University of Mississippi leaders have been struggling over whether or not to keep a monument to vicious slavery and barbarity on school grounds.
The university’s student senate, faculty senate, staff lawyers and high officials passed a measure last year to move one of their confederate monuments to a confederate graveyard where it could molder with the rest of slavery’s dead leftovers. School fundraisers, like former athletics foundation head Keith Carter, joined the alumni association and others in supporting the removal of the statue of a confederate soldier.
However, the Institutions for Higher Learning board of trustees booted the proposal to remove the statute from its agenda last month, sparking outrage among students who pay $15,000 a year in tuition and housing.
Board member Tommy Duff was the one who tossed the agenda item. Duff told reporters: “Given this is a very important matter, I would like to receive a full report before we vote on such.” Whatever that means.
University of Mississippi Chancellor Glenn Boyce said he would work to fulfill the board’s request for additional information, but while he bangs away on that, Republican legislators are working hard to make removing the statue and other monuments to slavery illegal in the state.
Senator Angela Burks Hill (R). Photo courtesy of the Mississippi State Senate.
Confederate sympathizers like Sens. Mike Seymour (R-Vancleave) and Angela Hill (R-Picayune) both filed bills this session prohibiting any public entity—particularly schools and cities—from removing monuments that honor confederates’ effort to keep slavery legal in America.
As you know, we at The Lighthouse love to look to Virginia as an example of what happens when good people take back their state government and Virginia did not disappoint on the Ditch-Your-Horrible-Statues Front this month.
Republican House of Delegate member Wendell Walker (R-Lynchburg) decided this week to jab at Democrats and all their confederate monument removal stuff and submitted a bill to kick former governor and U.S. Sen. Harry F. Byrd from Virginia’s Capitol Square. Del. Walker is similar to Mississippi Republicans in that he has a predilection for rotten slavers. However, he figured he would submit a bill removing Byrd not so much because he was a staunch segregationist but because he was a segregationist and a Democrat. Gov. Byrd worked with the old, dead movement “Massive Resistance” to undermine school desegregation back in the days before racist Dixiecrats abandoned the Democratic Party for the GOP.
“If we’re going to (remove statues), then I’m going to request to remove the Harry Byrd statue. He was a Democrat and advocated for Massive Resistance,” Walker told local reporters. Oh.
The Virginia legislature, now run by Democrats after massive victories last year, were only too happy to take Walker’s bill under consideration. But, unlike Walker, they don’t share a creepy, cult-like party loyalty for old dead Democrats who were also segregationists. Newly-installed leaders quickly took him up on his dare and embraced his bill.
“I’d love to vote for the bill,” Del. Mark Sickles (D-Fairfax) told reporters. He was probably smiling when he said it.
Walker, realizing his mistake, opted last week to pull his bad-faith bill back out of the legislature.
“I think history is very important, whether it’s good, bad or ugly,” Walker now says. “I was not willing to allow the governor to have the opportunity to remove statues.”
Welp, too bad, say Democrats in charge of the Virginia House Rules Committee. They rejected his request and demanded Walker come in and explain his sudden change of heart.
“I thought he was serious and had a reason for taking the statue down, and so he put in a bill in good faith,” said House Majority Leader Charniele Herring. “… Herring, who happens to be a Black woman … just saying.
… And apparently likes to watch smart-asses squirm.