BOB McDONNELL REVIVES THE PAST -- THE RECENT PAST
You know, it's not as if Virginia celebrated Confederate History Month for decades and decades before those goldurn liberal Democrats Mark Warner and Tim Kaine eliminated it as governors of Virginia. In other words, it's not as if the custom is of such long standing that it was a huge break with tradition to get rid of it. In 1994, George "Macaca" Allen's first year as Virginia governor, there was no Confederate History Month in the state; his first proclamation of April as Confederate History and Heritage Month was in 1995, and he repeated the proclamations in 1996 and 1997.
In 1998, GOP governor Jim Gilmore, Allen's successor, kept Confederate History Month, but changed the proclamation:
Gov. James S. Gilmore III yesterday continued a Virginia tradition by naming April Confederate History Month, but added a new twist - denouncing slavery.
On the 133rd anniversary of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox, the Republican governor termed slavery "a practice that deprived African-Americans of their God-given inalienable rights, which degraded the human spirit," and "is abhorred and condemned by Virginians."
So, to sum up, new Republican governor Bob McDonnell's decision to bring Confederate History Month back to Virginia this year wasn't a revival of a tradition with deep roots in the state -- and he could have revived the practice while acknowledging the evil of slavery, but he didn't: there's no mention of slavery whatsoever in his proclamation. Instead, McDonnell's proclamation is all about "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," about "the sacrifices of the Confederate leaders, soldiers and citizens during the period of the Civil War." Slaves are completely written out of it.
All this compounds the disgrace of what McDonnell has done.