Dr Guy, what do you make of your current governor's decision to resume the 'traditional' proclamation of Confederate History Month and his apparent desire to completely ignore the role of the peculiar institution in the history of the South and the nation?
If you are referring to the controversy of some of the legislators, I think you missed a word in the above. Assuming slavery is that word, I will answer accordingly (if not, please correct me).
I see no problem with the declaration itself. It is a part of history and one that many still acknowledge for the impact it had on the south. Confederate history is a very short one, but also a very deadly one not only for the former CSA, but for the USA as well. And to deny the men who fought and died in it is to ignore a critical piece of history. There was great evil done during that war, and afterwards, but it lead to the strengthening of the new nation and I believe resulted in the USA being a world power today.
There are many causes of the war, not least of which was the issue of slavery. But the war was not only about slavery, and indeed there is already movements afoot to dedicate resources to education and honoring those that were slaves, and those who died to abolish it within this Commonwealth. And I fully support it. It is another thing, that while we are not proud of it, we should not forget or let me swept into the dustbins of history. As such, the acknowledgement of slavery is not interchangeable with the remembering of the CSA. Even Doug Wilder acknowledged the distinction with his proclamation in 1990.
The problem is that Mark Werner politicized it (where it had not been before), and of course the Idiot Kaine just followed suit (if he had 2 brain cells to rub together, he might be dangerous).
So I see this as being a lot of hoohaw about nothing. But of course a good opportunity for some to politicize the event for their own personal gain. It does not detract from anyone to acknowledge it, nor does it promote the ante-bellum institutions that lead up to it. It is a part of history.
I'm a staunch regionalist and value the strengths of Southern culture highly. I'm also a crunchy, tree-hugging whatever-the-fuck and I truly loathe seeing one of our leaders pull such a dumb-ass move. Confederate History Month is a perfectly reasonable idea. Ignoring the facts of slavery is at best a gross abuse of the word "history," and just plain trashy even if the gap was somehow 'unintentional.' Bullshit like this makes it very, very hard for reasonable admirers of the South to avoid getting labeled as bigots-by-association. Yes, we have plenty of communities where people collect Hitler memorabilia and believe the Klan was a positive social force. We also have plenty of communities where kids' playgroups are mainly about class, not skin tone.
Gah. Mr. McDonnell needs a public spanking and maybe a month of being grounded.
Do we have to celebrate VE day with a day of mourning for Dresden? Slavery did not start and end with the CSA. It did end as a result of the war, but was in place long before. Why equate the 2? They are not the same. One is a great stain upon the American past initiated by England and perpetuated by not only the founding fathers, but by ALL 13 colonies. Should we acknowledge slavery and the abolition of it? Definitely. Do we have to every time we want to commemorate any event in history that co-existed with it? Hardly. Why do we celebrate Independence day without simultaneously beating ourselves up about the fact that it institutionalized slavery for 40+ years past when it would have expired had we NOT rebelled?
Because the 2 are not synonymous. You see McDonnell as a jerk for recognizing a historical era of the Commonwealth. Yet you do not do the same for all the others who are doing the same thing with celebrations like Independence day. if the whole source of the CSA was the creation, institution and abolishment of slavery, I would agree with you. But the creation of this country, and the war that followed "4 score and 5 years" later are not celebrations of slavery. They are honoring different events that did co-exist with slavery.