by Ayvaunn Penn, Your Black World
The Confederate flag still shows its face every now and then. For a number of people, the sight of the flag — the symbol of the ill fate meant for African Americans — burns their eyes. Now, think about what happens when people hear that the Alabama government is still funding Confederate ventures. The Associate Press reports:
“The last of the more than 60,000 Confederate veterans who came home to Alabama after the Civil War died generations ago, yet residents are still paying a tax that supported the neediest among them. Despite fire-and-brimstone opposition to taxes among many…officials never stopped collecting a property tax that once funded the Alabama Confederate Soldiers’ Home, which closed 72 years ago. The tax now pays for Confederate Memorial Park, which sits on the same 102-acre tract where elderly veterans used to stroll.”
It is no surprise that a “long-serving” African-American legislator who thought the tax had been terminated declared that he wants the funding stopped. Right now, however, it does not look like that will be happening anytime soon. According to the Associated Press, “officials say the old tax typically brings in more than $400,000 annually for the [Confederate Memorial Park]. That’s not much compared to Alabama’s total operating budget of $1.8 billion, but it’s sufficient to give the park plenty of money to operate and even enough for investments, all at a time when other historic sites are struggling just to keep the grass cut for lack of state funding.” Clara Nobles, a representative for the Alabama Historical Commission, stated, “It’s a beautifully maintained park. It’s one of the best because of the funding source.”
Despite all of the alleged “good” the tax money does in maintaining the Confederate Memorial Park, it is probably safe to say that many African Americans agree with the black legislator. Now that all the of people the money was supposed to take care of died, it just does not seem like there is a good reason to still collect taxes. No, do not let the grave become overrun and unpleasant for loved ones to visit, but figure out a different way to achieve that.
Ayvaunn Penn is a spoken word artist and an award winning writer completing her degree in English and philosophy. For more of her witty-word works click here. To have your original poetry featured by Ms. Penn on Your Black Poets, click here.