State Reps. Daniels, Dismukes show some in the Alabama legislature can be open to compromises on Confederate Memorial Park
As a movement of racial justice sweeps across the nation, the media finds itself distracted by patently absurd issues like cartoon voices, 80s TV shows and other trivial issues.
Most people, however, seem interested in hearing out the legitimate gripes people may have about depictions of history and how power operates in this country.
Riots and protests at unrelated monuments to American history (Columbus, Washington, Lincoln and Grant) have the potential to derail the movement, as do the equally absurd cries to “Defund The Police” — and white liberals’ attempts to explain what that “actually” means while those saying it in the Black Lives Matter movement are pretty clear.
In Alabama, with its troubling racial past, there are leaders like House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) who have laid out a few real changes they would like to see while showing an openness to compromise on issues down the road.
First, and reasonably so, Daniels wants the Confederate flag removed from Alabama State Trooper uniforms. This is such a non-issue, that should be resolved quickly, that State Senator Artur Orr (R-Decatur) said during a radio appearance on Friday that he didn’t even know they had the Confederate flag on them.
Daniels also wants a monument to the “Confederate Cause” that is placed near the steps of the Madison County Courthouse removed. This is happening, slowly, but the statue put up in 1905 will be moved from the courthouse to the Confederate section of Maple Hill Cemetery in Huntsville.
Those issues are almost no-brainers. They may take time, but they will probably happen as soon as the slow gears of government turn and make it so.
Of the more contentious discussions we will see in Alabama over this topic will be the attempted defunding of Confederate Memorial Park and the potential end of the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act.
Daniels has taken issue with the $600,000 budget allotment to this park, and Alabama Democratic Party spokesman Wade Perry accused State Rep. Will Dismukes (R-Prattville), who opposes this defunding idea, of disloyalty to the United States and called for him to resign.
My take: Perry is a clown. He is just using this to get attention, meanwhile the elected leaders are using his outlandish behavior to show that they are being more reasonable by contrast. They are right.
Daniels believes some local municipalities will want to keep their statues local, saying it is “so that they can have discussions about history locally.”
But last week, both Daniels and Dismukes appeared on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show,” and a compromise may have emerged. Both agreed that Confederate Memorial Park could continue to exist, potentially as a stopping point for removed monuments, with Daniels noting, “I’m not against moving them to the Confederate park, but I think that if we’re going to have a park it should talk about all of Alabama history park, not just Confederate history. I think that Confederate history is certainly a part of Alabama history.”
Daniels called this a “good compromise.”
With both Dismukes and Daniels, two very different leaders from two very different parties, open to the idea of compromise, we may be nearing an amicable solution for the continued operation of Confederate Memorial Park in some form.
If Alabama’s leaders could settle this issue and help us all move on, we will all be far better off.