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Apr. 6 2010 - 6:22 pm | 770 views | 0 recommendations | 8 comments

Virginia Governor McDonnell Declares April ‘Confederate History Month’

Bob McDonnell, the Republican governor of Virginia, is bringing back a long-running right wing tradition by declaring April 2010 “Confederate History Month” — at the request of the neo-Confederate group “Sons of Confederate Veterans,” described by Civil War historian James M. McPherson as a white supremacist organization.

The two previous governors of Virginia (Democrats Mark Warner and Tim Kaine) refused to issue similar proclamations, but the Sons of Confederate Veterans knew they only had to wait until a Republican was in office.

This year’s proclamation was requested by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. A representative of the group said the group has known since it interviewed McDonnell when he was running for attorney general in 2005 that he was likely to respond differently than Warner or Kaine.

“We’ve known for quite some time we had a good opportunity should he ascend the governorship,” Brandon Dorsey said. “We basically decided to bide our time and wait until we had more favorable politicians in Richmond.”

McDonnell’s proclamation praises the sacrifices and courage of the Confederacy, but makes no mention at all of that pesky little distraction — slavery. Disgusting.

Republicans like McDonnell are reveling in their racism, and pandering to the most vile segments of US society. And then they whine and complain when African Americans want nothing to do with them.


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    Does this mean that someone’s going to remind them that the South lost?

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    You know what? I think this is fine – it’s great. It’s this kind of red meat thrown to the racist element huddling at the core of the GOP’s base that takes seemingly mild-mannered and moderate politicians in the Republican ranks like McDonnell and makes them non-viable at a national level. Conservatives these days love to complain that Democrats are playing the race card every chance they get. But it’s the Republicans who keep showing up the table ready to gamble it all on polarizing figures. It’s kind of pleasing to see that they can’t keep their hands out of the cookie jar.

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      Michael, what are you going to do with the Black sons of the confederacy…..you know they fought for the confederacy, too…..


      In response to another comment. See in context »
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        This is complete BS. It is absolutely not true that black soldiers fought for the Confederate Army.

        Professor Emeritus of American History Truman R. Clark had a good article on this revisionist twaddle years ago: History gives lie to myth of black Confederate soldiers.

        A racist fabrication has sprung up in the last decade: that the Confederacy had “thousands” of African- American slaves “fighting” in its armies during the Civil War.

        Unfortunately, even some African-American men today have gotten conned into Putting on Confederate uniforms to play “re-enactors” in an army that fought to ensure that their ancestors would remain slaves.

        There are two underlying points of this claim: first, to say that slavery wasn’t so bad, because after all, the slaves themselves fought to preserve the slave South; and second, that the Confederacy wasn’t really fighting for slavery. Both these notions may make some of our contemporaries feel good, but neither is historically accurate.

        When one speaks of “soldiers” and “fighting” in a war, one is not talking about slaves who were taken from their masters and forced to work on military roads and other military construction projects; nor is one talking about slaves who were taken along by their masters to continue the duties of a personal valet that they performed back on the plantation. Of course, there were thousands of African-Americans forced into these situations, but they were hardly “soldiers fighting.”

        Another logical point against this wacky modern idea of a racially integrated Confederate army has to do with the prisoner of war issue during the Civil War. Through 1862, there was an effective exchange system of POWs between the two sides. This entirely broke down in 1863, however, because the Confederacy refused to see black Union soldiers as soldiers – they would not be exchanged, but instead were made slaves (or, as in the 1864 Fort Pillow incident, simply murdered after their surrender). At that, the United States refused to exchange any Southern POWs and the prisoner of war camps on both sides grew immensely in numbers and misery the rest of the war.

        If the Confederacy had black soldiers in its armies, why didn’t it see black men as soldiers?

        By the way, all the Confederate soldiers captured by Union troops were white men. If there were “thousands” of black soldiers in the Confederate armies, why were none of them among the approximately 215,000 soldiers captured by the U. S. forces?

        If there were thousands of African-American men fighting in the Confederate armies, they apparently cleverly did so without Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, the members of the Confederate congress or any of the white soldiers of the Confederacy knowing about it. (I can just imagine some former Confederate soldier, told in 1892 that hundreds of the men in his army unit during the Civil War were black, snapping his fingers and saying, “I knew there was something different about those guys!”)

        The South was running short of soldiers as the war dragged on, however, and some people began to suggest that it would be better to use slaves to fight than to lose. As late as three weeks before the Civil War came to an end, the members of the Confederate congress (and Lee and Davis) were hotly debating the question of whether to start using slaves in the Southern armies.

        If, as some folks in the 1990s claim, there were already “thousands” of black troops in the Confederate armies, why were the leaders of the Confederacy still debating about whether or not they should start bringing them in?

        In response to another comment. See in context »
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    Now let’s talk about democrat senator Bird, for “exalted cyclops” of the Klu Klux Klan who said:

    “I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side… Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds. ”


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      From that same link comes this:

      Byrd explained that he was a member because he “was sorely afflicted with tunnel vision—a jejune and immature outlook—seeing only what I wanted to see because I thought the Klan could provide an outlet for my talents and ambitions.” Byrd also said, in 2005, “I know now I was wrong. Intolerance had no place in America. I apologized a thousand times… and I don’t mind apologizing over and over again. I can’t erase what happened.”

      As usual, you miss the point. Forgetting that many avowed segregationists changed their ways over time, remember too that the Confederacy is a part of Virginia’s past. All the southern states are part of the United States. It follows from there that celebrating the Confederacy makes one less patriotic, doesn’t it?

      In response to another comment. See in context »
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    Responsible for Equality And Liberty (R.E.A.L.) reports on the praise that Governor McDonnell’s decision received from the “white nationalist hate group” Stormfront.

    See report at:

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