Drew Petrimoulx of KARK reports, quoting Rep. Charles Blake of the Black Legislative Caucus, that a deal may be near on splitting the state’s joint observation of the birthdays of Robert E. Lee and Martin Luther King Jr. on the same day.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson has apparently shown the caucus a proposal to accomplish the split, but the details have not been released. The shadow Confederate Army will still resist any proposal that diminishes the Lee observance, which dates to Southern resistance to integration in the 20th century, to Civil War or immediate post-Civil War days.
The resolution most likely will be to have a state holiday to honor King and another day to observe Lee’s birthday, but without a holiday for state employees.
Arkansas is one of three states to honor a general who fought to preserve slavery and the civil rights leader. It makes the state look “culturally incompetent,” Blake said.
Another member of the caucus tells me no deal has been struck and to expect nothing on it until a bill is filed.