In a formal announcement, the state of Alabama declared that they will observe both Robert E. Lee’s birthday and Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 16. In addition, the declaration was made as millions celebrated MLK’s legacy, which works to end racial injustice. As a result, there were numerous negative and indignant responses online—unfortunately, no surprises.
“Alabama. Still fundamentally racist,” a Twitter user commented. Furthermore, throughout the American Civil War, Robert E. Lee served as a Confederate commander, though not as its top general. As a result, many people find it inappropriate to coincide his birthday with that of a symbol of the civil rights movement.
While many social media users criticized Alabama for its racism, some responded defensively. In 2022, I visited Alabama for the first time. Saying that the state as a whole is racist is simply incorrect, someone tweeted. “Sure, they have a lot of history to cope with, but it’s unjust and counterproductive to paint everyone with the same brush.”
However, there is still debate over that past today. Everyone from common folks to state governments removed numerous sculptures honoring the Virginia commander as the South came to terms with its Confederate history. Some jurisdictions are still lagging behind, despite the fact that many forward-thinking actions have helped the conversation about these issues move toward justice.
This disclosure comes amid other MLK Day-related criticisms, though. Moreover, the MLK statue in Boston has lately come under fire from Coretta Scott King’s cousin.
It’s quite demeaning to my family, Seneca Scott wrote in an essay. “[The] sculpture is a particularly appalling illustration of the callousness and vanity of the woke machine.
One of the greatest American families of all time, he continued, “ten million dollars were wasted to make a masturbatory metal ode to my renowned family members.” How could anyone miss the fact that this aids black families in need so little, if at all?
What do you think about Robert E. Lee’s birthday being observed in Alabama together with MLK Day? Please share any information with us in the comments section below. As always, check back to HNHH for more significant historical news stories.