In addition to my post from this past Thursday both Robert Moore and Andy Hall have noted that Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell has yet to come through with his promise to issue a proclamation setting aside April as “Civil War in Virginia Month”. I hope that this can be explained as an oversight having to do with a busy schedule more important matters, but I am beginning to doubt it.
The problem as I see it is not simply that the governor has decided not to issue the proclamation, but that he made the announcement at a major conference on slavery and race sponsored by the Virginia Sesquicentennial Commission. His words clearly resonated with the audience, but without the follow through it looks like he used the occasion and the commission to further what now looks like a short-term political agenda.
That’s unfortunate given the hard work that the commission has done over the past few years. It has done a superb job of steering clear of partisan politics and focusing on disseminating the latest scholarship in an age appropriate way to those Virginians interested in this important time in American history. Did the governor really just use these people to further his own agenda?
There is still time to do the right thing and issue what promised to be a Civil War proclamation for all Virginians.