Confederate Monuments In Alabama Are Here To Stay

A new bill signed into law Wednesday by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) protects Confederate monuments in the state even as other states have started to do away with them.

As Landrieu explained in a speech given last week, though protectors of these monuments argue "history" is their motivation for preservation, numerous statues and plaques they are legislating to protect were put into place several decades after the Civil War and were enacted by revisionist, racist organizations who sought to glorify the leaders of the Confederacy. It also prohibits renaming schools that have carried a person's name for more than 40 years.

The law creates the Committee on Alabama Monument Protection. A new commission would have to approve changes to those between 20 and 40 years old.

The bills passed both chambers with broad support, prompting Governor Ivey to say that Alabama and the U.S. Military are like "butter and molasses on a warm biscuit". We are not protecting history.

Pro-Confederate activists in Alabama and elsewhere argue tearing down the monuments is erasing history.

State Sen. Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa), who first proposed the bill, praised the governor for signing it into law. "Are all parts of American history subject to purging, until every Ivy League professor is satisfied and the American story has been re-written as nothing but a complete fraud and a betrayal of our founding values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?" referring to the American Civil War that was fought over the right to enslave humans.

"You say we are protecting history", said bill opponent state Sen.

The Southern Law Poverty Law Center disagrees. Hank Sanders, an African-American Democrat from Selma, said during the debate. He argues the law helps maintain the public veneration of Confederate white supremacists.

Confederate flag made out of flowers at the Confederate Statue in Jasper, Ala. Officials in New Orleans in the last few weeks have removed statutes of Confederate officials and generals in that city.

Several days after Mitch Landrieu gave an eloquent and powerful speech on the removal of Confederate statues throughout New Orleans, Alabama has now decided to make the removal of such statues illegal.

  • Larry Hoffman