I’d like to think the majority of white Southerners are embarrassed by the Confederacy, but 2010 made me wonder. Shame on those conservatives who’ve chosen to identify with/exploit the most lamentable period in U.S. history. (And yes, I’m aware Democrat Robert Byrd was in the Klan. But he’s dead.)
“It helps him with his base,” said Mark Rozell, a political scientist at George Mason University, after Virginia’s Republican Gov. Robert McDonnell declared April as Confederate History Month in Virginia.
That such a base exists, and is apparently catered to, is disturbing enough. Former state GOP chairman Patrick McSweeney was among those who applauded McDonnell’s declaration, saying “I think it takes a certain amount of courage.”
Even more appalling was the proclamation’s historical whitewash.
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.”
(Since I don’t do Nazi comparisons I’ll let you provide the analogy.)
Before you think I’m giving too much weight to a symbolic proclamation, consider that eight states passed “Tenther” — named after the 10th Amendment, which states that powers not explicitly given to the federal government are reserved to the states — resolutions during the first year of the Obama administration. And then there were the wannabe secessionists.
To them I say, fergit already!