But McDonnell's proclamation was noticeably missing one feature that Gilmore's proclamations all had: a mention of slavery.
Asked why he omitted a mention of slavery from his proclamation, McDonnell said, "There were any number of aspects to that conflict between the states. Obviously, it involved slavery. It involved other issues. But I focused on the ones I thought were most significant for Virginia."
People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan issued the following statement:
"Governor McDonnell's choice to celebrate Confederate History while omitting any mention of slavery is an egregious rewriting of history. Declaring that slavery wasn't 'significant' enough to merit inclusion in his statement is an insult to the Virginians whose past was shaped by the most abhorrent policies of the Confederacy. Issuing a declaration honoring the confederacy is disturbing enough; failing to acknowledge slavery while doing it is inexcusable.
It's not a coincidence that Confederate History Month has returned with the arrival of an African-American president. It may be a very obvious sign of racism, but it certainly isn't the only one. Unfortunately, post-racial American is beginning to look more like racist America."Governor McDonnell has repeatedly shown himself to be far more radical than his Republican predecessors, and much more extreme than the moderate image he projected of himself during his campaign. This new attempt to ignore the worst parts of Virginia's complicated past is irresponsible and dangerous. By appeasing his supporters in the radical Right, he has turned his back on his duty to serve all Virginians. We cannot allow our elected officials to practice this kind of dangerous revisionism."
As of last night, however, it seems like the Governor changed his tune. Here's a clip from CNN. Listen to the guy who says that some people see the Confederacy as all one sided. Hmmm. What's the other side?