Florida still commemorates the birthdays of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and General Robert E. Lee — at least on paper.
The birthdays of the two, along with Confederate Memorial Day, don’t qualify for a day off for state employees, but the Sunshine State still has the recognition on the books.
And, it appears, things will stay that way, for a least a while.
The lawmaker overseeing the committee that would deal with a bill to repeal the commemorations has declined to schedule a hearing for it.
State Rep. Jennifer Sullivan, a Republican from Mount Dora, said the bill died because the House Oversight, Transparency and Administration Subcommittee ran out of time to consider the measure.
“I don’t think history, even perhaps the parts that I’m not so proud of, I don’t think we should try to remove its aspects,” Sullivan told The Tampa Bay Times.
House Bill 277, sponsored by Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Coral Springs, would have left other holidays, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, George Washington’s and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays untouched.
It would have merely done away with official state recognition of the birthdays of Davis and Lee, as well as Confederate Memorial Day on April 26.
Moskowitz told the paper the move is baffling and couldn’t explain why the state would want to continue to equate Davis and Lee with King, Washington and Lincoln.
“These people wanted to secede from the Union,” Moskowitz said of the Confederates. “You know what we would call them today? Traitors.”
The bill comes as cities and states around the country remove monuments to the Confederacy. Cities such as New Orleans, Baltimore and Memphis have taken down statutes to Lee, Davis and others amid protests.
In Florida, Alachua County took down a statue and returned it to the Daughters of the Confederacy while the city of Jacksonville has looked into taking down several monuments.