Though Mississippi's people voted overwhelmingly in 2020 to decommission the old state flag—which featured a nationally reviled Confederate battle emblem—its state government continues to go out of its way to celebrate the so-called heritage of Confederates who committed treason against the United States in an effort to preserve slavery.
This month, Republican Governor Tate Reeves once again recognized April as "Confederate Heritage Month." If that wasn't insulting enough, he also declared it "Genocide Awareness Month."
NEW: Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves has signed a proclamations declaring April 2022 as Confederate Heritage Month.
He is simultaneously declaring April as Genocide Awareness Month, though without mentioning American slavery or Native American genocide.https://t.co/6foGTVrEhh
— Ashton Pittman 🌻🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️ (@ashtonpittman) April 12, 2022
Over the centuries of its existence, the western slave trade resulted in millions of deaths. Even after slavery was abolished, Black Americans were routinely, violently lynched especially in the Jim Crow south.
As Mississippi Free Press reporter Ashton Pittman points out, Reeves made no mention of American slavery or Native American genocide.
The governor was soon asked about the conflicting nature of "Confederate Heritage Month" and "Genocide Awareness Month."
Tate told @kobeevance today the five governors preceding him proclaimed Confederate Heritage Month. False—@SECNAV75 did not.
Tate said he signs that proclamation out of a commitment to the status quo, which explains why he doesn't proclaim Juneteenth or redecorate Statuary Hall. https://t.co/RJznGCK2fc pic.twitter.com/u4N7ZXsuwv
— Jonathan Allen (@jallen1985) April 13, 2022
"Look, I signed the Confederate Heritage Month in the month of April in the same manner and fashion that the five governors who came before me—Republicans and Democrats alike—for over 30 years have done that, and we did it again this year. Didn't think this was the year to stop doing it."
In reality, not every governor in the preceding 30 years acknowledged Confederate Heritage Month. Democrat Ray Mabus, who served as Mississippi's governor from 1988 to 1992, didn't recognize the occasion, though four other governors preceding Reeves did.
Mabus railed against the month on Twitter.
I absolutely did not issue anything like this. It started with Fordice, an overt White supremacist. My question for Gov Reeves is “so what” if 5 Governors have signed it. Doesn’t make it right. https://t.co/D3C7ddQVqW
— Ray Mabus (@SECNAV75) April 14, 2022
Social media users condemned Reeves for the conflicting proclamations.
Just imagine any city in Germany having a Nazi Heritage Month. https://t.co/9xCXj9dZJ3
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) April 12, 2022
Tate Reeves is an embarrassment not just to Mississippi but to the Nation. We got the Rebel Flag changed but are still honoring Treasonous Confederate Heritage? Nope. They can declare it. But you can’t pin honor on the South. That’s stolen valor. They died for pride not honor. https://t.co/pvWBvdRKUv
— MS Fisher (@Iwillnotfall) April 12, 2022
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves declares Friday of this week Pontius Pilate Day and plans to unveil a statue of the Roman governor to celebrate SPQR Heritage Month. https://t.co/crxFXkj65C
— Jesus Christ (@JesusOfNaz316) April 12, 2022
The Confederate heritage is an act of war against the USA by the CSA that cost 100,000s of lives. The resurgence is active and growing in the USA today. #ConfederateHeritageIsRacistHate
Confederates have more in common with Putin than with Lincoln. https://t.co/zGFWf4dpmg pic.twitter.com/oR66UsHxpW
— (((Pro Democracy))) (@Gray_is_good) April 12, 2022
Some pointed to the recognition of Confederate Heritage Month as one of the reasons so many young people are leaving the state.
Damn, I wonder why they can’t keep anyone in the state. https://t.co/LDUXN3T5VE
— Jackson Jambalya subject of discussion (@ThecaJones) April 12, 2022
You can’t complain about “20- and 30- somethings leaving the state” and then go do stuff like this. https://t.co/EPI4oNeKTC
— E Cowan (@ecowan99) April 12, 2022
.@shadwhite’s office has been researching brain drain in Mississippi, and why young Mississippians are leaving the state.
This isn’t the only issue, but this definitely isn’t helping. https://t.co/n4me1riZEZ
— Wil Bailey (@_williambailey) April 14, 2022