After watching this, I’m very proud to say, “she’s my state Senator!” 🙂
UPDATE #1: People for the American Way President Michael B. Keegan weighs in.
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.
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.
UPDATE #2: Jonathan Capehart reminds us that Sheila Johnson is partly responsible for giving us Bob McDonnell as governor.
Somehow, I don’t think Gov. Robert F. McDonnell’s (R-Va.) proclamation honoring “Confederate History Month” as a way to promote tourism in the Commonwealth was what Johnson, the billionaire co-founder of Black Entertainment Television, had in mind when she endorsed him. Can’t wait to see how her posh Salamander Resort and Spa in Middleburg does its part to help the flow of tourists “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.” I don’t even want to think about what kind of jobs that would entail.
Also, while we’re on this topic, thanks a LOT to Doug Wilder for his self-absorbed Hamlet routine, and ultimately his failure to endorsed Creigh Deeds over Bob McDonnell in the fall of 2009. How’s that non-endorsement feeling now?
UDPATE #3: The Democratic Party of Virginia (finally, 5 days after the fact!) weighs in. See their statement after the “flip,” and let us know what you think. Personally, I find this statement to be late in the game – McDonnell’s proclamation was issued last Friday – and also not particularly passionate, but I’d be very interested to hear your opinion. Thanks.
Virginia is stronger because of our diversity. Our policies of tolerance and diversity have fostered a strong business environment and made Virginia a great place to raise a family or operate a business.
Unfortunately, the McDonnell Administration is consistently sending a message to the rest of the nation that Virginia is not a place of opportunity for all. From his refusal to issue an executive order protecting all Virginians from discrimination to his failure to even acknowledge our painful history of slavery, Governor McDonnell has failed to make good on his inaugural promise of ‘A Commonwealth of Opportunity.’
Instead, Governor McDonnell appears determined to take Virginia backwards. The McDonnell Administration’s intolerant policies and pronouncements threaten to cost Virginia jobs, as businesses, tourists and families choose to invest and spend their money somewhere else. Over the past eight years, pro-business policies of inclusion and tolerance helped Virginia become the nation’s best state to do business and the best state to raise a child. Governor McDonnell’s recent actions imperil that progress.
As Governor of all Virginians, Governor McDonnell needs to acknowledge and protect the legacies and histories of all of the diverse communities that make up our Commonwealth. He can start immediately by amending his recent statement to acknowledge Virginia’s complex history and address the role that slavery played in the Civil War.
By embracing pro-business policies of diversity and tolerance, we can truly build a Commonwealth of Opportunity, rather than taking Virginia backward.