Confederate Heritage Month Lite

Many are expressing shock and surprise that Mississippi governor Tate Reeves chose to sign a proclamation designating April as Confederate Heritage Month. Clearly, these people know nothing about Mississippi.

 

I can certainly understand the frustration, but what once again stands out to me is the proclamation’s watered down and meaningless language. These proclamations go out of their way to avoid the very purpose that they once served—to celebrate not just the Confederate soldier, but the cause for which he fought.

This is an important point. These proclamations were intended to give legitimacy to an interpretation of the “War Between the States” that justified secession and slavery, celebrated the bravery of Confederate generals like Lee and Jackson, and cast Reconstruction as the product of a corrupt and evil federal government. This view was once widely accepted.

To be honest, I don’t understand why the Sons of Confederate Veterans is still asking for the governor to sign these proclamations, but given the past few years I guess they will take what they can get.

My recommendation is to read this not as a reflection of the continued hold of the Lost Cause in American culture, but as a sign of just how far it has receded.

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5 comments… add one
  • Walter Kamphoefner Apr 6, 2020 @ 6:35

    Levin is right; when you’re dealing with Mississippi, you’re grateful for small favors. Note that the gov even uses the term “Civil War,” (the term Jeff Davis favored), rather than the Lost Cause Politically Correct term, War Between the States (whenever anyone uses that in my presence, I ask how West Virginia fits into the equation).

    • CliosFanBoy Apr 9, 2020 @ 4:47

      I still like “The Late Unpleasantness” which we joked was how little old Southerner ladies referred to it.

  • washingtonsenators01 Apr 6, 2020 @ 6:19

    A “full understanding” would be a welcome change

  • zcrockett53 Apr 6, 2020 @ 4:48

    Now I wish I didn’t know even this much about Mississippi. 😢
    I’m very thankful that my home state of Virginia and it’s Democrat-led legislature has put an end to Lee-Jackson Day, as of July, 2020. Of course this is the same state that, from 1983-2000, observed Lee-Jackson-King Day. Yes, Virginia determined to observe the federal holiday celebrating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the state holiday celebrating Lee and Jackson. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee–Jackson_Day
    I have a question about the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Is there very much crossover between them and the KKK? I know a little of the membership expectations of the SCV; my son was encouraged to join by my father, as he had Confederate veterans in both maternal and paternal grandparent families. Providentially my father passed before any pressure was brought to bear. My husband, a devote Trumpite (to my great sorrow) says the KKK no longer has enough members to be relevant. Do you agree?

  • Ken Noe Apr 6, 2020 @ 4:45

    Of course, this is the same rocket scientist who thought it would be a great idea to take his family to Spain last month.

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