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Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia and the Confederacy Commemoration Month

By pams
Wednesday, April 7, 2010 22:10 EDT
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I understand the concept of commemorating the history of the Confederacy; many men died fighting for their beliefs and cultural system of the South. However, you cannot separate the fact that slavery played an integral role in the Confederacy. Gov. Bob McDonnell did.

People for the American Way responded:

Virginia Governor Celebrates the Confederacy, Forgets Slavery

Virginia governor Bob McDonnell issued a proclamation last week declaring April to be Confederate History Month. Virginia’s last two governors, Democrats Tim Kaine and Mark Warner declined to issue a similar proclamation. Republican Jim Gilmore, who served from 1998-2002, was the last Virginia governor to set aside a month to celebrate Confederate History. But McDonnell’s proclamation was noticeably missing one feature that Gilmore’s proclamations all had—a mention of slavery.

Asked why he omitted a mention of slavery from his proclamation, McDonnell said, “There were any number of aspects to that conflict between the states. Obviously, it involved slavery. It involved other issues. But I focused on the ones I thought were most significant for Virginia.”

People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan issued the following statement:

“Governor McDonnell’s choice to celebrate Confederate History while omitting any mention of slavery is an egregious rewriting of history. Declaring that slavery wasn’t ‘significant’ enough to merit inclusion in his statement is an insult to the Virginians whose past was shaped by the most abhorrent policies of the Confederacy. Issuing a declaration honoring the confederacy is disturbing enough; failing to acknowledge slavery while doing it is inexcusable.

“Governor McDonnell has repeatedly shown himself to be far more radical than his Republican predecessors, and much more extreme than the moderate image he projected of himself during his campaign. This new attempt to ignore the worst parts of Virginia’s complicated past is irresponsible and dangerous. By appeasing his supporters in the radical Right, he has turned his back on his duty to serve all Virginians. We cannot allow our elected officials to practice this kind of dangerous revisionism.”

You know, speaking of the past, when blacks enjoyed the hospitality of the fruits of the Confederacy — shackled, whipped, raped, etc., we can proudly say that Virginia’s risen from the ashes of the War Between the States. Think of it: someone like Bob McDonnell could seek and receive the endorsement of — and have his hand out for election cash from one Sheila Johnson, billionaire co-founder of Black Entertainment Television and president of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics). God Bless America, Gov. McDonnell.

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UPDATE: It appears that Sheila Johnson got her comeuppance for forking over dough to this bigot. Now she’s released a statement condemning his decision to reinstate Confederate History Month:

“I must condemn Governor McDonnell’s Proclamation honoring ‘Confederate History Month,’ and its insensitive disregard of Virginia’s complicated and painful history, the remnants of which many Virginians still wrestle with today.

“The complete omission of slavery from an official government document, which purports to be a call for Virginians to ‘understand’ and ’study’ their history, is both academically flawed and personally offensive. If Virginians are to celebrate their ’shared history,’ as this proclamation suggests, then the whole truth of this history must be recognized and not evaded.”

My, my — is it too late to do an “I told you so” to Ms. Moneybags? The humiliation is deserved, because she not only gave buxxx, she did commercials for the guy and stumped for the bigot. In this video, she starts out with “we need someone who can communicate,” then proceeds to mock challenger Deeds’ stutter. Holy crap.

Here’s her endorsement of Bob McDonnell. Sheila, watch and weep about how much money he extracted from your fat wallet then went home whistling “Dixie.”

Hat tip, PFAW’s Josh Glasstetter., who has some reactions from the right wing below the fold.
Damage control on the conservative front:

* Powerline, 'The Wrong Proclamation in Virginia': "Republicans may be on the verge of gaining a share of national power, but the electorate still has justifiable reservations about whether the Party deserves power. McDonnell's decision won't inspire confidence."

* Ramesh Ponnuru, 'A Provocative Proclamation': "I very much doubt it was Gov. McDonnell's intention to cause any offense, and the proclamation mostly consists of platitudes about the importance of studying history. But the failure to mention slavery was a moral and historical mistake; it is also, I think, a political one."

* Andrew Sullivan, 'The Moderate McDonnell': "When Powerline is troubled by McDonnell's resurrection of Confederate History Month in Virginia, and the removal of any reference to slavery in the governor's proclamation, you begin to see how deep the extremism runs in today's Dixified, nihilist radical Republican party."
* Little Green Footballs, 'Virginia Governor McDonnell Declares April 'Confederate History Month'': "McDonnell’s proclamation praises the sacrifices and courage of the Confederacy and describes the Civil War as “a war for independence,” but makes no mention at all of that pesky little distraction — slavery. Disgusting."
… and Dave Weigel makes a sharp point (w/ an assist from Ben Tribbett):

 
 
 
 
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