Law News reports:
It is called the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act of 2017. Signed this week by Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican, it clamps down how whether people can move or change monuments in the state. No mention of the Confederacy is made in the law, but critics say it is meant to help glorify the South’s problematic past.
This comes amidst tense standoffs over the removal of Civil War-era monuments. Louisiana recently moved four, but protesters, including one guy screaming the N-word at a black counter-protest, came out against the move. A Mississippi lawmaker recently said Louisiana leaders “should be lynched” if they came after his state’s monuments. Similar controversies have sprouted up in Kentucky and Virginia.
As for Alabama’s new bill, it specifically protects monuments at least 40 years old. No moving, removing, alteration, name changing, or “other disturbance of any architecturally significant building, memorial building, memorial street, or monument located on public property.”
The SPLC reacts:
The Alabama Memorial Preservation Act of 2017 is not about preserving our state’s history, but about protecting Confederate monuments that celebrate white supremacy and a time in which an entire race was enslaved and oppressed. That is evidenced by its origin, as it was first introduced after the former governor ordered removal of Confederate flags from the State Capitol.
These racist symbols have no place on government property, where they counter our nation’s core principle to ensure liberty and justice for all. Other states and municipalities are removing these monuments from public property and placing them in museums, where people can learn the full history of slavery, the Civil War and the Confederacy. That’s where they belong. By signing this bill, Gov. Kay Ivey indicates that lauding white supremacy is more important than demonstrating equality for all Alabamians.