This holiday weekend is a bit different in some southern states, including Arkansas and Alabama, but especially in Mississippi. Monday, Mississippians will celebrate the birthdays of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert E. Lee. The City of Biloxi received national attention and swift backlash over a tweet it sent out regarding the holiday.
It is absolutely impossible for this state to celebrate an African American man on his own. The excuse given is the birthdays are close, with MLK’s 1/15 and Lee’s 1/19. But why are we even celebrating Lee, the commanding general of the “Lost Cause” who never personally fought a battle in Mississippi, or anywhere else in the Deep South?
Because this is the most racist state in the Union, and they cannot and will not just let white supremacy go. They lost the war…we lost the war…and the state is still celebrating it like we won it yesterday.
Just last year, as the Jackson Free Press Reports:
Two weeks before the Mississippi Legislature allowed 19 state flag bills to die in committee, Gov. Phil Bryant took out a pen and signed an official governor’s proclamation, declaring the month of April “Confederate Heritage Month,” a routine occurrence in Mississippi and several other southern states.
The proclamation did not get placed on the state’s website or other official platform; it was placed on the Sons of Confederate Veterans website, a group vehemently opposed to changing the state flag and pushing revisionist history regarding the Civil War.
This is also not the first time Governor Bryant has done this. In 2013 and 2014, he issued similar proclamations to other Confederacy groups, because apparently losing a war to keep slavery alive deserves a participation prize.
So it comes as no surprise the City of Biloxi on Friday night Tweeted a reminder that all nonessential municipal offices would be closed Monday for Great Americans Day. However, it set off a firestorm on Twitter.
— WLOX (@WLOX) January 14, 2017
That is…not the name of the holiday. https://t.co/oW01UYNH3I
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) January 14, 2017
ABC News explains the “name change was introduced to city council on Dec. 23, 1985, and approved on Dec. 31, 1985.”
The account has since been locked down, but the current mayor, Andrew ‘FoFo’ Gilch, released this statement:
“In my opinion that is the appropriate step to take, for the holiday to have the same name as the federal holiday. This city’s longstanding support of our annual MLK celebrations speaks volumes about our support for this holiday. In fact, we’ve always celebrated this day as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.”
The city’s statement also acknowledges that the city council did indeed pass a motion to honor other notable Americans. “The issue arose this afternoon when the city tweeted a one-line sentence that said non-emergency city offices would be closed on Monday ‘in observance of Great Americans Day,” reads the statement.
It continues, “The name has since been traced back to a City Council on Dec. 23, 1985 to proclaim the third Monday of every January ‘to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as well as other great Americans who have made important contributions to the birth, growth and evolution of this country.'”
That actually sounds almost reasonable and rational. Perhaps national peer pressure will help the state progress a bit into the current century. Or the few government offices on social media will stay off it. Bless their hearts; they just want to be able to be racists in peace on a massive social media platform.