Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, whose state is currently combating the spread of coronavirus like much of the world, took time from working on the COVID-19 crisis to pander to a small but loud minority. Last week, just days after issuing a stay-at-home order, Reeves proclaimed the month of April “Confederate Heritage Month” which connected back to his questionable dealings in the past.
The Jackson Free Press noted that Gov. Reeves made the proclamation on April 3, just two days after issuing the stay-at-home order he initially resisted passing. States across the nation have wrestled with similar ordinances as the impact felt by the economy slowing to a crawl has shifted perspective.
In support of Reeves, the Mississippi Sons of Confederate Veterans posted a copy of the proclamation to its Facebook page.
“God bless the Confederate Soldier. He shall never be forgotten. Deo Vindice!” read the post. The Latin phrase Deo Vindice translated to “Under God as our indicator as found on the seal of the Confederacy and served as its motto.
The Free Press dug into Reeves’ Sons of Confederate Veterans connections. Back in 2013 while serving as lieutenant governor, Reeves spoke at the group’s reunion. Coverage of Reeves’ speech was revived in 2019 after a blog post sharing details of the moment were unearthed.
This came into play as Reeves was under fire after yearbook photos of his time at Millsaps College revealed he was a part of the Kappa Alpha Order whose members reportedly wore afro wigs and blackface. Reeves denied that he participated in such activities
The Jackson Free Press did an excellent deep dive into this matter, which can be read here.