Wednesday, March 16, 2016
To the honorable Gov. Phil Bryant,
My name is Zachary Glenn. I am currently a first-year medical student at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and also serve as the diversity representative for the class of 2019. I am writing you to express my concerns about your recent decision to declare April "Confederate Heritage Month."
I understand that everyone has a right to recognize and learn about their history, and I am certain we would all agree that public and private schools in Mississippi already do a good job of teaching American history, which includes the Confederate era and the Civil War, while intuitively underrepresenting the African American contribution to American culture. This is one of the main reasons why Black History Month was instituted. It is also well known that Mississippi has the highest percentage of African Americans per capita in the United States.
That being said, your decision to announce during Black History Month that April was going to be designated as "Confederate Heritage Month" continues to undermine the struggle for equality that African Americans have endured for more than 400 years in this country.
Furthermore, it fuels the already prevalent separation that exists in our African American and Caucasian communities in Mississippi.
As governor, it is my earnest prayer that you will do your part to not perpetuate this racial enigma, but instead do everything in your power to break down the racial divide that so prevalently exists and thus promote unity so that together we can change the longstanding stereotypical status quo of our beloved state.
Zachery A. Glenn, Jackson