Thursday, April 8, 2010

Confederate History Month - Celebrating Losers


So Virginia wants to revive Confederate History Month this month eh? After an eight year hiatus, nothing like celebrating the history of your state, even when that history came at the expense of other people. But since I'm a student of history, let's discuss why this is just laughable, nevermind potentially offensive.

- Celebrating the Confederacy is a celebration of the fact several states left the Union to be separated. Nothing like bringing up secession as a cause to rally around - yay for once being divided!!

- April 9 is the 135th anniversary of Robert E. Lee surrendering to Ulysses S. Grant, ending the war. Great timing for April huh? Celebrate the Confederacy in a month where the war ended and the President who fought to keep the country together was assassinated. Brilliant!!

- Prior to a few days ago, they wouldn't acknowledge slavery in the celebration. Another great idea, celebrate the Confederacy while ignoring the reason the Confederacy got rich - slave labor. Bravo for correcting this, Governor, by saying slavery was inhumane.

- Here's the kicker, the Confederacy LOST THE WAR. From 1863-1865, they got the pants beaten off them (you saw Gone With the Wind, right?) Never before have I seen people so eager to celebrate losing and failure. In that case, let's erect that monument to George W. Bush.

- Virginia is the first state to elect a Black governor. What a way to completely respect that history by bringing up part of the history that enslaved his ancestors. Bravo! Bravo!!!

- Did I mention they're celebrating a losing cause? What's next, they'll re-harvest some "strange fruit" to grow on some trees (word to Billie Holiday, whose bday was yesterday)

In all seriousness, if they want to have some minor celebration of their state's history go ahead. You can't pretend it didnt exist but realize that a state-wide celebration makes you look foolish, Virginia. Celebrating Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee is fine but bringing up a whole era that symbolized separatism, racism and pretty much created the racial tension that plagues this country is ridiculous.

So carry on, Virginia. Richmond was indeed the capital of the Old Confederacy in the end but let ghosts stay hidden instead of forcing the rest of us to exorcise them for you.

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