Remove Confederate Memorial Day as a State Observance Day in Georgia! #EndTheConfederacy
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The purpose of this petition is to remove April 26 as a Georgia State Holiday and for the passing of a resolution that prevents any further resolutions to be passed to deem April as Confederate History Month & April 26th as Confederate Memorial Day at the Georgia State Capitol.
For years, Confederate Memorial Day & Robert E. Lee's birthday were on Georgia's official state holiday calendar. In 2015, the two holidays were removed from the official calendar and replaced with "state holiday."
Robert E. Lee's birthday is January 19 (previously observed November 27); Confederate Memorial Day on April 26 (Observed April 27).
In 2015, Governor Nathan Deal stated "There will be a state holiday on that day. Those so inclined can observe Confederate Memorial Day and Remember those who died in that conflict."
Starting in 1874, Confederate Memorial Day in Georgia was meant to honor the day the confederate forces surrendered to General William T. Sherman ending the Civil War in Georgia on April 26, 1865 (according to the Georgia government website). Over the years, the holiday has disappeared & returned. The purpose of this petition is to remove the two holidays from the state observance list.
Each year, Georgia's governor has to sign a proclamation declaring April Confederate History Month & April 26 Confederate Memorial Day. In 2017, the People had a huge win! Georgia lawmaker tried to revive Confederate Memorial Day in name in 2017, however, the proposal did not gain traction. Additionally, Georgia Reps. Tommy Benton (31st District), Alan Powell (32nd District), Steve Tarvin (2nd District), and Jesse Petrea (166th District) proposed HR644 which would recognize April 2017 as Confederate History Month and April 26, 2017 as Confederate Memorial Day at the capitol.This bill was NOT passed by the Georgia General Assembly during the 2017 session due to constituents and organizations such as the NAACP, condemning this resolution.
It is my position that Confederate History Month isn't about remembering & reflecting on lessons learned. On April 9, 1865, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered in Virginia. Yet 152 years later, many in our region are still fighting the lost war. Some do this by flying confederate flags with slogans like, "The South Will Rise Again!" and "Heritage, Not Hate." Celebrating Confederate History Month-without even attempting to put it in its proper context of human slavery and racism- is just another example of many refusing to let white supremacy die. Interestingly and hypocritically, many white southerners will advise black people to "get over slavery and segregation," but in the same breath wave a Confederate flag in the name of 'heritage.'
Just as the swastika is a symbol of fear, suppression, and extermination for Jewish people, the Confederacy & associated Confederacy symbols (ie: Confederate Holidays, flags, slogans) are symbols of fear, oppression, slavery, and extermination for black individuals & "woke" individuals of other races. The German Straggesetzbuch (Criminal Code) 86a outlaws "use of symbols of unconstitutional organizations" outside of the contexts of "art or science, research or teaching." This concerns Nazi symbolism in particular and is part of the denazification efforts following the fall of the Third Reich. The law prohibits the distribution or public use of symbols of unconstitutional groups- in particular, flags, insignia, uniforms, slogans, and forms of greeting. While, I believe we should remove any symbols of the Confederacy, that is being proposed in a different petition. This petition focuses on the removal (de-confederatification) of all confederacy-related state holidays or (named or unnamed) in Georgia.
Source: "Georgia renames Confederate Memorial Day, Robert E. Lee on holiday calendar." Sunday, August 9, 2015. Emmanuella Grinberg, CNN.
Source: "Truth about 'Confederate History Month.'" March 28, 2017. Ashton Pittman.
Source: "2017 State Holidays." team.georgia.gov
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