“Save your confederate money, boys, the South will rise again!”
At least, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell hopes so. He’s so hot to make money off the Civil War, he’s declared this month, April 2010, as “Confederate History Month” in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
It’s important, he says, to “understand the sacrifices of the Confederate leaders, soldiers and citizens during the period of the Civil War, and to recognize how our history has led to our present.”
Now, frankly, at a time when so many tea baggers are talking about nullification, I don’t see how it helps to be celebrating a war over nullification. A war that cost 618,000 American lives.
But there’s another problem: In his proclamation about the Confederacy, McDonnell makes no mention of slavery. Why? Because, he said, he wanted to focus on the most significant issues – and, according to him, slavery just wasn’t all that significant. Even though, at the outbreak of the Civil War, Virginia had over 490,000 black slaves.
That omission makes McDonnell’s proclamation all the more odious. By glorifying the Confederacy, with no mention of slavery, he makes one thing pretty clear: he has no more regard for African-Americans today that most Virginians did, 150 years ago.
That’s my parting shot for today.