Confederate History Month does not merit celebration

Sarah Simon, Associate Views Editor

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This is an opinion article and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo.

This April, following Black History Month and Women’s History Month, a more controversial month of celebration and remembrance will take place: Confederate History Month. Some white individuals have long called for the introduction of a White History Month. They are often shut down with the simple response, “Every month is White History Month.” But Confederate History Month is somewhat different, an amalgamation of Southern pride, white supremacy and some fond recollection of a nation that just barely existed. This patchwork notation of cultural significance, however, is not worth a month-long celebration. The Confederacy’s history was violent, its largest driving factor the continuation of slave-economics. Objectively, giving it a month of remembrance is inappropriate and ridiculous.

It is important to be aware and informed of the United State’s history of slavery and the systems of oppression that continue to discriminate against black people — this is partially why there’s Black History Month. The Confederacy was formed as a reactionary force defending the sanctity of the enslavement of people of color. A month dedicated to remembering this history serves to celebrate an embarrassment to our nation.

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, the first to sign off on Confederate History Month, claims that the Confederacy is an important part of Southern history, no matter how unpleasant it may be, and therefore it is deserving of a month of remembrance. Mississippi joins six other states, including Louisiana, in celebrating this month. Bryant, however, seems to misinterpret the role of a month of remembrance.

Typically, history months are used to celebrate the stories of groups of people who have been silenced. Black History and Women’s History are not the primary narrative taught in the United States. Dedicating months to learning and reflecting on these histories allows us to dedicate time and energy to empowering disenfranchised groups. The Confederate States of America have no need for this. Many Southern families tell stories of the “War of Northern Aggression” and hang Confederate flags alongside the United States’. Though this is not a national majority, the Confederate voice was never silenced.

There is a distinction between awareness and celebration. Allotting a month to learn Confederate history does nothing to condemn slavery. Giving blatant racism a platform to be heard and celebrated is inexcusable. It is astonishing that this month of celebration still exists. While this history cannot be erased or forgotten, there should be no dispute. Confederate history is inherently racist and does not deserve praise or celebration.

Sarah is a freshman at Newcomb-Tulane College. She can be reached at [email protected]