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Alabama Senator’s bill would protect historical monuments from ‘political correctness’

A closeup of the Confederate memorial at the Alabama Capitol building (flickr user timparkinson)
A closeup of the Confederate memorial at the Alabama Capitol building (flickr user timparkinson)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — State Senator Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa) filed this week a bill titled “The Heritage Protection Act” in an effort to protect landmarks from what he calls the “politically correct movement” to revise Alabama history.

S.B. 12, which will be taken up when the Special Session of the legislature resumes Aug. 3, would “prohibit the relocation, removal, alteration, renaming, rededication, or other disturbance of any statue, monument, memorial, nameplate, or plaque located on public property that has been erected for, or named, or dedicated in honor of certain historical military, civil rights, and Native American events, figures, and organizations.”

“There is a revisionist movement afoot to cover over many parts of American history,” Allen wrote in a statement. “Our national and state history should be remembered as it happened. The politically correct movement to strike whole periods of the past from our collective memory is divisive and unnecessary.”

After Governor Robert Bentley (R-AL) removed the Confederate battle flag from the capitol grounds in the wake of the Charleston shootings, many have criticized the efforts of state and local governments to “revise” history.

Earlier this week, a Cullman-based lawyer challenged the governor’s legal authority to order the flag to come down citing the Alabama Code which reads: “[it is the duty of the historical commission to] promote and increase knowledge and understanding of the history of this State from the earliest time to the present, including the archaeological, Indian, Spanish, British, French, colonial, Confederate and American eras.”

Birmingham’s Parks and Recreation board voted unanimously on the first of the month to take the first steps in removing a Confederate monument in Linn Park, directly across the street from Birmingham’s city hall and the Jefferson County Courthouse. The city’s Parks and Recreation department is reportedly not calling for the monument to be destroyed, but for it to be moved to private property elsewhere.

Eight other state senators co-signed Allen’s bill, but whether it will be debated and voted on during a special session jam packed with General Fund issues is yet to be determined.