Jackson County, Alabama Walks a Fine Line
Jackson County, Alabama recently passed a proclamation declaring April as Confederate Heritage and History Month. You gotta love the wording of this one:
The proclamation states that its purpose is to recognize Montgomery’s role as the birthplace of the Confederacy and that “upon the conclusion of the war, many of these same leaders and citizens worked tirelessly to reunite and rebuild this country and forge reconciliation.” Also, “our recognition of Confederate history also recognizes that slavery was one of the causes of the war, an issue in the war, was ended by the war and slavery is hereby condemned.“
The proclamation states that “the knowledge of the role of the Confederate States of America in the history of our state and nation is vital to understanding who we are and what we are” and that its purpose is to “honor our past and from it draw the courage, strength and wisdom to reconcile ourselves and go forward into the future together as Alabamians and Americans.“
I wonder if black Alabamians in the postwar-South would agree that the state’s leaders struggled to “reunite” and “rebuild” this country through a process of “reconciliation.” And can you believe that slavery was mentioned in a proclamation of this sort? Don’t get too excited, however. Claiming that slavery was “one of the causes” really means that it was no more or less important than the tariff. That said, I agree wholeheartedly with the first quote in the second paragraph, though I suspect not for the same reasons that the author[s] intended.