Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I Was Trying to Sort Out McDonnell's Possible Motive for the Confederate History Month Proclamation, but Now...

I get it. In discussing why the issue of slavery was not included in his proclamation for Confederate History Month, McDonnell explained his omission this way: "there were any number of aspects to that conflict between the states. Obviously, it involved slavery. But I focused on the ones I thought were most significant for Virginia." (emphasis mine)

In the post I wrote yesterday on this subject, I made it clear that I still think that studying the Confederacy is indeed important, even airing out competing points of view are appropriate. I also added that a proclamation for Civil War History Month would have been even better, since Virginia has so much Civil War hallowed ground.

However, McDonnell's statement to the Washington Post is offensive on its face, and I feel it clarifies his sentiment behind issuing the proclamation. It appears that the Sons of Confederate Veterans' perspective on what the "number of aspects" surrounding the Civil War guided him. That is really good to know. Considering that slavery, this "obviously" significant aspect of the Civil War, was born in the Virginia in 1619, and also considering that this same "obviously" significant aspect of the Civil War evolved and was later codified into an elaborate labor system based on race here in Virginia in the long years prior to the conflict, I would think that McDonnell would see the benefit of Virginia focusing on something so significant, "obviously."

I was trying to give McDonnell the benefit of the doubt on this one, really. I also was hoping that, after his heartfelt beat down of GLBT Virginians who want to work for the state, McDonnell might not go for the "Full Monty" regarding the depths of his hostile brand of conservatism regarding minorities, but it looks like I was wrong.

UPDATE: Since I was raised in a proper Virginia household, I will offer Governor McDonnell some respect for apologizing for his omission. However, my original conclusion still stands.

1 comment:

Scott said...

There has long been an attempt by many white southerners to minimize the role of slavery in our history. You hear this most often when in a discussion of the Confederacy or the Civil War someone says the words, "Well you know, it wasn't just about slavery..."
Or in McDonnell's wording, "Obviously it involved slavery..."

Suppose the German Chancellor proclaimed April to be "Nazi Heritage Month." Asked why the proclamation made no mention of the Holocaust the Chancellor says, "I wanted to focus on those aspects of the Third Reich that were most significant..."

Your credit to McDonnell for his apology once again proves you are a better man than I. I think McDonnell simply discovered that there is a limit to how far he can go in sucking up to the bigot-moron-rightwing and took more heat than he could stand.