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Politics

Critics Slam Bill 'Erasing' Birthdays of Confederate Figures from Florida Holidays

February 6, 2018 - 3:30pm

Florida lawmakers moved closer to removing holidays celebrating Confederate figures in a committee meeting on Tuesday.

State senators considered a new proposal which could remove the birthdays of former Confederate president Jefferson Davis and Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a list of legal holidays celebrated in Florida. 

The bill, SB 224, sponsored by Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, would also remove the Confederate Memorial Day from the list of holidays contained in state law. 

Lee’s birthday and the Confederate Memorial Day have been on state calendars since 1895 while Davis’ birthday has been celebrated in Florida since 1905. 

The Senate Community Affairs Committee voted 4-2 in favor of the measure. 

Book said her bill wasn’t attempting to diminish the significance of Lee and Davis’ impact on Florida, but emphasized the measure intended to “underscore” and “undercut” tributes celebrating the Confederacy, which upheld slavery and “perpetuated inequality” in the 1800s. 

“I’ve been a Floridian my entire life and I love, appreciate and honor our state’s unique heritage and culture,” Book told the committee. “Our history is rich and undeniable and no one is seeking to erase that.”

Book said Lee himself opposed memorializing the Civil War and its leaders, noting it was “wiser” not to keep open the “sores of war.”

The bill sparked lengthy debate over whether or not Florida was attempting to scrub its Civil War roots from the history books. Florida joined the Confederate States at the beginning of the Civil War and was often used as an important food supplier for Southern troops.

Opponents of the measure criticized the bill, questioning why Florida would want to “erase” Southern history. 

“We can’t even have a simple holiday on the books recognizing the great men and women who stood in defense of our state? How cowardly have we become as a people?” asked Marshall Clayton Rawson, who said it was “insulting” the bill was even being heard. 

“I am offended that our history is being dismissed, erased and destroyed,” said Cindy Newsome of Yulee. “We are micromanaging our history so we can appease one group only to anger another group...we’ve been walking on eggshells trying not to offend anyone by our history.”

Sens. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, and Tom Lee, R-Brandon, both voted “no” on the measure. Book’s bill now heads to the Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee for approval. 

Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Coral Springs, is sponsoring identical legislation in the House, but it has yet to receive a hearing. 

 

 

 

Reach reporter Allison Nielsen by email at allison@sunshinestatenews.com or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen.


READ MORE FROM SUNSHINE STATE NEWS
 

Comments

"The Memory Hole": "Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past." "1984" by George Orwell (READ IT...BEFORE YOU TEAR DOWN OUR CULTURE'S MONUMENTS ! YOU FOOLS! ! ! )---[Who's next???.. Martin Luther King????]

Compromise solution: Let's rename the holiday, "Fuck Your Cracker Racist Ancestors Who Fought To Preserve White Supremacy Day." Then no one can accuse of erasing history. We're putting it right out there.

You, my friend, are a "First Class" illiterate moron incapable of rational thought. But, fear not, the MOST menial jobs are STILL available to you, and your ilk; You have only progressed "one step up" from the day of the "Emancipation Proclamation" apparently...

This is what I call "The Clincher"...... NOTHING IS SACRED anymore ! It's almost time to take my family, and tax money, and plan relocation from a "growing liberal monster" (and a corrupted "political class") intent upon creating a "Sanctuary STATE"... Florida is in a "self-consuming stage" that will ultimately (and far more quickly) turn it into Detroit ... and worse).

Your tax money. You probably live off of our money tax money to begin with. Only you would be fine honoring confederate army leaders as being scared. You should probably move. I’m sure you are better suited in Alabama anyways.

Nothing is ever sacred. The only constant is change.

Keep erasing OUR history and the reason we have the liberties and protections we have will disappear too.

Celebrating a person who fought for prohibiting liberties and protections for an entire race. The irony.

More liberals trying to stir up hatred

Dick being one lying like Trump when it is the Confederate holidays that were made to keep hatred alive that is the problem. ...Just like he is doing now too. ... My guess is Dick thinks there were some fine people marching with the KKK, Nazis too....Lee was right, let it go.

Erasing holiday's hardly erases history. There is a difference between recognizing historical events/people, and celebrating them (with calendar holidays, statues, etc.). Besides, most of the holidays, statues, and other civil war memorials were created during the early part of the 20'th century in an effort to reinforce Jim Crow laws and push back against the political tide promoting equal treatment of blacks. If you believe these memorials of Southern war heroes (etc.) are simply cultural, then you are naive to, and a victim of, their true political intentions. An honest accounting of their contributions recognizes both the good and bad of their impacts to Florida - observations undermining the need to celebrate them.

The only country in the world that allows for the celebration of "Losers." Those who fight to keep those Legacy of Losers alive should read the history. Its not about your heritage unless you accept that it was based on HATE. Honest Southerner understands that - others don't want to because it may mean their privilege of being White is ending. Why are conservative so scared of "Equality?" Ask yourself that question - look in the mirror and try to be honest with yourself. They claim all liberals want is to erase history. NO - we want a level playing field, nothing less and nothing more.

Erasing holiday's hardly erases history. There is a difference between recognizing historical events/people, and celebrating them (with calendar holidays, statues, etc.). Besides, most of the holidays, statues, and other civil war memorials were created during the early part of the 20'th century in an effort to reinforce Jim Crow laws and push back against the political tide promoting equal treatment of blacks. If you believe these memorials of Southern war heroes (etc.) are simply cultural, then you are naive to, and a victim of, their true political intentions. An honest accounting of their contributions recognizes both the good and bad of their impacts to Florida - observations undermining the need to celebrate them.

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