Looks like I was wrong. Dem. Governor Terry McAuliffe has no plans to issue a proclamation recognizing April as Confederate History Month. My guess is that the vast majority of Virginians will not lose any sleep over this decision.
I go into the classroom every day with the goal of trying to bring the past alive and to help my students pull meaning and lessons for their own lives. It’s not an easy task and I would be kidding myself if I thought that I succeeded in regard to every student that has ever entered my classroom or even a significant majority. I’ve reconciled myself to thinking about it in terms of degrees of success. I’ve never believed that we come hardwired to embrace and appreciate the importance of the past. It’s something that must be encouraged over time and with great care.
I was reminded of this as I was perusing my favorite Facebook pages instead of grading papers. In this post a prominent voice in the Virginia Flaggers whines incessantly that the governor of Virginia has yet to issue a Confederate History Month proclamation. There is still time and my money is on that it will eventually be published – thought it’s content will likely fall short of what it expected by certain circles. Continue reading
The governor of Virginia has yet to issue a proclamation for Confederate History Month or Civil War History in Virginia Month as his predecessor chose to call it. I am assuming that is just fine with fellow blogger and historian, Robert Moore, who writes from the Shenandoah Valley. Continue reading
Richmond, Virginia is an ideal location for a slavery museum. The project would give Gov. Robert McDonnell the opportunity to leave office with a solid legacy of promoting Richmond’s rich heritage and history. It would also serve as the perfect bookend to McDonnell’s earlier misstep and thoughtful turnaround in connection with his Confederate History Month proclamation back in 2010. [see here, here, and here]
THREE MONTHS after he took office in 2010, Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell plunged headlong into a public relations debacle of his own making by omitting any mention of slavery from a proclamation he issued during Confederate History Month. After some ham-handed damage control, he apologized for airbrushing history, amended the proclamation to refer to the “abomination of slavery” and said he would be a “champion for racial reconciliation” as the state prepared to commemorate the Civil War’s 150th anniversary.
Mr. McDonnell, a Republican, has gone some distance to make good on that promise. Recently, he announced that his final budget, to be submitted to the General Assembly before he leaves office next month, would include $11 million for the construction of a museum and other sites to commemorate slavery, all in Richmond.
[Read the rest of the Post's Editorial]
So, in addition to having trouble accessing my blog yesterday the news feed that I use to track stories related to Civil War memory is clogged with articles about the Brad Paisley – LL Cool J controversy. I’m not sure which is worse. I don’t have anything insightful to say about the song other than that the music and lyrics are both the work of amateurs. To be honest, it seems to be much to do about nothing.
On the other hand, I got nothing but props for Leslie Harris of Orange, Texas who asked the city council to consider resolutions and ordinances that would block a planned Confederate veterans memorial that includes a flag just off the interstate. Harris argues that, in fact, this is not a veterans memorial, but a Confederate flag memorial. She also offers some comments about the appropriateness of publicly acknowledging Confederate History Month and in the process reminds the audience that white Southern attitudes about the Confederate past are complex.