I'm a war veteran, a Southerner, and an African-American, and everything inside me cries out in pain that almost every state in the South still celebrates a Confederate holiday. As a veteran, I can understand the noble desire to honor those who heard their country's call and paid the ultimate price, but that's what Memorial Day is for.
Don't get me wrong — I have a ton of Southern pride. There are so many things to be proud of: our music, our food (oh, the FOOD!), our architecture, our hospitality... But I can't be proud that so many states celebrate fighting a war in order to keep people like me in chains — and spend tax dollars to do it.
Wondering about Alabama? Sure enough, Alabama (plus Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi) celebrates Robert E. Lee Day on Jan. 19. Since Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the third Monday of January, they don't always line up. But they often do.