorial day, choose not to put a flower or flag at a Confederate grave or monument or fly a battle flag from your porch for a day, well you are free not to…..you DO NOT however have the right to judge people who do not share your values and views.

    Finally glorifying the sacrifices of men who fought in a terrible war does not mean glorifying the Confederacy itself, its about honoring the fighting spirit of the Southern people. END OF STORY!

    Until Next Time, I am just a Southern boy….and a proud descendant of a Confederate soldier.

  3. Well ma’am, why celebrate the 4th of July ? George Washington and 11 more of the first 18 presidents were slave owners, including Grant. The slaves were brought here under the US flag on Northern ships. I’m sure the US flag offends Native Americans who also lost a war and were nearly exterminated by soldiers who flew that flag. I think you’re on a slippery slope. If you don’t want to celebrate Confederate Memorial day you don’t have to, but leave those of us who choose to alone. I’ll mind my own business and you mind yours. There, everybody is happy.

  4. I guess someone should mention things like the “first” thirteen amendment guaranteeing slavery or the fact that Lincoln stated in Feb of 65 if we would just put down our guns and come back to the Union we could have our slaves. We had the same opportunity in 1861 we could have returned to the Union passed the amendment but as we have said over the years “IT WAS NOT OVER SLAVERY”. People only have their own self to blame they refuse to listen and believe what is handed them in the American school system. That being upsetting enough I also see the PC police making World War II veterans take down their memorials and seeing how you feel about an unpopular war explains why you treat Viet Nam veterans like with abuse. A small mind is lonely world.

  5. First of all, Memorial days are commemorated, not celebrated. As has already been said, associating the term “happy” with Memorial Day shows one’s ignorance of history whether it is commemorated on April 26, May 10, May 30. or June 3 – each of these dates is Confederate Memorial Day in various states and the concept of setting aside a day for grateful remembering was started in the South and the “Yankees” followed suit some 2 years after the war Between the States – also on May 30.

    Those that see slavery as the cause for this great war have swallowed the lie of Political Correctness, ans PC is destroying our history and nation. Slavery was a minor issue in this war and the truth needs to be told. Space limitations will not allow the complexities of the reasons leading to the WBTS to be discussed as they need to be here, but each one should do their own research and not simply swallow the PC lies forced to be taught in schools.

    Memorial Day, of any kind, is a day intended for reverence when people went out and fought for what they believed in, especially those that gave their lives for that cause. Confederate Memorial Day is no different – and since Southern women started the practice, it should be held in even higher esteem.

  6. Thank you all for your responses; they are greatly appreciated. I do have a few comments to share so please bear with me.

    To most of you who have responded, yes, I am well aware of the fact that slavery was only a minor issue during the Civil War. But you can’t deny the fact that most Southerners supported slavery and treated Blacks as if they were the lesser race, when, as Mr. Roden stated, all human beings are equal.

    To Mr. Roden, as a man who grew up in the South, I don’t believe that color was a none issue for you. I’ve spent my entire life in the South, and know that color is the first thing people see. You “jokingly” use the “N” word (nazi), but can you imagine being called a n*gger at 5 years old by a boy not much older than yourself-not because you said anything to him or because you wouldn’t play with him, but by the mere fact you’re a black girl who happens to be standing on a sidewalk?

    I could be here for days, but I’ll end by saying this- I do not have a problem with the Confederacy-I have a problem with racism.

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