Alabama politicians call for end to Jefferson Davis holiday in wake of George Floyd protests

Several Alabama state politicians want to see Jefferson Davis Day come to an end.
Several Alabama state politicians want to see Jefferson Davis Day come to an end. (Jay Reeves / AP)

Several Alabama lawmakers don’t want to see the South rise again.
In the wake of nationwide George Floyd protests, two Democratic politicians are calling for the repeal of Jefferson Davis Day, a holiday celebrating the former Confederate leader’s life on the first Monday in June.
Davis was the president of the Confederate States of America from 1861 to 1865, after it seceded from the United States during the Civil War.
"We should not give Davis, a traitor and racist who lived in our state for less than a year, his own state holiday, wrote Alabama state representative Chris England in an impassioned letter to Republican governor Kay Ivey. “Davis’ enduring legacy in Alabama is one of pain and division for Alabamians of all races.”
Joining the abolishment chorus was state congresswoman Terri Sewell, who said on Monday, “Our nation’s racial divide is long and wide.”
But the Davis boos could be heard as far north as Kentucky, where its Democratic governor, Andy Beshear, has called for the removal of a capitol memorial of the native son.
“I believe the statue of Jefferson Davis should not be in the Rotunda,” Beshear said Thursday, reported the Louisville Courier Journal.
Although many believe Confederate monuments represent historic and cultural touchstones, others deem them painful reminders of racial oppression.
Alabama also celebrates Confederate general Robert E. Lee — which happens to fall on Martin Luther King Jr. Day — and Confederate Memorial Day in April to honor wounded or killed Civil War soldiers.
As a result of protests in Birmingham, its mayor, Randall Woodfin, ordered the removal of a Confederate monument.
Demonstrators spray-painted and toppled Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Sunday. It was carted off after standing in the area for over a century, reported Newsweek.

Facing a lawsuit for breaking a state monument law, Woodfin said on Monday, “I chose my city to avoid more civil unrest. It’s probably better for this city to pay this civil fine than to have more unrest.”

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