Confederate Memorial Day-What?? Not a Good Time in America for Us

Yesterday was Confederate Memorial Day and someone sent us this opinion that is circulating on the internet and we felt it was worth sharing.

confederateIn 2009, the Georgia General Assembly passed legislation designating April of each year as Confederate History and Heritage Month. I was told Friday that the Department of Labor would be closed Monday April 28, for Confederate Memorial Day. What???

It continues to amaze me that Whites in Atlanta / US have little or no sensitivity when it comes to Blacks and the Civil War. They’ve chosen to downplay or forget the horrific treatment of our race.

I live in a predominantly white community on the north side of Atlanta. This week I stopped by my city’s Welcome Center to pick up summer activities info. I volunteer for art festivals and other civic events. The director was quite happy to see me. She gleefully said “Oh so glad you stopped by. The City of Norcross is celebrating the 150th year of the Civil War. Would you like to volunteer?” I looked at her for a few seconds before responding and then told her “ no, that period was no celebration for me and my ancestors.” She hesitated uncomfortably and stated oh… She came back with “well we are showing Twelve years a Slave, Movie Night this week.”

This request is equivalent to asking a person of Jewish descent if they’d be interested in volunteering for a Holocaust celebration. “Remembering the Holocaust is what a healthy civic culture does, Indiana University historian Edward Linenthal said. Thus, the famous Holocaust dictum: Never forget.” But what about America’s own history of oppression? The number of places honoring black slavery from a black point of view remains painfully inadequate. Most of the existing civil war monuments focus on slavery’s liberators rather than the slaves themselves. There is still no “Slavery Remembrance Day,” or even an iconic slave memorial that pays tribute to the slave experience. And all this begs the question — why?

“In the U.S., the Holocaust became a comfortable, horrible memory,” Linenthal, author of “Preserving Memory: The Struggle to Create America’s Holocaust Museum,” said. “In other words, it’s easy to remember what somebody else did to somebody else; it’s much more difficult to confront your own indigestible memories.” In 1989, Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison explained that her reason for writing the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “Beloved” was to resolve America’s utter lack of tribute: “There is no place you or I can go,” she said in her 1989 Melcher Book Award speech, “to think about, to summon the presences of, or recollect the absences of slaves; nothing that reminds us of the ones who made the journey and of those who did not make it. There is no suitable memorial or plaque or wreath or wall or park or skyscraper lobby … in Charleston or Savannah or New York or Providence or, better still, on the banks of the Mississippi. And because such a place doesn’t exist … the book had to.”

Slavery was a horrendous, vile, horrific, disgusting time in history. Bottom-line… The pain and indignities Blacks experienced just doesn’t account for anything in the minds of many, thus let’s rejoice and celebrate Confederate Memorial Day.

Comments

  1. Burroughston Broch says:

    I refuse to live my life in constant concern that something I say or do might offend someone you. If I offend you, I will apologize if I think I have done something wrong. Barring that, get over it.
    I am deeply offended by the terrific level of black-on-black violence in our community, but no one in the black community (except Bill Cosby and Dr. Ben Carson) wants to address it. Where’s your sensitivity to this issue? It’s a much bigger issue than feigned outrage over what happened 150 years ago.