Controversy surrounds state holiday honoring Confederate leader

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ELBA, Ala. (WDHN) — Jefferson Davis Day is celebrated every year on June 7th in Alabama. The day is meant to honor the president of the Confederacy.

Although some still celebrate the holiday others think this day should not be recognized.

Alabama NAACP President, Benard Simelton said if people want to celebrate Davis, then tie it into Presidents Day.

“It should be tied in with Presidents Day and not make it a special day using taxpayer money because of the things that Jeff Davis and the Confederacy stood for,” Simelton said.

According to Simelton, Alabama shouldn’t celebrate any Confederate holidays or anyone that was associated with the group because of slavery and what they stood for.

“We know that there are other states that have changed their policies over the years, and we think Alabama should do the same thing,” Simelton said.

However, some Alabamians believe that celebrating these holidays isn’t about slavery at all, but rather tradition.

“Whenever we celebrate anything with the Confederacy, we’re not celebrating slavery or the suppression of black people,” Clanton Battery Colonel Ray Kyle said.

Kyle said it’s about celebrating heritage and what Jefferson Davis did for the nation.

“He worked with this country, helping build it by serving this country as a whole before the split of north and south,” Kyle said. “He served in Congress, and he served in the Senate, and you know he was trying to help the people of America as a whole.”

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