Confederate History MonthAlongside Black History Month, Women’s History Month, and Jewish American Heritage Month, a new period of observance has been proposed by Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell: Confederate History Month.
By: Mitch Bradt , East High School
Alongside Black History Month, Women’s History Month, and Jewish American Heritage Month, a new period of observance has been proposed by Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell: Confederate History Month. The month has been declared annually by several states in the American South, but this practice ended for Virginia in 2002 under Democratic governor Mark Warner. Tim Kaine, Warner’s successor, also refused to designate a month for Confederate history. McDonnell, the current governor, issued a proclamation on April 2, 2010 designating April as Confederate History Month in the state of Virginia. The proclamation was made at the request of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a Southern heritage group that has, according to the website of the Southern Poverty Law Center, been dominated by racial extremists since 2002.
McDonnell’s proclamation made no mention of the part slavery played in the Confederacy, unlike his Republican predecessors, who in their proclamations denounced slavery. This omission by McDonnell has sparked outrage from many African-American leaders and was condemned by the NAACP and Virginia Legislative Black Caucus.
“I consider [the Confederate flag] racist,” said East High School Career Center Coordinator Ms. Larson. “They have to remember that it stands for something. It stands for secession over the issue of slavery.”
“I hate [the Confederate flag],” said East sophomore Quinton Coleman. “It’s just racist.”
According to the website of the Washington Post, McDonnell has said that “there were any number of aspects to [the American Civil War]. Obviously it involved slavery. It involved other issues. But I focused on the ones I thought were most significant for Virginia.”