An elected official doesn’t know the significance of the Holocaust, and claims proposal to build memorial is racist.
The Birmingham Holocaust Education Center has already raised about $500,000 to build a memorial garden to honor victims and survivors of the Holocaust that had ties to Birmingham, Alabama. The city was being asked to contribute $45,500 to help clear the lot.
City council woman Sheila Tyson objected to the proposal. Tyson had previously asked the city to pay for repairs at the historically black Shadow Lane Cemetery.
“Isn’t it still for dead people,” Tyson asked. “It is for dead people. Aren’t the people they are memorializing deceased?” “Dead is dead!” she argued.
The city attorney tried to explain the difference between the Holocaust memorial and a cemetery, but she still didn’t get it.
“This is the oldest cemetery in the world,” Tyson claimed. “If this isn’t a tourist attraction I want to know what is. President Obama’s wife’s great, great granddaddy is buried out there.”
In fact, Michelle Obama’s great-great grandfather, Carpenter Dolphus Shields is buried at Shadow Lawn, reports Raw Story. But it is not the oldest cemetery in the world – it is not even the oldest cemetery in Birmingham.
Tyson ended her rant with an accusation that the Holocaust memorial was being supported financially, over the Shadow Lawn cemetery, because of race.
“What’s the difference?” Tyson said. “I see the difference. I know the difference but I will leave it right there.”
“It is meant to teach the community of the consequences of prejudice and hate,” said Rebecca Dobrinski, the memorial center’s executive director. “That is the lesson of the Holocaust. Our goal is to teach the lessons of the Holocaust … so that we do not go down that slippery slope of hate again.”
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