April was the month in which Virginia joined the Confederate States of America, and as such, Governor McDonnell thought it would be nice to set aside this month 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...Of course, nowhere in the Governor's proclamation does he actually name any specifics of "this defining chapter in Virginia's history." Nor does he provide any historical reference to, or commentary on, "the context of the time in which it took place." ...You know, like slavery. But to understand this "in the context of the time in which we live," is quite simple. We live in the age of the first African American president of the United States of America. A tremendous symbol of progress from the dark underbelly of our nation's history; yet one which causes a certain segment of the population (namely, the base of the right wing of the Republican Party and the Tea Party movement) a deep sense of discomfort because of their racist and bigoted inclinations. Rather than help lead the nation along the path of progress and reject the extremist tendencies of their party, Republican Party leaders have been stoking the fears of their mentally unstable base. Congratulations, Bubba. You've made the University of Notre Dame proud.
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...
* In addition to glossing over the small role that slavery played in the Civil War, Bob McDonnell demonstrated his progressive and far reaching intellect in his master's thesis where he decries feminists and working women as "detrimental to the family," harps on the evil that is contraception, and dabbles in gay bashing. This wasn't merely the blabbering of a young conservative trying to find himself in college... he wrote this as an already married man while 34 years old. Stay classy, Bob.
UPDATE: 6:11 PM EDT (via The Washington Post)
Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) apologized late Wednesday for failing to include slavery in his proclamation declaring April as Confederate History Month. In his statement, McDonnell said slavery "has left a stain on the soul of this state and nation."