When Is It Appropriate to Commemorate?
I came across this letter which was printed in the Montgomery Advertiser, and although it is brief it makes alot of sense. Here is the letter by Bill Little of Montgomery in full:
I am a white native Alabamian, with two great-great-grandfathers who fought
for the Confederacy. As a state employee, I have for nearly 25 years been given
holidays for Confederate Memorial Day and Jefferson Davis’ birthday. While I
enjoy having these days off, I would urge the Legislature to end these as state
My reasons have nothing to do with my personal opinion as to whether the
Confederate dead or Jefferson Davis should be remembered. I simply believe that
a state holiday should be an occasion that all the people of the state wish to
celebrate, or at least acknowledge as appropriate. This is apparently not true
for many, if not most, black people in Alabama, for reasons that I can
Ending these holidays would not represent a collective decision that the
Confederate dead and Jefferson Davis are not worthy of remembrance. It would
mean only that the remembrance of them is not a matter on which all Alabamians
can agree, and thus that these holidays are not appropriate for the state as a
The cynic in me can’t help but wonder whether this letter is a fraud, but perhaps it is a small sign of sanity out there.