MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — State offices are closed Monday in observance of Confederate Memorial Day – a holiday not everyone agrees should be celebrated.
“State funds and state resources should not be used to honor anyone who had any association with the Confederacy,” Alabama Democrats Political Director Dexter Strong said.
Strong doesn’t think the state should commemorate the day.
“People who commit treason, who wanted to install and continue slavery shouldn’t be honored by Alabama’s taxpayers,” Strong said.
Lecia Brooks with the Southern Poverty Law Center says Alabama’s recognition of the day sends the wrong message to Black Alabamians.
“A message of tremendous disrespect we believe to African Americans whose ancestors, mine included, were enslaved in this country,” Brooks said.
Alabama State University History and Political Science Department Chair Derryn Moten says whether the day should be a holiday or not, the effects of the war won’t be forgotten.
“Out of this war we got Reconstruction, we got the 13th Amendment, the 14th Amendment, the 15th Amendment, the civil rights of 1866 and so no I don’t think we ever will forget that war nor should we forget that war,” Moten said.
Alabama is one of three states that recognize Confederate Memorial Day, alongside South Carolina and Mississippi.
Alabama also observes Robert E. Lee day in January, and the birthday of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in June.