“April is the month when, in 1861, the American Civil War began between the Confederate and Union armies, reportedly the costliest and deadliest war ever fought on American soil,” the governor’s proclamation states.
Reeves is honoring the controversial tradition for the third year in a row, the Mississippi Free Press reports. His white predecessors started the commemoration 29 years ago. When he issued the same proclamation last year, Reeves appeared on Fox News and said, “There is not systemic racism in America.”
The Republican governor has also declared April Genocide Awareness Month. According to the proclamation, genocide is “the systematic destruction of all or a significant part of a racial, ethnic, religious or national group by destroying a group’s political and social institutions, culture, language, national feelings, religion and economic existence, and destroying the personal security, liberty, health, dignity and lives of individuals belonging to the group.”
“I’ve proclaimed April as Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month,” the governor wrote on Twitter. “The systematic destruction of lives has spanned areas and cultures from Armenia to Darfur, the Holodomor to the Holocaust.”
Notably, American slavery has been omitted from Reeves’ definition of genocide.
I’ve proclaimed April as Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month.
The systematic destruction of lives has spanned areas and cultures from Armenia to Darfur, the Holodomor to the Holocaust.
Genocide has no place in society, and we must do everything we can to prevent it. pic.twitter.com/gPia8yYDeD
— Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) March 15, 2022
“For the last 30 years, five Mississippi governors — Republicans and Democrats alike — have signed a proclamation recognizing the statutory state holiday and identifying April as Confederate Heritage Month,” the governor’s office said in a statement. “Gov. Reeves also signed the proclamation because he believes we can all learn from our history.”
The politician has also signed a “critical race theory ban” law, continuing the nationwide Republican effort to ban Black history from schools.
“Critical race theory is running amok,” Reeves said as he signed the bill on March 14.
“Students are being force-fed an unhealthy dose of progressive fundamentalism that runs counter to the principles of America’s founding,” he said. “Children are dragged to the front of the classroom and are coerced to declare themselves as oppressors, that they should feel guilty because of their race or that they are inherently a victim because of their race.”