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Proclamation genie set free

Suffolk Mayor Bobby Ralph is reportedly having difficulty deciding whether to issue a proclamation officially recognizing Confederate History Month in Suffolk.

“… But either way I go on this, I will be criticized.”

That pretty much sums it up.

For the very reasons the mayor cited above, most communities simply politely refuse to consider it. While supporters are likely disappointed, it’s a reaction they’ve come to expect so they are not too devastated and the matter simply goes quietly away.

But that’s not the case in Suffolk. Starting with then-Mayor Curtis Milteer in 2002 and Ralph last year (Mayor E. Dana Dickens refused to issue the proclamation in 2003 and 2004), Suffolk has stood on the side of the proclamation’s supporter. This genie’s been let out of the bottle.

Ralph has said he will consult with City Council members. That’s a good idea. While most mayoral proclamations are innocuous, this one has some teeth, and it would be best if Suffolk’s “official position” had the support of its elected, accountable leaders.