Florida Lawmaker Introduces Bill To Remove Confederate Holidays

In Summary

The three holidays in discussion are Robert E. Lee’s birthday on Jan. 19, Confederate Memorial Day on April 26 and Confederacy President Jefferson Davis’ birthday on June 3.

In Florida, a Democratic state lawmaker has brought up a bill that would remove holidays in the state that celebrate the Confederacy for the third time in five years, according to The Hill

WFLA, which is an NBC affiliate in Tampa, reported that Florida state Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book filed the bill a week ago to remove those holidays from the state’s law. 

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The holidays that honor the Confederacy in Florida are Robert E. Lee’s birthday on Jan. 19, Confederate Memorial Day on April 26 and Confederacy President Jefferson Davis’ birthday on June 3. 

“With all of the hate and divisiveness we see today, it’s more important than ever to condemn racism,” Book said last year in favor of her bill, according WFLA. 

The 37-year-old lawmaker will face huge challenges as the bill has already failed in the committee twice in years past. Republican state Sen. Dennis Baxley had a great-great-great-grandfather who fought for the confederacy. 

“I always have a bit of pain in my heart when I realize people don’t want to respect each other’s history,” Baxley said to WFLA. “The good, the bad, and the ugly.” 

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People who are in support of the bill, however, say that history is racist and ugly. 

“So to elevate three Confederate holidays above Juneteenth feels like a denigration of the contribution of black Americans,” state Rep. Fentrice Driskell said in 2020, according to WFLA. 

There are other states such as Mississippi and Alabama that recognize Confederate holidays like Lee’s birthday and Confederate Memorial Holiday, according to The Hill. 

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