Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has had an epiphany ... slavery was a significant issue in the Civil War. Who knew?
McDonnell's journey of racial awareness began after his decision to bring back Confederate History Month, announced with a proclamation that began:
WHEREAS, April is the month in which the people of Virginia joined the Confederate States of America in a four year war between the states for independence ...
... but six "WHEREAS'" later, there was no mention of slavery. Of course, McDonnell had a good reason for the omission:
McDonnell said he did not include a reference to slavery because "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."
Shockingly, his explanation did nothing to quell the storm of criticism he was receiving, and after some serious soul-searching, McDonnell issued an apology:
The proclamation issued by this Office designating April as Confederate History Month contained a major omission. The failure to include any reference to slavery was a mistake, and for that I apologize to any fellow Virginian who has been offended or disappointed. The abomination of slavery divided our nation, deprived people of their God-given inalienable rights, and led to the Civil War. Slavery was an evil, vicious and inhumane practice which degraded human beings to property, and it has left a stain on the soul of this state and nation.
McDonnell even added a "WHEREAS" to his proclamation to note that slavery did indeed play a part in the Civil War. Never has the expression, "that's really white of him" been more appropriate.
So kudos to Governor McDonnell.
Of course his apology may not appease McDonnell's critics, who will no doubt dismiss his heartfelt apology and ask, if you think that slavery "divided our nation, deprived people of their God-given inalienable rights, and led to the Civil War ... was an evil, vicious and inhumane practice which degraded human beings to property, and it has left a stain on the soul of this state and nation," why in the hell are you honoring this abomination in the first place?
Come to think of it, that's a good question ...