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."
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."
"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.
Social media users condemned Reeves for the conflicting proclamations.
Some pointed to the recognition of Confederate Heritage Month as one of the reasons so many young people are leaving the state.