[Ed. Note—The opinions expressed reflect the opinions of the author and the author only. This essay does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Complex Media.]
Admittedly, I’m a bit weary of arguing for or against a “ban” on anything. Much of that has to do with the reality that more often than not, it’s a fruitless exercise given folks tend to ultimately do whatever it is they want to do anyway. This is especially true when it comes to Confederate Memorial Day—a day in which loads of white southern people that refuse to accept a centuries-old L raise the roof for sectionalists. Even if we could ban the holiday, should we expect a bunch of rule breakers to follow directions? Probably not, but still, I can’t help but ask these slavery celebrating sum’bitches, “Why won’t you let this Confederacy thing go already?” I’m well within my right to play the role of Uncle Scrooge for American Civil War secessionist-themed holidays. After all, for 28 days every year, I have to watch white people ask why does there need to be a month honoring Black History. So in honor of Blackness and revenge, let me return the favor.
For starters, these Civil War reenactments always come across as overpriced Halloween parties if not glorified historical drag balls. No 10s for y’all. And then there’s the part about this being a state holiday in places like South Carolina. I normally don’t take issue with any excuse to travel or have a cookout instead of doing work, but c’mon nah, as us southerners would say. Find another reason to be lazy and BBQ ribs. What really goats me, though, and ultimately, the reason why I wish this holiday would go the way of the cassette tape is the lingering rationale behind it. As the son of a Louisianan, I’m familiar with many a redneck’s excuse for why continued celebrations of the Confederacy matters.
It's history, southern pride, blah-blah-blah insert more deflecting language about the racism associated with the confederacy. And because I’m a masochist, I also trolled Confederate-loving message boards to reexamine why this day is all the rage for the folks who long for the period before Black folks took the shackles off their feet so they could dance (to freedom). While reading and scowling at Debate.org—which is sort of like CNN’s Crossfire (first edition) in text form—I read musings on this very topic like: “I am so tired of everyone else being given the right to celebrate their heritage all while being told that mine is not worth celebrating. Every immigrant group has a parade and a day / month to celebrate their ancestors. There would not be a memorial day if not for the ladies who began honoring the soldiers that fought in the Civil War, Confederate and Union alike. Equality is a two way street.”
This is the sort of obtuse understanding about race and equality that likely makes Ann Coulter wet. Another gem: “The states that already celebrate it have a bunch of people that fought and died for the land they love. We celebrate holidays like Memorial Day but that day is for US soldiers not Confederate troops that died. Having a month to celebrate our Southern history can teach kids the truth about the War between the States and the South itself.” While I find it to be a bit of stretch at the very least to treat treasonists on par with the soldiers who died fighting for the United States of America, do these people not realize they can honor these troops on Memorial Day with the soldiers who died in other wars? If we’re all about “teaching kids the truth,” how about we celebrate basic comprehension?
In some states, Confederate Memorial Day has already happened on April 26, but other states like Virgina and South Carolina will celebrate today. Others will debate on select dates in June. I wish all of them would find something better to do. Like, pushing their southern government state leaders to accept Medicaid expansion. Or I don’t know, celebrate Beyoncé—something I do every day (it works well for me). Yes, unlike Kanye West trying to make fetch happen with his Confederacy Couture, many of us colored folks still see the Confederacy for exactly what it is. Hint, hint: It ain’t a celebration of “history.” God bless the dead—even the damn idiots on the wrong end of an issue—but if Germany isn’t honoring Nazi History Month, the Dixie crowd can finally join the rest of us on Memorial Day and knock it off already.