New Orleans recently set about in removing four statues of Confederate leaders from public property, and some people are very upset. The statues eventually came down without incident, and New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu gave an all-time great speech on race in his city, the issue isn’t going away anytime soon. Seeing one Mississippi lawmaker’s statement that those responsible for taking down the statues should be lynched, Alabama will stem the tide of “political correctness” by making it illegal to remove Confederate monuments from public property.
Newly installed governor Republican Kay Ivey signed the legislation this week, much to the dismay of black legislators and civil rights groups. The bill was sponsored by state senator Gerald Allen, another Republican, who said “Where does it end? Are all parts of American history subject to purging, until every Ivy League professor is satisfied and the American story has been re-written as nothing but a complete fraud and a betrayal of our founding values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?” referring to the American Civil War that was fought over the right to enslave humans.
Under the bill, local governments will not be able to remove monuments or rename schools that have been in place for more than 40 years. The Hill counts at least nine monuments that would be protected by the bill.
Critics of the bill are not mincing their words. Rhonda Brownstein, legal director at the Southern Poverty Law Center, called the monuments “racist” and an affront to American values (again, many feel that the Confederacy was a traitorous attempt to secede from the Union). “By signing this bill, Gov. Kay Ivey indicates that lauding white supremacy is more important than demonstrating equality for all Alabamians,” she continued.
At the same time, it just got a little easier to vote in Alabama as a questionable old law just got tweaked a bit, so maybe folks in the Heart of Dixie can shift the tide in the future.
(via The Hill)