Governor’s secret proclamation brings light to serious issue

Published 5:45 pm Tuesday, April 13, 2021

This week, the Mississippi Free Press reported Gov. Tate Reeves signed a proclamation last Wednesday declaring April as Confederate Heritage Month.

Reeves declared the month of April as Confederate Heritage Month in 2020, just like his predecessors. The article said Reeves made the announcement on the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ Camp 265 Rankin Rough & Ready’s Facebook page, which is similar to how he made the proclamation last year.

If the governor feels the need to make such a proclamation in secret, he should not make it at all.

Mississippi has no statute or law that says the state or its governor has to declare April as Confederate Heritage Month. Mississippi state law does designate the last Monday in April as Confederate Memorial Day.

There is nothing celebratory about keeping the heritage of the institution of slavery alive, which the confederacy did. Maybe a better way is to designate April as a month dedicated to studying the Civil War, which lasted five Aprils.

Reeves should spend his time on making proclamations that bring Mississippi forward and continue to heal us from the sins of our past.

Mississippi made progress this year when it voted to replace a flag bearing a confederate battle emblem with one that represents all of Mississippi’s citizens.

The governor’s secretive designation of April as Confederate Heritage Month in Mississippi is stark proof we have still a long, long way to go.