Gov Bob McDonnell (R-VA) actually got a fair amount of tacit support from prominent black Virginians including former Gov. Doug Wilder, who notably refused to endorse Democrat Creigh Deeds in the recent election for governor there. I wonder if this little demonstration has changed their minds about McDonnell.

Can Republicans ever be trusted in the current climate not to be total reactionary jerks over race and genuflect at some point to their most backwards and bigoted supporters?

Personally, I don’t think so. This was a tone-deaf move on McDonnell’s part who has to know that the very diverse Northern Virginians close to Washington DC (which now comprise a major voting bloc) are not likely to be amused. Even just a mention of slavery and a mention of those who lost their lives fighting for another kind of freedom in Virginia would have softened the blow. This is the kind of thing that sours re-election attempts and is tailor-made for a satire-fueled commercial. Whereas Bob McDonnell is now on record as a bigot…

I had a boyfriend once who drove me around the hip Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria VA trying to convince me to move there with him. I cited Loving v. Virginia to him and told him that Virginia had a ways to go IMHO before I’d consent to make it my state voluntarily.

I’d like to hear from you however — do you live in VA? How do you feel about “Confederate History Month”? Vestigial, Ridiculous, Racist or Righteous Remembrance?

From DailyKos:

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has decided to bring back Confederate History Month:

Here are a few excerpts from the proclamation:

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;

Another way to put it could be, “WHEREAS, in a four year war between the states to defend slavery that concluded with that general who will not be named whuppin’ our sorry asses and us being bitter over it for the next hundred-plus years.

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;

It seems that the part about trying to understand the sacrifices of centuries of enslaved people on their soil was omitted from the final draft.

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 …

So, Bob McDonnell thinks that to understand American politics today, we need to understand why Virginia joined the Confederacy? Is this a nod to the “tenther movement”? Because it wouldn’t be the only fringe element that McDonnell decided to pander to with this proclamation:

This year’s proclamation was requested by the Sons of Confederate Veterans … “We’ve known for quite some time we had a good opportunity should he ascend the governorship,” Brandon Dorsey said. “We basically decided to bide our time and wait until we had more favorable politicians in Richmond.”

And who are the Sons of Confederate Veterans? An all-male group that believes:

The citizen-soldiers who fought for the Confederacy personified the best qualities of America. The preservation of liberty and freedom was the motivating factor in the South’s decision to fight the Second American Revolution.

But nothing about slavery. [snip]

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