Arizona Rep. Bolding Calls for Name Change of Highway Honoring Confederate President

Posted On 24 Jun 2015

Submitted by DaVaun Sanders for PhxSoul.com

On June 24, Arizona State Representative Reginald Bolding announced his intention to rename a stretch of highway currently dedicated to the lone Confederate president, Jefferson Davis.

The announcement follows the tragic South Carolina church shooting by Dylann Storm Roof, and a rise in national disdain over symbols of the confederacy including South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s call to remove the confederate flag from the capitol grounds.

 

“It’s time that we move forward and leave behind the tributes that could be seen as legitimizing injustice and inequality,” Rep. Bolding said.

Renaming the stretch of US 60 near Apache Junction and removing the memorial marker does not require a legislative vote to occur. Instead, the proposal for the name change has to be presented to the Arizona State Board of Geographic and Historic Names. If the board passes the proposal, the State Transportation Board gets the measure next. Rep. Bolding stated he’s prepared to introduce legislation to see that the initiative is complete if necessary.

Community members in support of the call included Charles Fanniel, president of the NAACP in Arizona, Roy Tatem, president of Alpha Phi Alpha’s Delta Tau Lambda chapter in Phoenix, and Pastor Warren Stewart Jr., from Phoenix-based Church of the Remnant.

“We believe that it is long overdue to remove such symbols, monuments and any acknowledgement – in a heroic fashion – of secession,” Tatem stated. “We stand with Rep. Bolding and all of our other elected officials that support this measure.”

The call to push out these symbolic vestiges of America’s turbulent – and largely unresolved – racial identity is certainly a hot-button issue, and Rep. Bolding’s call is to be applauded.

It’s clear that America needs racial healing.

Take down the flag. Rename the highway.

But we also hope that our politicians will introduce public policies that counter the thought processes which allow racism to flourish.

Here’s an idea for Rep. Bolding or anyone else who might be reading: create a national Reconciliation Week for America.

Establish long-term funding for the national Reconciliation Week, so that our nation’s communities and schools can start deconstructing race in an informative and empowering way on an annual basis.

We need your leadership more than ever.

Originally Posted on: phxsoul.com on June 24 2015