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A historian calls Republican threats to defund Alabama Archives “fascist”

“Restricting marginalized history is textbook fascism,” historian Maigen Sullivan told APR.

Maigen Sullivan delivers a lecture at the Alabama Department of Archives and History in Montgomery.
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The historian and scholar who hosted a lecture at the Alabama Department of Archives and History on LGBTQ+ history responded to Republican lawmakers’ threats to defund ADAH by calling their actions “fascist”.

The individual who said that is Dr. Maigen Sullivan, co-founder of the Invisible Histories Project. Sullivan specified that she isn’t calling anyone a fascist, but, that the calls to restrict historical discussion of marginalized communities are fascist.  

“Restricting marginalized history is textbook fascism,” Sullivan told APR. “As a historian 100 percent, you can’t get any clearer that erasing and prohibiting marginalized history in public spaces is fascism.”

Sullivan noted that the first book burning that occurred in Nazi Germany, was for a sexuality clinic that focused on Trans and Queer studies.

Sullivan’s comments come after Sen. Chris Elliott, R-Josephine, said that he has a proposal to strip back a $5 million supplemental appropriation to ADAH because of the lecture that Sullivan gave. The lecture was not funded by ADAH, only hosted in their building.

“My issue is, the underlying issue is sex,” Elliott said as reported by Alabama Daily News. “And I just don’t know that we need to have that conversation with our children right now. It’s just not stuff we ought to be talking about at Archives and History.”

However, Sullivan stated that the discussion was not targeted towards children and there were not any children in attendance to the best of her recollection. Sullivan also said that the talk was not explicitly or overtly about sex it still does mention sex which she thinks we should not shy away from.

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“However, it is about sex I don’t think we should shy away from that,” Sullivan said. “Just as much as genealogy, or we’re talking about the heir to the throne, children or marriage or anything is about sex, because that is who we are as people. This event was also not for children. It was an archive. I mean, how many kids do you know go to a lunch and learn at an archive?

Sullivan also said much of this outrage was manufactured for political points to rile up voters in a culture war but was dangerous because of the continued hate targeted towards queer people.

You can watch the presentation on YouTube here.

Patrick Darrington is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected].

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