Confederate History & Heritage Month proclamation causes controversy

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Commissioners are facing controversy in Fayette County as they consider a proclamation recognizing April as Confederate History & Heritage Month.

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Demonstrators plan to gather in Fayetteville Tuesday in protest of the proclamation.

"Today all that is desired is to respectfully pay homage to the family we were born into," said Mitch Crabbe, Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Crabbe read a statement similar to the one he'll deliver during Tuesday's Fayette County Board of Commissioners meeting where commissioners are expected to issue the proclamation.

"The Sons of Confederate Veterans is not about reliving the past. We are not trying to relive the past we are just trying to remember and reflect and honor those members who fought and died as our family members," said Crabbe.

The proclamation also recognizes April 26 as Confederate Memorial Day.

Crabbe insists Confederate History and Heritage Month is in no way meant to promote hate or celebrate or glorify slavery. But news of the proclamation has some members of the community in an uproar.

"Proclamations are all about symbolism and I don't think there is any question in 2018, today what the symbolism of this proclamation is," said Leonard Pressberg, Chair of Fayette Democratic Party Committee.

Fayette County Commissioner Charles Rousseau and Pressberg both oppose the proclamation.

"This symbolism says here in Fayette County we tolerate racism and I don't think that's the message that we should send to the world," said Pressberg.

Concerned citizens are being urged to join a planned demonstration at the Fayette County Government Building before the commission meeting.

"Anytime that we give license, sanction, credence to something that is divisive in the community as responsible leaders I think we are called upon to challenge that and to ask people to dig a little deeper and look at the ramifications associated with such a recognition," said Commissioner Rousseau.