Gov. Robert F. McDonnell Hopes To Promote Tourism With “Confederate History Month”
Civil rights leaders are, of course, shocked and appalled at Gov. Robert F. McDonnell’s declaration that April will again be Confederate History Month in Virginia. Not since 2002 has Virginia been able to party like it’s 1862. How does one even act, dress and participate during this observance?
“It helps him with his base,” said Mark Rozell, a political scientist at George Mason University. “These are people who support state’s rights and oppose federal intrusion.”
Said Patrick M. McSweeney, a former state GOP chairman: “I applaud McDonnell for doing it. I think it takes a certain amount of courage.”
The Virginia NAACP and the state’s Legislative Black Caucus called the proclamation an insult to a large segment of the state’s population, particularly because it never acknowledges slavery.
“Governor McDonnell’s proclamation was offensive and offered a disturbing revision of the Civil War and the brutal era that followed,” said Del. Kenneth Cooper Alexander (D-Norfolk), chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus. “Virginia has worked hard to move beyond the very things for which Governor McDonnell seems nostalgic.”
Bob McDonnell: WHEREAS, this defining chapter in Virginia’s history should not be forgotten, but instead should be studied, understood and remembered by all Virginians, both in the context of the time in which it took place, but also in the context of the time in which we live, and this study and remembrance takes on particular importance as the Commonwealth prepares to welcome the nation and the world to visit Virginia for the Sesquicentennial Anniversary of the Civil War, a four-year period in which the exploration of our history can benefit all;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Robert McDonnell, do hereby recognize April 2010 as CONFEDERATE HISTORY MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.
This controversial affair seems less like a jovial visit to reruns of “The Dukes of Hazzard” and more like a true endorsement and celebration of the Confederacy. Let’s just hope there isn’t also a “lesson” to be taught about the consequences of treason for those who choose to opt out of this ridiculousness.