Last week, McDonnell--a graduate of Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network School of Law (this is not a joke; it's now known as Regent University), but whose 2009 campaign for governor intentionally downplayed his right-wing views--grabbed the spotlight when he declared April to be "Confederate History Month."
The commemoration of Confederate History Month had fallen out of favor until 1997, when it was revived by then-Gov. George Allen, another Republican. After Allen left office, the commemoration again dropped away for eight years--until McDonnell issued his announcement.
McDonnell's proclamation caused shock waves by simultaneously glorifying the Confederate South, but making no mention of slavery, slaves or people of African descent in any form--a whitewashing of sickening proportions.
In McDonnell's version of history, the Civil War is redefined as a "war between the states for independence," where Confederate armed forces innocently "fought for their homes and communities"--rather than a bloody conflict in which 1.2 million people died and where Confederate forces fought to preserve the unspeakably cruel system of slavery.
McDonnell's depiction of the North's victory--which, in reality, smashed the Southern slaveocracy and liberated millions from bondage--is laced with wistfulness and regret: The Confederacy was "ultimately overwhelmed by the insurmountable resources of the Union army," the proclamation says.
McDonnell portrayed Confederate generals and soldiers as noble heroes, who after their defeat "returned to their homes and families to rebuild their communities in peace"--a "peace" that included the terrorism of the Ku Klux Klan and decades of Jim Crow barbarism that followed in Virginia.
These parts of history should be "studied, understood and remembered," McDonnell says. The idea that the state will promote and encourage this version of history is criminal. As the Black abolitionist Frederick Douglass wrote in 1878: "There was a right side and a wrong side in the late war, which no sentiment ought to cause us to forget."
( Read more...Collapse )
Source: Socialist Worker
Usually I post some fairly controversial articles, but here's one we can all agree on! Hooray!