Bill would end Confederate Heroes Day in Texas

According to this article, “House Bill 1183, authored by Rep. Jarvis Johnson, D-Houston, would eliminate Confederate Heroes Day from the list of state holidays an agency can observe. ‘When you’re dealing with a holiday that is significant to history, you have to do your best to make sure that it is not offensive to one group or another, and I think this Confederate Heroes Day obviously is in itself offensive to many of the people who are on the other side,’ Johnson told the American-Statesman.”

House State Affairs Committee chairman Rep. Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, “testified in support of House Bill 1242, authored by Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, which would have replaced the holiday with Civil War Remembrance Day. Johnson said replacing was effectively washing over the holiday and giving it a glossy finish. ‘You can put lipstick on a pig. It’s still a pig,’ Johnson said. HB 1242 never received a vote from the House Culture, Recreation and Tourism Committee, and its Senate counterpart, Senate Bill 870 by former Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, never received a hearing in the Senate Administration Committee. Bryan Register, founder of De-Confederate Austin, told the Statesman that he would not oppose a holiday acknowledging the Civil War and its veterans. Honoring heroes, he told the committee, implied that the Confederate cause was good.”

The article continues, ” ‘I don’t mind people wanting to embrace their culture — their history — but make for doggone sure it’s not impactful to others and hurtful, because in itself, that’s wrong,’ Johnson said, adding that maintaining the holiday thwarts the state’s ability to heal by causing divisiveness. Johnson said the holiday was created in 1973, effectively merging two state holidays: Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s birthday on Jan. 19 and Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ birthday on June 3.”

The bill is still pending. As it stands right now, this holiday interferes with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which is a Federal holiday. Doubtless there are several supporters of this holiday who find that icing on the cake, since many confederate heritage people are also racists.

One comment

  1. The State of Texas has gradually phased out its observance of Confederate Heroes Day in practice. It’s still officially listed, but state agencies observe MLK day instead. It’s not really a thing anymore.

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