Tuesday, April 06, 2010

PSA: April is Now Confederate History Month

A tipster pointed out a pretty troubling news item to us earlier today (STOP reading now if you don't want to get our political views - you've been warned) --

When we first read this news item, we were stunned.  Do you guys remember the Confederacy?  We sure don't - being "Carpetbaggers" and all - but we can imagine what it would have been like: warm weather, beautiful landscapes, folks doing your field- and house-work whom you don't have to pay and can abuse relentlessly without consequence.  Verily, shouldn't those days - and the brave people who dedicated and often gave their lives trying to protect them against Northern aggressors - be honored?

Governor Bob McDonnell thinks so:
Despite the refusals of previous Governors, Bob McDonnell has declared April "Confederate History Month".  Below is his proclamation (UVA Law Blog provides running commentary):

Confederate History Month


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
Er, yes, the war was "for independence" and "concluded" at Appomattox Courthouse.  We would have used the words "for chattel slavery" and "lost", but there's no need to quibble on semantics. 
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
Let us be thankful the times were very different than they are today.  As for fighting for homes and communities - We're going to go out on a limb and suggest that those homes and communities are better off now that they are part of the United States of America again.
WHEREAS,  it is important for all Virginians to reflect upon our Commonwealth’s  shared history, 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; and
Indeed, thanks to sacrifices of the Confederates,  360,000 American servicemen lost their lives, a many portion of them the former property of said Confederate leaders, soldiers, and citizens.
WHEREAS, Confederate historical sites such as the White House of the Confederacy are open for people to visit in Richmond today, and
That's good.  We can see where Jefferson Davis turned out to be an inept leader, and then made the "sacrifice" of having to give up his slaves and live an aristocratic life while his cronies crushed reconstruction efforts.  Sounds educational and fun. 
WHEREAS, all Virginians can appreciate the fact that when ultimately overwhelmed by the insurmountable numbers and resources of the Union Army, the surviving, imprisoned and injured Confederate soldiers gave their word and allegiance to the United States of America, and returned to their homes and families to rebuild their communities in peace, following the instruction of General Robert E. Lee of Virginia, who wrote that, “...all should unite in honest efforts to obliterate the effects of war and to restore the blessings of peace."; and
Hrm, wouldn't it have been better and more worthy of veneration if Robert E. Lee and Davis had just surrendered their armies and abandoned than their perfidy rather than fight against "insurmountable" odds that result in tens of thousands of people being killed.
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;
Studying history = good.  Venerating confederate traitors who fought a war to support slavery and destroy the United States = ?
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.
 Duly noted.

Obviously this was a political post.  We know you people don't like that.  But, the fact is we think this is ridiculous and attention ought to be paid to just how ridiculous it is, so we're using UVA Law Blog to do it.  Don't agree with us?  That's fine. Write a well-reasoned response piece, and it'll get published.  Our word.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

The important thing is to try to ignore the historical events we don't like. Especially if by doing so we can conjure up some baby/bathwater metaphors.

Anonymous said...

It's really all in a name. If this has been called "Civil War History Month" I don't think anybody would have raised an eyebrow. It's the fact that it's "Confederate History" month that strikes me as the problem. While the Civil War is a very important event in US history that is well worth of study, I simply can't get behind the idea that the Confederacy is something to be celebrated.

In light of the all the minority group history months, the built in implication is that the Confederacy made significant and substantial positive contributions to U.S. history that we somehow over look.

I suppose it did give us the 14th Amendment and substantive due process. That was a good thing.

Cue conservative snarking in 3...2...1

Anonymous said...

"the built in implication is that the Confederacy made significant and substantial positive contributions to U.S. history"

...despite its own best efforts.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, Civil War History Month would be fine by me -- it's an important time in our nation's, and especially Virginia's, history, and studying it can teach us a lot about a lot of things (including slavery, federalism, habeas corpus, etc., etc.)

Southern History Month would also have been a good one, provided it's inclusive enough to include, say, the contributions of blacks, both during slave days and up through today. George Washington and MLK were both Southerners.

But as a conservative who would like to defend McDonnell here, I really wish he wouldn't have done this. I mean, this really shouldn't be nearly as big a deal as it is -- I venture to say that many Southern states "celebrate" this to the extent of having a proclamation and little else (maybe a few guys in gray show up at the Capitol), but nobody cares; this is only news because the last two Govs refused to do it, where their predecessors had (did Doug Wilder?). But, since it has gotten some panties in a wad, I would certainly have preferred one of the two options above, or none at all.

Rule 12 (f) said...

I'd also be fine with Civil War History month. There's a lot we can learn about/from the time period. But calling it Confederate History month implies - as the associated proclamation confirms - that we should be venerating a traitorous (sp?) government that supported one of the worst institutions of American history.

Anonymous said...

OK, looked it up. Wilder (first black elected governor of Virginia...or anywhere else) "issued a decree noting the Civil War. In 1990, he designated April 7-15 the "Final Chapter of the Civil War Days," recalling "those who sacrificed in this great struggle." His proclamation praised Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, but it also lauded President Abraham Lincoln and Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant."

One of his Republican successors, Jim Gilmore, issued a proclamation designed to piss off as few people as possible by noting both sides: http://users.erols.com/va-udc/rtd_0321.html

No idea why McD didn't just follow one of those guys' leads.

Anonymous said...

"The important thing is to try to ignore the historical events we don't like."

You remember the part where they owned people, right?

Anonymous said...

""The important thing is to try to ignore the historical events we don't like.""

"You remember the part where they owned people, right?"

inconvenient...

Anonymous said...

Is it no surprise that this is finally happening when, to your left, nutcase Tea Party "patriots" scream the N-word at John Lewis, and to your right, Cuccinelli encourages homophobia in higher education? WTF is going on with our country?

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when you have a one-term governorship and don't have to worry about ever running for another office (and LOL at the McDonnell for POTUS nonsense, a beta like him could nver get elected POTUS)

Anonymous said...

I think a more apt name would the War of Northern Aggression History Month.

Anonymous said...

I usually disagree with the politics of this blog, but I think you're spot on here.

Anonymous said...

The sponsor banner for college textbooks link is mispelled. It kinda adds character to the site so maybe you should leave it that way. :)

Anonymous said...

Reading the text of the actual proclamation, I think it's not as bad as the title makes it sound.

But I agree - calling it 'Civil War History Month' would have been a much wiser decision.

Anonymous said...

ITT: Northern betas and self-hating southerners bash an ALPHA southerner for recognizing the Confederacy's superior political ideologies

Cue liberal whining about slavery while ignoring the fact their favorite founding fathers also owned slaves in 3...2...1

Anonymous said...

11:47 -- DESCRIBE what makes McDonnell alpha. He is a TTT, unimpressive fellow. He is also 5'9, tops, with a douchey haircut and a stiff, robotic manner. He is the definition of beta.

Anonymous said...

11:47 = Republican/Tea Party member and closet racist

Anonymous said...

2:43,

Way to play into 11:47's stereotype by playing the race card. Care to explain what about the post was racist? Typical liberal thought process... "OHNOES, someone disagrees with my political ideology! I don't want my indefensible theories to be proven as vapid so I better play the race card!"

And LULZ at 12:27 calling a HS football star, military officer and governor (who won his election by a whopping 17 percent of the vote) a beta. Hey 12:27, you want to know what a beta looks like? Try looking in the mirror.

Anonymous said...

3:43 = Bob McDonnell

Anonymous said...

5:57 = bitter s/he was one of the 818,909 voters who were outnumbered by the 1,163,523 voters who elected McDonnell.

Anonymous said...

5:57 = bitter that despite winning by a large margin, McDonnell still looks like a fool

Anonymous said...

ALPHA BETA ALPHA BETA ALPHA BETA ALPHA BETA

Anonymous said...

3:43

Direct quote from 11:47: "Confederacy's superior political ideologies"...what ideology might the poster be referring to?

No one is excusing the founding fathers from owning slaves. Liberal "whining" about slavery? I guess slavery was a great institution in American history.

Anonymous said...

i think he was joking 11;35

NGSL Alpha Secure said...

10:37 = bitter that his softball team got crushed by GUS last week. Just accept it, some of us were blessed with great genes that allow us to succeed in athletics and make us better fit to lead betas like yourself.

Anonymous said...

NGSL SECURE-

Don't make us laugh. You might be "athletic" relative to the rest of the law school awkwards (after all, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king), but i'm pretty sure you're neither "athletic" nor "alpha" compared to the rest of the population. It's hilarious to listen to guys in class brag about their days on crappy ivy league baseball teams.

Now you've hit rock bottom by bragging about uva softball.

NGSL Alpha Secure said...

9:39,

I would apologize for making you feel like the inseucre beta you are while I chat up the ladies in class and regale them with stories about my athletic prowess but the truth is, I'm not sorry.

Anonymous said...

^ You've hit ROCK BOTTOM by bragging about chatting up LAW SCHOOL girls. LMFAO

NGSL Alpha Secure said...

5:12,

"ROCK BOTTOM" for me was the night I stooped so low as to sleep with that ogre you call your girlfriend. I can understand your distaste for women, like those at the law school, who are smarter, more confident and better looking than you thus making it impossible for you to deny your inferior BETAness when they are around. As for me, and any true ALPHA, I like the challenge... and the ladies of the law school? They love when I "rise" to their challenge.

Anonymous said...

3:34,

Part of the Confederacy's "superior political ideology" was the notion that white people were superior to, and should own, black people. This is known as racism in modern society.

Anonymous said...

Link to 3:34 saying all the confedaracy's political ideologies were superior to modern mainstream political theories? Scary that people like 11:42 who clearly lack reading comprehension skills are going to be lawyers one day and uva law alums at that.