On the flip-side, Kevin has a good piece up on Virginia's Civil War History Month proclamation. I really, really, really like this:
WHEREAS, the largest wartime population of African-American slaves was in Virginia, yet through their own acts of courage and resilience, as well as the actions of the United States army and federal government, they bequeathed to themselves and posterity a legacy of freedom; andWHEREAS, slavery was an inhumane practice that deprived people of their God-given inalienable rights, and the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil War ended its evil stain on American democracy and set Virginia and America on a still-traveled road to bring to fruition the great promises of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, and ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to enjoy equally the blessings of liberty and prosperity;
And I like this even more:
WHEREAS, the military leadership and tactics of Virginians like Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson and Union General George Henry Thomas are still studied, analyzed and discussed today; the heroism of brave individuals like William Harvey Carney, who was born a slave in Norfolk, gained his freedom through the Underground Railroad, and received the Medal of Honor for his valor as a Union soldier at the battle of Fort Wagner, inspires us through the ages; and the Commonwealth is the final resting place of thousands of Union and Confederate soldiers; the many cemeteries in which they lie reminding us of the cost and pain of the War and telling the stories of those who fought;
I've said this before about Republican governors trying to make peace with the past. I see no point in snarking about "what they're supposed to do" or changing the subject or conflating credit with a gubernatorial endorsement. These are people governing in states where upwards of 40 percent of voters don't think the Civil War was about slavery. This is to say nothing of their base.
I don't really care why these guys are shifting. I'm not in their head. I just want William Harvey Carney to get his props.I just want George Henry Thomas's courage--moral and physical--to be acknowledged. I decline all entreaties toward telepathy.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.