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Georgia Lawmaker backs 'Confederate History Month,' Chided

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Posted at 4:34 PM, Mar 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-27 16:34:00-04

ATLANTA (AP) - A Georgia lawmaker is defending his proposal asking House colleagues to recognize "Confederate History Month," but black lawmakers charge it glorifies a time when slavery was acceptable.

State Republican Rep. Tommy Benton of Jefferson says his proposed resolution would honor Southern heritage. Lawmakers frequently use resolutions to recognize individuals or occasions.

State law already designates April as "Confederate History and Heritage Month."

The measure says the Confederate states engaged in a "four-year struggle for states' rights." The lawmaker wouldn't discuss whether it should mention slavery's role in the Civil War.

The 2015 massacre of nine black worshippers at a South Carolina church sparked discussions nationwide about Confederate symbols.

In 2015, Gov. Nathan Deal in 2015 removed formal names from state holidays for "Confederate Memorial Day" and Robert E. Lee's birthday.

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