City of Little Rock passes resolution requesting state remove Robert E. Lee from MLK Day; Joan Adcock votes no | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

City of Little Rock passes resolution requesting state remove Robert E. Lee from MLK Day; Joan Adcock votes no

Posted By on Wed, Dec 7, 2016 at 8:32 AM

click to enlarge JOAN ADCOCK: Opposes resolution to remove Robert E. Lee from Martin Luther King Day (file photo) - BRIAN CHILSON
  • BRIAN CHILSON
  • JOAN ADCOCK: Opposes resolution to remove Robert E. Lee from Martin Luther King Day (file photo)

The City of Little Rock last night passed a resolution to ask legislators to repeal the state's dual celebration of Martin Luther King and Robert E. Lee and let the King holiday stand on its own.

King was an activist who led massive peaceful protests for the civil rights of black people. A century earlier, Lee led a treasonous army of men in a violent rebellion against the United States of America so that they might continue unfettered the enslavement of black people. 

Both men's birthdays are recognized as a joint holiday in Arkansas, celebrated on the third Monday in January.

click to enlarge lee.png
Bills in the state legislature to remove the Lee celebration (including amended versions to split the celebrations onto two different days) failed in committee in 2015, with a loud group of neo-Confederates in attendance. Rep. Josh Miller, my own representative at the time, said including Lee along with King for a dual holiday was "pretty neat."

The resolution from the Little Rock Board of Directors, passed 8-1, requests that the Little Rock delegation try again during this year's legislative session. (Gov. Asa Hutchinson has also requested that the legislature make MLK Day a standalone holiday.)

City Director Joan Adcock was the lone voice against the resolution and made a special request that any letter sent to the legislature did not include her name. Her excuse, according to the D-G's account: "I feel like we have enough problems in the city without trying to tell the state what to do. I don't feel like we need to tell them what to do. ... I feel like we need to solve the problems of Little Rock."

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