Still Fighting on the Wrong Side of History

Today, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell declared April to be Confederate History Month:

WHEREAS, April is the month in which the people of Virginia joined the Confederate States of America in a four year war between the states for independence that concluded at Appomattox Courthouse; and

WHEREAS, Virginia has long recognized her Confederate history, the numerous civil war battlefields that mark every region of the state, the leaders and individuals in the Army, Navy and at home who fought for their homes and communities and Commonwealth in a time very different than ours today; and […]

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.

So there it is.  A Governor that is a member of the party of Lincoln (or at least that what Republicans still claim) declaring a month to remember those fought to secede from the union to protect their right to keep slavery.  Those who still defend “states’ rights” from that period can dress up the divide between the North and the South any way they want.  But what it came down was the South’s continued insistence to keep a whole class of people in bondage.

And if you think we aren’t still feeling the effects today of the South’s insistence on keeping slavery, just look into why we have a Senate that gives the same amount representation to states such as South Carolina, Alabama and Virginia as it does to California, Texas and New York.

Lincoln would be horrified by the modern day Republican party just as he would of the Dixiecrats who joined during the struggle for civil rights in the middle part of the last century (which is how we got the modern GOP) and Nixon’s “Southern Strategy.”


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