Our contiguous cousins to the north and the east — Arkansas and Mississippi — along with Alabama are taking time to reflect on more than the contributions to American civil society by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In what may be characterized as civic schizophrenia, our fellow Deep Southerners have designated the third Monday in January as Lee/King Day, piggybacking a state holiday honoring Confederate General Robert E. Lee on the federal holiday honoring King.
Lee was born Jan. 19, 1807 and is best known as the noble loser of the Civil War. King, on the other hand, was born on Jan. 15, 1929 and is honored for his role in shepherding awareness of civil rights for African-Americans into white America’s living rooms and lunch counters. The federal holiday honoring King was established in 1986. That three Southern states would couple holidays honoring figures whose public goals were in such great opposition is unfortunate but frankly not surprising. We Southerners do some weird stuff.
Southern apologetics refers to the Civil War variously as the War Between the States and even the War of Northern Aggression. Its principal tenet is that the Civil War wasn’t about slavery; it was about states’ rights. Mm-hmm. To the extent that a war was fought over Southern states’ right to expand slavery to new territories, then yeah, it was about states’ rights, leaving one to wonder: What would have happened had the Confederate States of America successfully seceded from the union?
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DEC 12 Until recently, it seemed like NOLA Mayor Mitch Landrieu was going to skate to re-election. But John Maginnis writes in this post that he may face some unexpected opposition, from Michael Bagneris, who currently serves as a civil court judge for the city. The judge isn't saying he's thinking about it, because then he would have to step down, but let's just say Maginnis won't be surprised if Bagneris turns up to qualify for the job.
DEC 12 Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise, chair of the Republican Study Committee, has dumped the RSC's director, this post on Politico tells us. The director, Paul Teller, is accused of leaking conversations with lawmakers, the post says, and "actively working against" strategies that committee members had come up with. Hmmmm....
DEC 12 Jeremy Alford gives us the latest on David Duke in this LaPolitics post. Duke is back in the headlines because he was expelled from Italy recently, accused of trying to start a Neo-Nazi group there. Alford's pulled some interesting bits from the recent media coverage and some older pieces as well about this state embarrassment.
DEC 12 So Louisiana has one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the nation, we've known that for a while. But this Picayune story tells us about a new report by Human Rights Watch that says our laws and law enforcement practices are to blame. Those practices impact two routes to infection: unprotected sex and shared needles, the story says.
DEC 12 Jim Brown blogs about a book, "Dumbest Generation," and bemoans our inability to attain a more positive adjective. Jim wants to know: with our constant, unfettered access to information, why aren't we greater? He may be answering the question himself, urging more focus on community service and less on self-enrichment.
DEC 12 Here's an interesting post from DIG Baton Rouge about the proposed City of St. George in Baton Rouge. This piece focuses on the school district the organizers want to create. They're confident they won't need to raise taxes (because, of course, they'll be grabbing huge chunks of tax dollars -- or at least they think so) to build new schools, the story says.
DEC 12 After weeks of "political gimmicks" aimed at trying to force a vote on something most people really don't understand, Sen. David Vitter has decided he will do exactly what Sen. Mary Landrieu already has done for his own Congressional health insurance, the Advocate reports here. Senate leaders offered him a vote, but he didn't want it -- some say because he hadn't milked all the political juice out of this alleged issue yet.
DEC 12 The fact that "amateurs" are running the education system in Louisiana is hurting our children, blogger Mike Deshotels writes in this post. In support of his argument, he goes through the recent vote on Common Core in Baton Rouge, and explains what the data showed. It's not a pretty picture.
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