Virginia's GOP Gov. Declares Confederate History Month
Democratic predecessors had blocked it since 2002
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2010 4:03 PM CDT
April is Confederate History Month in April.   (AP Photo/Montgomery Advertiser, Amanda Sowards)

(Newser) – Virginia's Republican governor has overruled his Democratic predecessors and declared April to be Confederate History Month, reports the Richmond Times Dispatch. Bob McDonnell re-instituted the designation for the first time since 2002, when Democrat Mark Warner killed it and called it a "lightning rod" that divided blacks and whites.

"We've known for quite some time we had a good opportunity should he ascend the governorship," a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans tells the Washington Post. "We basically decided to bide our time and wait until we had more favorable politicians in Richmond."

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Cher
Apr 7, 2010 7:17 PM CDT
Good for Virginia. We need to keep our history alive whether we agree about it or not. Take the bad with the good. That's freedom everyone should be able to handle.
Nope, sorry.
Apr 7, 2010 7:17 PM CDT
I think there's a line to be drawn between remembering important history, and glorifying something as despicable as slavery. Revisionist history can happen in both directions if we're not careful. Sure, people can make things out to have happened differently than is true, and that's a reasonable thing to fight against. But acting as though something never happened, or deciding NOT to talk about it because it's a source of shame isn't going to do us any favors too. Forgetting history is equally as dangerous. Isn't there a middle ground here? Can we use the month to remember what happened, discuss the motivating forces behind it (which WERE more than just slavery), discuss the legal ramifications & philosophies attached to it (Supreme Court finding Lincoln's actions unconstitutional & the fights that led his reasoning for doing it. Let's be fair, even Lincoln-loving historians say he was all but a "dictator" during his presidency), present real-life stories that we have from people who participated, etc......all while not *glorifying* the instances that DID stand to defend the right to own slaves. Not ignoring/denying the fact that this factored in, but also not glorifying it. Within all of the information put out during this month, an amount of time could be dedicated to presenting the ideas/occurrences that we find shameful today, and present a responsible look at the issues that arise from that part of it. Some men fought because they held abhorrent ideas. But some men fought because they genuinely believed that it was their patriotic duty (the debate over secession and their feelings that it was perfectly legal/constitutional to choose to do so. They felt they were being attacked for exercising those rights and only defending an encroachment. You don't have to necessarily AGREE with their POV in order to tell the truth about the role it played). Some men fought out of loyalty, or felt they were obligated to. Some men made the surely heartbreaking decision to fight against their own fathers/brothers/cousins/etc. These are ALL stories worth hearing, talking about, and taking the time to remember, aren't they? We take the time to remember soldiers who fought in wars we don't agree with our participation in all of the time, and this should be no different. We don't have to make heroes out of those who acted despicably, but we also don't have to sweep it all under the rug because we're afraid of anyone seeing it. If we keep going down that road, we end up in the place where we've put Columbus: all revered explorer/adventurer/hero, practically made a saint, while never talking about the atrocities he committed and the truly disgusting personal attitude he wrote of in his journals. Again, I just wonder if there's a line we can draw between remembrance/acknowledgment and glorification.
Landshark
Apr 7, 2010 3:25 PM CDT
I'm so embarrassed to have this lost Duke-boy cousin Bobby as my governor...please go back yonder to Hazzard county!