Arthur Dowdell has apologized for pulling up small Confederate flags from four graves, but he said he still doesn’t “feel bad” about what he did. He read a statement at Tuesday night’s council meeting apologizing for what he said was a misunderstanding about the flags that had been placed in honor of Confederate Memorial Day. This apology was made to members of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
“If I as a city councilman I had known that the Daughters of the Confederacy had put those flags out, maybe we would have a different outcome,” he said. “As far as feeling sorry about that flag and if I feel that I did something remiss, I do not feel bad.”
This begs the question, why didn’t he find out what was going on before he decided to play judge and jury by pulling up the flags from the grave? What an idiot!
Councilman Arthur L. Dowdell poses with Confederate flags
he removed from graves. William White | Opelika-Auburn News
The last thing I would ever do is desecrate a grave, but Arthur Dowdell, an Auburn city councilman did just that. Four Confederate flags placed on the graves of Civil War soldiers were pulled up by Dowdell, who called them symbols of racism and hatred. He’s free to have his own opinion, but he clearly crossed the line when he reportedly engaged in this behavior. He said that he would return on Monday to get the rest of the flags on the other graves. Mary Norman, who is white, said he pulled up the flag from her great-grandfather’s grave, snapped it in two and put it in his car. That speaks to a deliberate action on his part, though he “claims” he did not mean to break the flag stick. Yeah, right… Dowdell, who was elected to the City Council in 1995, said that the flags are offensive to him and represent the Ku Klux Klan.
Dowdell said he was motivated to act when he went to pick up his daughter Thursday afternoon from her school near the cemetery. He said some parents complained to him about small Confederate battle flags being on graves throughout the cemetery in downtown Auburn.
Dowdell said he drove to the cemetery and saw it decorated “like a Klan rally or a skinhead rally.” “It’s intimidating to black folks, and it’s intimidating to me as a civil rights leader,” he said. Dowdell said he pulled up four flags and left. Source: AL.Com
Apparently the flags were placed on the graves because Sunday is the official day for Confederate Memorial Day and Monday is the state holiday for it. Okay, understandably, that in and of itself is an insulting notion to many blacks, but that still doesn’t give Mr. Dowdell the right to uproot them. He’s seeking to be both the judge and the jury. That’s just plain wrong. The argument is being made that the celebration of these Confederate soldiers have been observed for over 100 years. So, here’s my position, why is Mr. Dowdell just standing up in protest against this now? Shouldn’t he have been fighting against this before now? You don’t remove things from a grave without permission from the family of the deceased. That is desecration and it is wrong on so many levels. There may be some people buried in that cemetery who have a racist past, but it is just plain disrespectful to touch anything on their graves. Shame on you Arthur Dowdell!