April 7th, 2010
06:31 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Confederate History Month Controversy

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Virginia's Republican governor has opened some deep wounds by issuing a proclamation declaring April as Confederate History Month in the state.

That is because the proclamation quietly posted on Gov. Bob McDonnell's web site on Friday did not mention slavery.

That led McDonnell to apologize today for the omission and add the following language to the proclamation:

"It is important for all Virginians to understand that the institution of slavery led to this war and was an evil and inhumane practice that deprived people of their God-given inalienable rights and all Virginians are thankful for its permanent eradication from our borders, and the study of this time period should reflect upon and learn from his painful part of our history..."

McDonnell points out in his press release late this afternoon that "Virginia history undeniably includes the fact that we were the Capitol of the Confederacy, the site of more battlefields than any other state, and the home of the signing of the peace agreement at Appomattox." He adds, "The state... was also the first in the nation to elect an African-American governor, my friend, L. Douglas Wilder."

But Wilder is quoted in various news reports today saying it is "mind-boggling" that McDonnell didn't reference slavery in his original proclamation. He just spoke on CNN's Campbell Brown and said he's satisfied with the governor's addition to the proclamation that addresses slavery.

Others don't see it that way. Virginia State Sen. Henry Marsh III said the mea culpa was not enough. We'll have all the angles tonight on the program. You'll also hear from Brag Bowling. He's the commander of the Virginia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, who advised McDonnell on the proclamation.

McDonnell said the move was made to "promote the study of our history" and "encourage tourism" in advance of the 150th Anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War.

But two previous Democratic administrations in his state refused to so. It was Virginia's Republican Gov. George Allen who first made the proclamation in 1997, with no condemnation of slavery. His successor, Gov. James Gilmore - another Republican - continued the practice the next year, but added anti-slavery language to the decree. Gilmore also later changed the name of the month to "Virginia's Month of Remembrance of the Sacrifices and Honor of All Virginians Who Served in the Civil War."

Tonight we'll also have the latest developments on the mine explosion in West Virginia. A drill pierced the mine where four missing miners are believed to be, but the levels of carbon monoxide, methane and hydrogen are too dangerous to let rescuers in. 25 other miners died in Monday's blast.

Plus, tennis legend Martina Navratilova in her own words sharing her battle against breast cancer. She has a message she wants every women to hear.

Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET. See you then.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (204 Responses)
  1. Matt W. from MD

    I can understand 'Confederate Soldier Month' as a memorial for the poor Southern boys who died believing the propaganda of the few rich slave owners. They felt they were being invaded, they were told their way of life was at stake. They died in vain; they had nothing to gain and everything to lose. It was the rich minority that owned slaves. But it's absolutely despicable to glamorize the Confederacy in my opinion. There may well have been other states vs. federal rights involved, but slavery is evil and wrong, plain and simple. It doesn't matter where the person is from, whether it's race-based or otherwise; it's wrong.

    During the piece on AC360, Roland Martin said the American Civil War was a second American revolution. I say it was a continuation of the American Revolution that began with the Declaration of Independence and the words "All men are created equal". I wish I could meet Thomas Jefferson and understand how he could write such beautiful words and yet continue to 'own' human beings. It brings tears to my eyes now just thinking about it.

    In my opinion, we need a John Brown holiday before anything recognizing the Confederacy. The Civil War was ugly and bloody, and Brown spilled his share of blood, but he recognized how evil the institution of slavery was, and how ingrained it was, and that it wasn't going to be ended without great cost. I hope that if I was around at the time, and got the message, that I would've stood with him at Harper's Ferry. He may have been an insurrectionist against of the laws of his time, and there are very few times I will say violence is on the side of right, but he was right. He's as great an American hero as anyone.

    April 8, 2010 at 5:59 am |
  2. John P

    I just saw the interview AC had with Brag Bowling and I'm literally amazed at the ignorance of that man. Anderson, while I realize it probably pains you to have to deal with such idiocy, at least you're showing Americans the ignorance that still exists 150 years after our country entered the civilized era. Brag Bowling embodies the premise that certain positions of leadership require no innate intelligence whatsoever. He's not just an embarrassment to the American people, he's an insult to humanity.

    April 8, 2010 at 5:57 am |
  3. Lynn

    If we subscribe to the opinions given by Roland Martin earlier we should do away with Black History Month in February because it is exclusive to the accomplishments of only one segment of our society. The Confederacy is a part of our history in which many of us lost ancestors who were trying to defend their families and their homes. The gentleman representing those who want to celebrate their heritage in the month of April was portrayed on the program as having no understanding, being delirious....demonized if you will. I am always amazed at the intolerance of those who loudly proclaim they stand for tolerance.

    April 8, 2010 at 5:53 am |
  4. Earl Fitzgerald

    As a person that has a BA in History I see no reason not to remember our history and the things that happened. The Confederacy is a large part of "OUR" history. You can not reasonably compare the Confederates to Hitler and the Nazi Party. The Nazi Party pushed for the elimination of a race, and As I am not going to give the Civil War history lesson, let us just say the Confederates did not do the same. It is a non-issue for that debate. The African American population has many celebrations and organizations that for for "blacks" only. National Black History month, MLK Birthday, and the NAACP to name a few. These people see that as fit to celebrate. Now that people finally want to take the time to remember other parts of history the same people want to protest? You can not have your cake and eat it too. The time of the Confederacy was a brave time and a tragic time. Nonetheless this time needs to be remembered and the people that lost their lives need to never be forgotten. After all it is because of them we are where we are today. Most people would agree we are better off today. In conclusion, just because you may not agree with somethings, does not mean we should not remember them and celebrate the things we learned and the cost it took for us to learn.

    April 8, 2010 at 5:42 am |
  5. lfmaxmen

    The Confederates were traitors to the United States of America

    April 8, 2010 at 5:41 am |
  6. Orland Ross

    Thank you Anderson and Thank you Roland,

    Thank you that someone knows true american history an history of Virgina.

    I see the interview and I can not believe this racism is still around today!

    April 8, 2010 at 5:24 am |
  7. J. B.

    As a white southerner, I think confederate soldiers were traitors and should be remembered that way. Furthermore, the Civil War ended 145 years ago and anyone claiming to be the "Son of a Confederate Soldier" is a liar.

    April 8, 2010 at 4:40 am |
  8. T. Stennis

    As a 5th generation descendent of slaves I am proud of the endurance of African-Americans. I could care less what white people want to celebrate. The same pride that I take in the continued survival of my race, no other ethnicity should be denied their own pride of heritage. But just be honest. Confederate soliders did not make any sacrifices on behalf of the African slaves that labored for the prosperity of the South. Slaves equaled money, and when Pres Lincoln called for emancipation, he threated the financial security of many white families. And what man is not going to fight for the security and well being of his family? The American culture already minimizes the African experience in education and maximizes the importance of the Anglo-Saxon, European, white (whatever you want to call it) experience. The only reason why I learn it was to pass the class. It had no significance to me. And they might as well have a holiday because there are groups around the country that actually re-enact the Civil War! Just don't try to feed our children your fairytale. They are already forced fed the apple pie, morally superior, America does no wrong crap history in school. The one thing I wish white people would do is tell the truth and call a spade a spade! So do your thing good ole boys...just don't expect African-Americans to mark it on their calenders!!

    April 8, 2010 at 3:01 am |
  9. Austin S

    Hey guess what Licoln said himself...
    "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could do it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that.."

    The "main" reason slavery was the central argument for the revolution itself was entirely due to Lincoln issuing the Emancipation Proclamation which forced foreign European nations to restrain from helping the South, by forcing the issue Lincoln was able to keep the South from being aided by foreign soil (Briton was 1 battle away from recognizing the newly formed Confederacy as a legitimate nation). The South was close to winning and Abe wasn't going to let the Confederacy to be aided.

    I have no problem with a "Confederate States of America Day" in Virginia, I'm with the other handful of posters that agree that if you can't handle a day, that means little and will have no effect at all to your daily life, having a name then for the love of God why do we live in the United States where we can observe what whatever each citizen wishes?

    April 8, 2010 at 2:52 am |
  10. Sankofa

    If this guy Bowling really wanted to celebrate his confederate ancestors he should make it a day of reconciliation. He should take the time to show how his people have evolved and not celebrate their crimes and then down play its impact on a people and the world. By ignoring the slavery issue and then down playing it he validates and justifies the violence on human beings. He should show his children how far their values were from the will of God.

    The real reason he wants "the issues" recognized was as he stated. He wanted to draw attention to the similarities (in his opinion) of big governemt and the like. He probably is a member of the Tea Party and vigilanty groups that want to like in the words of Sara Palin, "take their country back".

    He diminished the offense on Africans by referring to slavery as a "world wide institution" as though humanity didnt know it was a sin. Murder, rape, stealing, beatings, human bondage was a sin before Jesus, during Jesus and after Jesus. If criminals could explain away their crimes away becuase of the numbers of other crimes there would be no jails.

    In the Chrisitan tradition that they hold up as their own, you cant serve God and man. Choose...

    April 8, 2010 at 2:49 am |
  11. Cora Franklin

    The Civil War was fought for several reasons, including: smaller government (state vs. federal), higher exportation taxes on goods from the South, and yes, slavery and issues surrounding it (slave vs. non-slave states that were joining the Union). I think that the focus of the Confederate War should be on how it brought our nation together. Although people were fighting for what they believed in, there was a common good that emerged. I think too many times individuals are only presented with the slavery side of the Civil War. Although I do not believe in the mistreatment of individuals, I think it is important to look at both sides. I feel that as a nation we still have racial boundaries. Living in the South, I have experienced "reverse" racisim. I have been treated poorly by African Americans. I feel that as a nation we have to tip toe around various races, religious groups, etc. I do not want to be judged for something I did not do. I can't control what my ancestors did, but I do not want to be treated differently for what they believed. I agree with DPerdue's statement about taking away heritage months. My ancestors were Irish. Some Irish were treated poorly-my ancestor was an indentured servant. Do we celebrate Irish History Month for the sins of our forefathers? If Americans want to be treated the same, let's quit celebrating differences and celebrate coming together.

    April 8, 2010 at 2:48 am |
  12. michelle strickland

    I see nothing wrong with having a month for the confederacy. we have black history month and also martin luther king day.i think we should have a month for the native americans this was their land to begin with.

    April 8, 2010 at 2:43 am |
  13. Michael D

    Historically the Civil was not fought over slavery but the ability for states to leave the union. It is very clear

    April 8, 2010 at 2:42 am |
  14. Cory

    If They Want To Celebrate; Let Them Celebrate... After All We Celebrate Black History Month.

    April 8, 2010 at 2:39 am |
  15. Anonymous

    As a historian and political scientist I am stunned at the ignorance and revisionist history that these people are advocating with respect to slavery and its importance to the Civil War. The Civil War was not about "freedom fighters" it was about Southern plantation owners' attempted protection of their economic livelihood - slavery. The "States' Rights" being fought over during the Civil War were the rights of the States to elect to treat African-American people as mere commodities. To revise history to honor the Confederacy is to celebrate them and their horrific philosophy - that people of a certain skin color and ancestry were nothing more than property, to be traded, sold, tortured and murdered at will. Any celebration of the Confederacy and its cause is to ignore the truth, the Confederacy fought to preserve the economy of the South - slavery.

    April 8, 2010 at 2:38 am |
  16. Nathan Johnson

    I found this "discussion" very disheartening because it goes to show that even if an event that occurred 140 years ago, the passion and emotions that split the country still lie in the hearts of Americans. It's very, very depressing to watch such hatred and discontent on T.V. It leaves one baffled at the very thought that there's still fractures in our society. We can't even have a civil discussion over history. Next time Anderson, for the sake of the viewer, I sincerely ask you have a pair of historians discuss the issue instead of a hyper political Roland Martin and a representative of the topic's group. Let's have an honest, historical, civil discussion without the severe raising of voices.

    April 8, 2010 at 2:36 am |
  17. Josh Haspel

    Listening to Brad Bowling give his twisted take of the Civil War sent me into a rage. For one,he said that the Union invaded the South. The south succeeded from the union! He also won't admit that slavery was the main issue that caused the civil war. I can't believe you would have a moron like this on your show! Listen, the confederates faught bravely, but they started this war when Lincoln was elected becuase they knew he was going to try to impede on their precious slavery. If there was no slavery there would be no civil war! Period! By putting people like this on the news you legitimize his point of view and it is totally ignorant!

    April 8, 2010 at 2:36 am |
  18. D. Reynolds

    What I was taught in college was that the fight wasn't all about emancipating the slaves. Check out Maryland's "sweet deal" with Lincoln, the Great Emancipator. For letting go of involvement with the Confederacy, Maryland was allowed to keep slavery an extra four years. My opinion of Lincoln hit the dirt when I learned about that. He was just another politician telling his base what they wanted to hear.

    Slavery is the best known issue of all and many people, of all complexions, don't get any further education about what caused the "War of Northern Aggression" than just the slavery issue. Slavery was and is so horrible that it seems to be enough to remember about the "Civil War". Many people who held slaves were beginning to see that it was a bad business practice, not the best way to incease income. From a financial standpoint slavery was on the way out. Had that trend had time to develop, the War would still have been fought. Slavery was a "state's rights" issue and the states that rebelled had a laundry list of other issues that they didn't want the federal government to control. The men who fought for the South and were slave owners were relatively few. They just didn't want to be pushed around by Washington politicians.

    It's a shame that most people have so little knowledge about Confederate history because it is America's history.

    I don't see the sense in even having states. I would like a fedral government that has uniform law across the land. Why on earth should states exist, much less have the right to legislate?

    April 8, 2010 at 2:27 am |
  19. n/a

    As southerner we deal with alot of issues in slavery every day. people stereo type us and blame us for slavery. its no wonder why people dont get along these days everyone lives in the past and doesnt look forward to the future. i think if we r foced to have black history month then it is only fair that we have a right to have a confederate month. its a part of history if everyone wants to be equal then we need to act equal. Its not about slavery and its not about confederate holiday, but if you dont support people in war then u dont support the people and there families that fight for our freedom every day. its always about race we need to all grow up and respect each other and stop throwing race and color on every issue that goes on in the us when something important especialy in history happens.

    April 8, 2010 at 2:27 am |
  20. Brian Shoffner

    And, oh yeah. Rhode Island tried to seced twice, Vermont once and New York twice. Now, tell me why seceding is a captial crime?!?

    April 8, 2010 at 2:25 am |
  21. P Rorrer

    Why has nobody seen the obvious connection between the Confederate States going to battle to seceed from the Union and the battle the AG of Virginia (with obvious permission of the Gov) filing suit to refute the new Health Care Law? The Gov of Texas has already stated that he was open to the idea of seceeding and Gov. Bob McDonnell wants to celebrate the idea of seceeding!

    I say to definately REMEMBER the Confederate era and states as a warning, because we cannot forget the past... especially when the Republican Party wants to replay the secession over Health Care!

    April 8, 2010 at 2:25 am |
  22. Brian Shoffner

    The gentleman in the bad suit and yellow shirt is VERY misinformed. He needs a reality check!!! SLAVERY was actually a NORTHERN IDEAL until Linckcon took office.

    April 8, 2010 at 2:20 am |
  23. Brian Shoffner

    I'll do you one better. How is it that all the "minority" groups based on ethnicity are being trampled by the "minority" groups designated by law?!? People, whose ancestors are from a land or country beyond the borders of our nation get to have their own "Awareness Month"?!? I find that curious...

    April 8, 2010 at 2:08 am |
  24. frank

    the people that have a legal right to complain are the native americans! the white and black man of this country have put those people to the gound with nothing. the black people are still looking back when they should be looking to the future? come on black people its 2010.

    April 8, 2010 at 2:01 am |
  25. Mike,Iowa

    I'll be fair about this and admit they were soldiers just as well as as the union army and so with that respect they should be acknowledge because they did fight just the same as the union but let us not forget alot of people were forced to take sides. We honestly can not single out every soldier in the confederate army as being pro slavery or racist. I think the idea of making an entire month out of it is a bit ridiculous. I can understand a day maybe but an entire moth is a bit much. That would be like Germany having Nazi appreciation month. I dont think you would get too many people behind that idea. Recognizing the soldiers is one thing but expecting an entire popluation of people including African Americans to recognize that month reliving some of the darkest days of our nations history is a bit warped. Then to have people actually argue about it is just a firestorm waiting to happen and the people who had the nerve to get this passed are the ones who are asking for it. If you want to recognize the confederate army, do it on your own time dont try and force everyone to get behind it.

    April 8, 2010 at 1:58 am |
  26. Rachelle Clayton SF, CA

    I can't believe that this Governor,Bob Mc Donald enacted a proclamation for All not some, to celebrate the confederacy !
    Excluding the part of slavery that orginated in Jamestown, Virgina.

    This is totally unacceptable, and is of pure ignorance to do such thing.

    To totally forget the many of americans that suffer humilation, brutality, and death !!

    Shame on Him !!!

    April 8, 2010 at 1:56 am |
  27. Norah

    To DPerdue:

    I am trying to be kind, because I assume you mean well, but you really need to examine why you said "Not all slaves were abused." Seriously?

    The very definition of slavery means that that is not true. Perhaps not every slave was physically/sexually attacked, but I believe that not allowing someone to be free because you think you are better than them (in this case, based on race) also fits the definition of abuse, don't you? Actually, "abuse" would be too mild a word.

    April 8, 2010 at 1:44 am |
  28. Priscilla

    Why would ANY state want to celebrate their part in a war that attempted to split the nation? Had the south won and, indeed, seceded, the United States as it is today would have ceased to exist. And the notion that celebrating the actions of the Confederacy can be viewed separately from the Confederacy's desire to preserve the evil institution of slavery is absurd. If history is to be discussed, it must be discussed in total.

    Many of the same people who want to celebrate the south's attempt to secede are the very same people who so quickly question the patriotism of others–especially those who support our current president. I can't help but wonder at the wisdom of Virginia's governor in choosing this particular time to make this particular declaration. With as much anger as there is brewing in this country, and with the first African American in the White House, how could anything of true value be furthered by this?

    April 8, 2010 at 1:43 am |
  29. G. Scott Bunyard

    The CSA was responsible for the greatest act of TREASON when without provacation attack Ft Sumter and started the Civil War ! It took another 100 years plus to begin to give the blacks of America their civil rights ! Racism is still pampant through out the country.

    April 8, 2010 at 1:37 am |
  30. Norah

    So, what events do they have planned for Confederate History Month? Should it be a slave auction reenactment or a lynching? Who could be the speakers at events? Gov. Perry of Texas who thinks, even in 2010, his state should leave the nation? What could they wear to the festivities? Pointy white hoods, perhaps? Seriously, what could possibly be appropriate ways to celebrate Confederate History Month?

    It is an embarrassment to the state of Virginia that they elected a governor who would think this is okay. Of course, we as a country elected Bush–twice– so there's no accounting for taste (or intelligence).

    We lost so many of our countrymen to that war and, in large part, it was because half the country wanted to keep their "right" to own others. What is worth celebrating in that?

    April 8, 2010 at 1:36 am |
  31. mark

    Mr. Cooper,
    Roland Martin is way too emotional on the Gov. Conferate issue.
    Mr. Martin needs to let go the 150+yr old issue of slavery. What happened back then belongs with those people in the U.S. If we all carried hatred and negativism like Mr Martin and others like him, no society nor civilization would exist anywhere on this planet.

    April 8, 2010 at 1:35 am |
  32. Jim Acker

    It is important that we celebrate, study and continue to study and remember American History. What the Civil war was fought over isn't the driving point, at least not how i see it. The purpose of this holiday is to honor and remember those citizens of the common wealth of Virginia who fought bravely for their state and for their families. Virginia may have been the first to legalize slavery or what have you, but Virginia left the union because of the conflict involving Fort Sumter. It shouldn't be seen as a racist or evil proclamation. It isn't a form of white washing history. The soldiers for the union fought defending freedoms for all American's and to preserve the union. While the Confederacy may have lost and were seen as fighting for the rights to own slavery, they were fighting for state rights and the rights of all of the citizens of the southern states that left the union. So this holiday should be recognized. I'm not trying to say to celebrate those who repressed African slaves and brutalized them for decades, I'm saying honor those who fought bravely for their beliefs and the right to revolt, which is how America was founded.

    April 8, 2010 at 1:34 am |
  33. Cher Edds

    It is amazing to me that no one has the gumption to recall all the white young boys & men that died to make black people free???? How is that always left out of the conversations??? Try looking the count up in your history folks??

    April 8, 2010 at 1:33 am |
  34. Sdlacy

    My history may be a lil rusty, but from what I remember from HIGH SCHOOL history is that slavery was already being outlawed before 1865. Importing of new slaves was made illegal in 1808. Slavery was as prevelant in north as much in the south.

    The idea of slavery was wrong, no doubt. But the idea confederate army being compared to the Nazis is crazy. The army of the southern states were farmers, and lower class citizens that believed in they're local rights and that the federal government should not impeed on these rights.

    Roland Martin is understandibly biased, but I agree that maybe Mr Martin read more about the ideals fought over during those years in the 1860s. Slaverly did play a part, but their was more to it.

    April 8, 2010 at 1:32 am |
  35. Dean D. Ellis Palm Springs, FL

    The battle cry of the lunatic fringe has been "we want our country back". Liberals have been stating that it's still here but they just don't understand what is meant by "our country". The fringe is requesting the return of the C.S.A., the Confederate States of America. Whites believe that it was stolen from them following cessession from the Union. Texas politicians kicked it off again and now the rest of the South wants the "Stars and Bars" to fly over all of their capitols and capitals and that is the bottom line. Dean D. Ellis Palm Springs, FL

    April 8, 2010 at 1:28 am |
  36. Vicky Cook

    I have ancestors who fought, were captured, and died on both sides of this war. And today the US Government allows BOTH to be EQUALLY HONORED with federally funded Military Grave Markers. That pretty much sums up on how OUR Federal Government views those that fought for the Confederacy.

    April 8, 2010 at 1:27 am |
  37. Richard Auriemma

    When does all this come to an end? When is enough enough?
    Yes slavery was terrible & a major blight against humanity but when does looking & asking & uselessly yelling for some answers or solutions come to an end? What do you want?

    April 8, 2010 at 1:22 am |
  38. mis

    I am a native SW VA girl – It's a pity that more American's, not to mention Virginians don't know their history – the Civil War was NOT over salvery – It was over states rights....Wow.. so sad – pick up a history book and speak with knowledge –

    April 8, 2010 at 1:16 am |
  39. Pat

    These soldiers were not "confederates," they fought in the Confederate Army. They did not commit genocide, they fought to protect their land and their families. Not all were slaveowners and slavery was only a part of why the Civil War was fought. I do not condemn all Germans for the Holocaust or all Japanese for Pearl Harbor. It just amazes me to hear a comparison of Confederate soldiers to Nazi war criminals responsible for six million deaths. What about our government in the 1830's and their policy of "Indian removal." Either we teach our history, all of it, the good and the bad, then we teach nothing. And the Confederacy (not Confederats) are a part of US History.

    April 8, 2010 at 1:14 am |
  40. Lori Dabbs

    I personal think the Civil War reinactments should be outlawed, having monuments, historical markers, etc, for historical purposes, great, but to relive the glory days as some see to see it, no – the south lost, get over it, and life goes on, which I think everyone should view it that way. I think that both sides should try to view it that way. And I am very knowledgeable of Hitler and WW2 (am a History Major) so hearing Hitler being compared to slavery .... hmmm kinda rattles me a little bit. Potentially on a smaller scale, but Hitler's goal was genocide, and to just destroy jews, they had no purpose to him. Many slave owners that I have first hand stories on, treated them as part of the family as far as lived with them ate with them, yes they cooked their meals and helped with the kids, but they were like aunts, cousins and uncles and never treated any different. And I nor my children do not see color, sex or religion in any person, I see what's inside them their true self and that's all that shines through and I wish more people in the world were that way and then we would have this problem.

    April 8, 2010 at 12:30 am |
  41. Dan Gregory

    I am asking who ever reads this. Please research these questions and open a book or two. Did union states allow slavery and when did it really end? What did General Lee think about slavery and why would he lead the Confederacy during the war? Did minorities fight for the south and who were they and why did they fight? Were there black slaveowners? Who was Joe Wheeler,where did he serve throughout his military career? Should he be called a terrorist? Which government,the CSA or USA during the conflict banned the importation of slaves and when? Please open a book or two and open your mind. Understand others and learn not to hate through education and communication..

    Advice from a proud Sons of Confederate Veterans member, Sons of the American Revolution member and proud Southern born American.

    April 8, 2010 at 12:28 am |
  42. Ephraim Lee

    We can't hide history. One can ask "Why did the Union invade the South?" obviously because of slavery. The Confederates wanted to defend their rights of owning people. HUMANS! If it is wrong then it still means it's wrong now. Omitting such a statement is pure southern. The Virginia governor is simply attempting to pay back the son of confederates most likely because they had many donors. It's mostly a political issue but it is still a real act of no common sense. Why would people want to remember such a troubled time. It's just like saying - "We have Christmas to celebrate the birth of Jesus, but we don't celebrate it for Jesus, but simply for gift exchanges~" (No offense intended). Slavery is so evident the dominant reason why the Civil War was fought. Pure controversy between the co-existence of humanity.

    April 8, 2010 at 12:27 am |
  43. N Wolf

    I am southern born and have lived in the south all of my life. I have several ancestors from Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina who fought for the Confederacy. Slavery is a deep, dark stain that can never be erased, and I think Gov. McDonnell's omission of slavery in the proclamation was horrible. But I do not see anything wrong with Confederate History Month, not as a celebration or holiday as some other posters see it, but as a chance to learn...AS LONG AS ALL THE HISTORY is considered. We need to learn from the past so we don't make the same mistakes.

    I am furious though, with Roland Martin and his comments calling Confederates terrorists fighting for the right to own slaves. My great-great-grandfathers who fought were dirt poor farmers who could barely afford to feed their families much less own slaves. They fought to defend their homes, but also because they had no choice due to conscription. They were simple, mostly uneducated, law abiding men who followed the laws of the states they lived in. I honor Isaac who fathered 12 children, and after the death of his wife, raised the 8 surviving children as a single father, never remarrying, and raised them as a close knit family. That strong belief in family ties has carried down through the generations. I honor Jacob who fathered 13 children and instilled in them a strong work ethic. I honor Joseph who, after the death of his wife in childbirth, left his infant son with relatives because the law said he had to. He died at Petersburg. They were all honorable men who contributed to their communities and to family values that have passed down. They were not, Mr. Martin, terrorists.

    April 8, 2010 at 12:27 am |
  44. Lori Dabbs

    I am a southerner, born and raised. My least favorite era of history is the Civil War. I never agreed with ownership of any human being regardless or color or sex. There were times when women were considered property also and had no rights. My family somewhere back in the day had indendentered servents. I hold no hatred towards my asestors countries or years past. I look up to EVERYONE in history who changed this world for the greater regardless of what color skin they had and should not have been forced to give up a seat because she was a female or an african american. Bad things happened, bad things happen to me, and I am a successful, young American white woman, its how you fight through it that makes you who you are. Stand up for yourself – dont blame those before you, work for today, so that your children will not have to face the same blindness. The slavery that we face today is like my father said, the slavery that is color blind, age blind, class blind, drugs and prostitution, gangs, etcs. coorupting our youth and our future.

    April 8, 2010 at 12:18 am |
  45. Isaac

    @ Joe Lafornara

    And the original Americans were traitors to Great Britain.

    April 8, 2010 at 12:16 am |
  46. Jeffrey Young, Sr

    My family came to America in the early 1700's and began work on land that became Montpilier (home of James Madison) and until 1865 they toiled there and at other farms and plantations in Virginia as slaves. This is the lifestyle the Confederacy was fighting to preserve. While I understand the need for people to believe that their ancestors fought on the side of right and for a noble cause unfortunately the dissolution of the union was neither noble or right. And make no mistake states rights and the right to enslave humans (in pre-civil war days) amount to the same thing. So I will not be comfortable with Confederate History month just as I am angry about the exclusion of Thomas Jefferson from Texas curicula, it's just bad history.

    Now if the Govenor had declared a Civil War History month all might be different. But the emphasis on the unlawful armed aggression against the United States in the furtherance of the enslavement of human beings just rubs me the wrong way.

    April 8, 2010 at 12:15 am |
  47. Savage

    Are you kidding me? Those people were traitors, treasonists, and terrorists. And yes it is part of our history as was Benedict Arnold. To try and justify it in any way shape or form is akin to justifying the nazi movement. And I would be ashamed to have ancestors like that. And I certainly wouldnt brag about it. Its bad enough I have to have people like that as part of my countrys history. And governors like that idiot in Texas should be charged with subversion and treason for even mentioning secession. We are not giving up any of our territory. Yes we have different states but they are U.S. property and if you dont like it leave! I think Somalia or some similar country will take in traitors, and treasonists. I think im going to try and find some toilet paper with the rebel flag on each square. Signed a white( true) American patriot!

    April 8, 2010 at 12:15 am |
  48. Isaac

    @ Neki

    I get what you are saying, but they are not celebrating the actions of SOME people in the confederacy. I mean, should all Germans and Japanese people renounce their heritage because their countries committed mass atrocities during WW!!? Should we not celebrate Independence Day because slavery was a legal institution when the United States was created?

    April 8, 2010 at 12:15 am |
  49. scribonz

    People are too sensitive on this issue.
    My ancestors were probably slave owners and fought for the confederacy. Its hard to deny that the ultimate cause that they were fighting for was highly immoral. The govenor made an error in not qualifying his support of Confederate HIstory by mentioning how wrong slavery was. That was dumb but the Civil War is one of the most important events in US History and it happened more in Virginia than anywhere else. I went to my first Civil War battle re-enactment last month and there were thousands of people there. I am sure that my ancestors would be shocked to know that I voted for a black man for President and dismayed that their state also voted for him.

    April 8, 2010 at 12:09 am |
  50. James Martin

    You really need a few professioal historians to discuss this issue. All American should be thoroughly familiar with the Civil War.

    Slavery was the primary issue that divided the country politically.

    Northern goal: Expansion of free white labor.
    Southern goal: Expansion of slave labor.

    A very, very small percentage of the Southern white population owned slaves. Therefore, many confederate soldiers were fighting for other reasons.

    Slavery had in some way been politically linked or disguised by more grandiose words that represented the higher ideas of democracy, patriotism, and freedom. Many confederates fought for these words. In the end, many fought to defend their states and families. It was a war.

    April 8, 2010 at 12:07 am |
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