Last month Virginia Gov. McDonnell made a proclamation to designate the month of April as Confederate History Month in Virginia. If that alone was not enough to ignite some tension in the US, the governor then added insult to potential injury, by totally omitting any reference to one of the main reasons Confederacy came to existence in the first place — slavery.
The attempt to omit any acknowledgment of the role of slavery, during a proclamation to celebrate the Confederacy, is insulting to say the very least. It would be akin to Germany wanting to hold a Shutzstaffel (more commonly known as the SS) or Swastika Celebration without acknowledging the Holocaust.
Granted this is not the first time the state of Virginia has placed this proclamation. It also is not the only southern state to do so. This is the first time any proclamation not only ignored slavery but, in this case, also white-washed the brutality of the Confederacy in the immediate years following the Civil War. It is revisionist history at its finest.
Yes, the Confederacy is very much a part of the South’s heritage, and we (Americans) acknowledge it happened. However, I do not see the need to have an entire month dedicated to it. Hell, Black History Month only has 28 days, 29 on leap years, in which to celebrate. Confederate History Month will have 30 days guaranteed. I’m sorry but there is something wrong with this beyond mere arithmetic.
Did McDonnell really, I mean really, think he would get away with it in the first place? Of course not! So whose ass was he pretending to (or perhaps outright) kissing, knowing he would have to change the verbiage?
As expected, the Governor was called to task on the omission by various groups, for reasons ranging from racial, to political and just down right insensitivity. Gov. McDonnell has since issued an apology for the omission and has stated that new language will be added to the proclamation to include slavery. Sorry, it’s too much, too little, too late motherfucker. It’s using the lube after the screwing.
I can acknowledge the Confederacy. I don’t think twice about it, as I see the Confederate flag waving proudly from various front porches, when I travel south. Maybe it’s the residue of my very southern (and yes, very racist) mother’s words still rattling in some far corner of my mind from when I was growing up but, some things just should not be “celebrated”. A part of me can’t help but wonder…
What’s next, Ku Klux Klan week?