Gov. Asa Hutchinson
HUTCHINSON: Lee remembrance should be separated from MLK Day.
today reiterated his call for the legislature to remove the Robert E. Lee celebration from the Martin Luther King holiday. Currently, the state holiday is a dual celebration honoring both the civil rights hero and the treasonous general. Arkansas is one of three states, along with Mississippi and Alabama, that still persist in this shameful bit of nasty symbolism.
Last night, the City of Little Rock passed a resolution
pushing the state to remove Lee from MLK Day (only Joan Adcock
voted against it, making certain that her name was not included in any letter to the legislature lest state lawmakers get the wrong idea about her).
At today's press conference to announce the medical marijuana commission, Hutchinson was asked about the issue and said that the celebrations should be separated.
"I will be supportive of a measure to be considered by the General Assembly to have Dr. Martin Luther King's holiday as a separate, distinct holiday," Hutchinson said. "Lee's day of remembrance will be moved later to the fall. That's a legislative debate but I've made my position clear."
Senate President Pro Tem Jonathan Dismang
said he also favored a separation of the dates and said he expected that there would be legislation to do so during the session.
House Speaker Jeremy Gillam
said he also expected a bill to be filed but declined to take a position at this time. "I'm going to allow the bills to work through just like I do all the other bills and not try to be an impediment to the process, and see how it goes," Gillam said.