The month of April marks the beginning of the regular season in baseball, my birthday, and - thanks to Virgina's current governor Bob McDonnell - Confederate History Month. Yes, you read that right. Gov. McDonnell is celebrating the South plunging the nation into a war over slaves and states' rights.
WHEREAS, April is the month in which the people of Virginia joined the Confederate States of America in a four year war between the states for independence that concluded at Appomattox Courthouse; and
WHEREAS, Virginia has long recognized her Confederate history, the numerous civil war battlefields that mark every region of the state, the leaders and individuals in the Army, Navy and at home who fought for their homes and communities and Commonwealth in a time very different than ours today; and [...]
WHEREAS, this defining chapter in Virginia's history should not be forgotten, but instead should be studied, understood and remembered by all Virginians, both in the context of the time in which it took place, but also in the context of the time in which we live, and this study and remembrance takes on particular importance as the Commonwealth prepares to welcome the nation and the world to visit Virginia for the Sesquicentennial Anniversary of the Civil War, a four-year period in which the exploration of our history can benefit all;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Robert McDonnell, do hereby recognize April 2010 as CONFEDERATE HISTORY MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.
Its been a while since i've taken an American History course and i'm sure the textbooks haven't radically changed all that much (unless the Texas schoolboard has done a near-whitewash of the reasons why the Civil War Broke out, the same way they blanked out Thomas Jefferson for Christian icon John Calvin); I understand why it is required studying in high school, but we never celebrated how a nation nearly tore itself apart and the blood that was shed becasue of fundamental differences.
What's worse is that the main reason why both sides engaged in the first place - the beleif that Southern States had the right to own other human beings for back-breaking labor - according to McDonnell, slavery wasn't the biggest issue that caused a Union to split in two and put the nation through four years of intense combat and bloodshed.
McDonnell said Tuesday that the move was designed to promote tourism in the state, which next year will mark the 150th anniversary of the start of the war. McDonnell said he did not include a reference to slavery because "there were any number of aspects to that conflict between the states. Obviously, it involved slavery. It involved other issues. But I focused on the ones I thought were most significant for Virginia."
The issue of slavery wasn't merely an issue that led to the Civil War: It was the only thing.
Its the reason why young men, on both sides, fought in the battle of Gettysberg and died.
Its the reason why the Confederacy broke away from the Union.
I would ask what the fuck is wrong with the fuck is wrong with this governor, but that was before I found out two revealing facts about McDonnell:
1. He went to Regent University (aka: Pat Robertson's school of duh), and we all know that school's track record on their former law studensts.
2. His thesis, entitled The Republican Party's Vision for the Family: The Compelling Issue of The Decade.
At age 34, two years before his first election and two decades before he would run for governor of Virginia, Robert F. McDonnell submitted a master's thesis to the evangelical school he was attending in Virginia Beach in which he described working women and feminists as "detrimental" to the family. He said government policy should favor married couples over "cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators." He described as "illogical" a 1972 Supreme Court decision legalizing the use of contraception by unmarried couples.
So allow me to rephrase my question: Virginia, why the fuck would you elect someone like this!?