The mayor#039;s proclamation

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 14, 2005

Our mayor, Bobby Ralph, reversed course

set by his predecessor, E. Dana Dickens and proclaimed April Confederate Heritage and History Month in Suffolk.

If you recall, there was a big blowup over this issue back in 2002 when then-Mayor Curtis Milteer made the proclamation.

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Somehow, I don't think it's going to be as controversial this time around. "White southern mayor proclaims Confederate History Month," just lacks the man-bites-dog impact that went along with Milteer's proclamation. The news angle in 2002 was that our mayor who made the proclamation was black. As a result, Suffolk received national media attention, much of it not what you would call favorable.

I think Ralph made the wrong move. People in Suffolk were already free to honor their confederate ancestors in any way they see fit. However, our mayor is supposed to speak for all Suffolkians. Our city is close to evenly racially split. And while most of us probably couldn't care less what the mayor proclaims, there are those who are extremely passionate on either side of this issue, the proclamation is offensive to those on the other side.

In addition, we are constantly hearing city officials justify huge expenditures on the basis of taking Suffolk to the next level n improving our education,

infrastructure and image so that we can attract more economic investment. The proclamation does not further that goal.

Officials want us to be viewed along with the Norfolks, Virginia Beaches Raleighs and Charlottes of the world. This lists us among the Odenville, Alabamas, Smackover, Arkansas and Bosier City, Louisianas of the world.

A spokesman for the local Sons of Confederate Veterans was quoted in the paper as saying that 40 other communities across the nation have issued the proclamation.

A Google search found a site called that listed this coalition of the willing. They are:

Alabama State Board of Education.

 Proclamations signed by every city in St. Clair County, Alabama which are: Ashville, Alabama.

Cleburne County, Alabama.

 Cook Springs, Alabama.

 Cropwell, Alabama.

Elmore County, Alabama

 Margaret, Alabama.

 Moody, Alabama.

 Odenville, Alabama.

 Pell City, Alabama.

 Ragland, Alabama.

 Riverside, Alabama.

 Springville, Alabama.

 Steele, Alabama.

 Wattsville, Alabama.

State of Alabama

County Judge Union County, Arkansas

Mayor of El Dorado, Arkansas

City of Smackover, Arkansas


City of Long Beach, California

Hillsborough County, Tampa, Florida

Holmes County, Florida

City of Bonifay, Florida.

 City of Albany, Georgia

 City of Bremen, Georgia

City of Buchannan, Georgia

City of Carrollton, Georgia

County of Carroll County, Georgia

 County of Cobb County, Georgia

 Haralson County, Georgia

Columbia County, Georgia

City of Marietta, Georgia

City of Whitesburg, Georgia.

City of Tallapoosa, Georgia

City of Temple, Georgia

State of Texas since 1999.

City of Mount Zion, Georgia

Rockdale, County, Georgia

Sumter County, Georgia

Governor of Georgia

Coweta County, Georgia

Wayne County, Georgia

City of Jesup, Georgia

Dodge County, Georgia

Prince George, Virginia

City of Americus, Georgia

City of Eastman, Georgia

County of Fayette County, Georgia

City of Fayetteville, Georgia

 City of Tyrone, Georgia.

City of Bainbridge, Georgia

City of Douglas, Georgia

 State of Louisiana

City of Shreveport, Louisiana

City of Bossier City, Louisiana

City of Natchitoches, Louisiana

The Parish of Saint Bernard, Louisiana

 State of Mississippi.


Burke County, North Carolina


Putnam County, Tennessee

 City of College Station, Texas

City of Fort Worth, Texas

 County of Orange, Texas


Bedford County, Virginia

City of Hillsville, Virginia

 Carroll County, Virginia

City of Suffolk, Virginia