Thursday, April 8, 2010

Confederate History Month: Because taking L's is cool

I don't know why anything amazes me anymore. It's 2010, we live in the future...so why I am shocked when Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell declared April as "Confederate History Month"?!? I went to Robert E Lee Elementary school and Patrick Henry Elementary. This is the same state that celebrates "Jackson-Lee-King Day" (oh yes, Stonewall Jackson, Robert E Lee, and MLK share ONE holiday).

Honestly I don't get it. I grew up in Richmond (the capital of the Confederacy) and there is a little class called "Virginia History" which focused heavily on Virginia's role in the Civil War (or maybe my teacher was bugging?!?!). Either way, I don't understand the need to glorify treason and racism as if it's something to be proud of. I guess during this month they will freely hang the confederate flag along side the American flag (oh the irony) and we can "Pledge Allegiance" to these ideals the commonwealth have deemed worthy of praise. Of course, the Governor conveniently left out slavery because the civil war was not fought over slavery, rather it was about "states rights" which included the right to own slaves and make it's own rules. However, he digressed and decided that slavery was important since:

"(I)t is important for all Virginians to understand that the institution of slavery led to this (Civil) war and was an evil and inhumane practice that deprived people of their God-given inalienable rights and all Virginians are thankful for its permanent eradication from our borders"

Hold up what?...so the Confederate's side of the Civil Was WAS fought because of slavery and now you want to celebrate that?! And if Virginians should be "thankful" for the eradication of slavery, then what is the purpose of "Confederate" History? How is confederate history different than United States history? I guess we should focus on the supporters of slavery, state's rights, and what the confederate flag really means. Isn't that VA history anyway?

I am pretty sure there is not a "Nazi History" month in Germany where they "celebrate" the traditions of the past. Where everyone hangs swastikas from their door and give shout outs to Hitler and talk about how he and the nazi soldiers fought for Germany's rights. They probably would talk about how the good ole days were before Yankee America came through and laid the smack down.  Actually...there are people who do this...they are called Skinheads, Neo-Nazis...Racists.

But I am sure the Governor doesn't mean it that way. But as one commenter said on another blog "Make a choice; be a proud American or a proud Confederate. You cannot possibly be both."

4 comments:

  1. I am sooo sad by this Steph. I am a new Virginian and I am disappointed big time.

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  2. While it might have been in poor taste in what they call it, it is what it is, and he's not the first to proclaim April as Confederate History Month. YES slavery was a factor in the civil war it wasn't the only reason, I also feel that it shouldn't have been omitted in the first draft, but just maybe it was because the Gov of Va knew what kind of controversy this would stir. I haven't seen the entire proclamation that the Gov proposed/passed so I can't make a full decision if it's a good idea. If it incompasses the entirety of the civil war, including the part about slavery, and it is a means to educate the masses, then I feel this is a good thing. Youth today don't really care about their past any more then we did when we were their ages, and it's sad because there are ALOT out there with out the full story.

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  3. OMG!! This is disgusting and sooooo contradictory. Basically, he's saying "well, now that slavery is gone we should accept that, but I am celebrating that people were fighting to keep slavery running and I wish they would have won and I wouldn't have to claim to be glad slavery has been abolished."

    (And lol no, we don't have Nazi History Month..)

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  4. Tommlin, if this was about the Civil War in it's entirety it should be called "Civil War History/Heritage" something Month. But it's not. I don't disagree that education is important, I just think this is the wrong way to do it. Like I said in the blog, everything I learned about the confederacy, I learned in VA history class. Yes our teacher taught us that the war was not because of slavery. But yet, the governor says that the "institute of slavery led to the Civil War". And as I recall, the majority of slaves were in the South and the south wanted to keep slaves as slaves. And they lost. Yet we should celebrate their failure to keep as animals? And their failure to separate from the United States and become a different country that's located a little above Mexico. I don't understand how this is beneficial.

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