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View Poll Results: Is Treason against the United States something to be celebrated?
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Is Treason against the United States something to be celebrated?

Old 04-08-10, 12:34 PM
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Is Treason against the United States something to be celebrated?

The governor of Virginia seems to think so:

McDonnell's Confederate History Month proclamation irks civil rights leaders

By Anita Kumar and Rosalind S. Helderman
Washington Post Staff Writers

Wednesday, April 7, 2010 RICHMOND -- Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, reviving a controversy that had been dormant for eight years, has declared that April will be Confederate History Month in Virginia, a move that angered civil rights leaders Tuesday but that political observers said would strengthen his position with his conservative base.

The two previous Democratic governors had refused to issue the mostly symbolic proclamation honoring the soldiers who fought for the South in the Civil War. McDonnell (R) revived a practice started by Republican governor George Allen in 1997. McDonnell left out anti-slavery language that Allen's successor, James S. Gilmore III (R), had included in his proclamation. [Update: anti-slavery language has since been added]

McDonnell said Tuesday that the move was designed to promote tourism in the state, which next year will mark the 150th anniversary of the start of the war. 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."

The proclamation was condemned by the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus and the NAACP. Former governor L. Douglas Wilder called it "mind-boggling to say the least" that McDonnell did not reference slavery or Virginia's struggle with civil rights in his proclamation. Though a Democrat, Wilder has been supportive of McDonnell and boosted his election efforts when he declined to endorse the Republican's opponent, R. Creigh Deeds.

"Confederate history is full of many things that unfortunately are not put forth in a proclamation of this kind nor are they things that anyone wants to celebrate," he said. "It's one thing to sound a cause of rallying a base. But it's quite another to distort history."

The seven-paragraph declaration calls for Virginians to "understand the sacrifices of the Confederate leaders, soldiers and citizens during the period of the Civil War."

McDonnell had quietly made the proclamation Friday by placing it on his Web site, but it did not attract attention in the state capital until Tuesday. April also honors child abuse prevention, organ donations, financial literacy and crime victims.

After a fall campaign spent focusing almost exclusively on jobs and the economy, McDonnell had been seen in recent weeks as largely ceding conservative ground to the state's activist attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli II. The proclamation could change that view among Republicans who believe appropriate respect for the state's Confederate past has been erased by an over-allegiance to political correctness, observers said.

"It helps him with his base," said Mark Rozell, a political scientist at George Mason University. "These are people who support state's rights and oppose federal intrusion."

Said Patrick M. McSweeney, a former state GOP chairman: "I applaud McDonnell for doing it. I think it takes a certain amount of courage."

The Virginia NAACP and the state's Legislative Black Caucus called the proclamation an insult to a large segment of the state's population, particularly because it never acknowledges slavery.

"Governor McDonnell's proclamation was offensive and offered a disturbing revision of the Civil War and the brutal era that followed," said Del. Kenneth Cooper Alexander (D-Norfolk), chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus. "Virginia has worked hard to move beyond the very things for which Governor McDonnell seems nostalgic."

King Salim Khalfani, executive director of the Virginia State Conference of the NAACP, said his group will hold an emergency meeting Saturday to discuss a series of problems it has had with McDonnell since he was sworn into office in January.

Virginia has had a long, complicated history on racial relations -- long before Richmond served as the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War. Many of its most prominent early residents, including future presidents, owned slaves, and the state openly fought desegregation, even closing schools instead of integrating them. But in 1989, the state made Wilder the first African American governor in the nation since Reconstruction.

McDonnell said Tuesday that people's thinking about civil rights and the role of the Confederacy in Virginia history have advanced to the point where "people can talk about and discuss and . . . begin to understand the history a little better."

"I felt just as I've issued dozens and dozens of other commemorations, that it was something that was worthy of doing so people can at least study and understand that period of Virginia history and how it impacts us today," he said.

The state's new governor campaigned relentlessly on improving the economy and creating jobs and received the strong backing of the business community. But the attention that Virginia will receive from the proclamation might take away from that focus.

Rozell said the proclamation is a "distraction" from McDonnell's desire to attract companies to Virginia. Businesses might begin to perceive McDonnell's latest decision -- combined with Cuccinelli's decision to sue the federal government over health-care reform legislation and his advice to state colleges and universities that they remove sexual-orientation language from their anti-discrimination policies -- as a pattern of behavior not conducive to relocating in the state.

Allen caused a national uproar when he signed a proclamation drafted by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. It called the Civil War "a four-year struggle for [Southern] independence and sovereign rights" and made no mention of slavery.

Gilmore modified the decree in 1998 by adding a condemnation of slavery, but it failed to satisfy either defenders of Confederate heritage or civil rights leaders. He later changed the proclamation by dropping references to Confederate History Month and instead designated April as "Virginia's Month for Remembrance of the Sacrifices and Honor of All Virginians Who Served in the Civil War."

But in 2002, Mark Warner, Gilmore's successor, broke with their actions, calling such proclamations a "lightning rod" that did not help bridge divisions between whites and blacks in Virginia. Four years later, Timothy M. Kaine was asked but did not issue a proclamation.

This year's proclamation was requested by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. A representative of the group said it has known since it interviewed McDonnell when he was running for attorney general in 2005 that he was likely to respond differently than Warner or Kaine.

"We've known for quite some time we had a good opportunity should he ascend the governorship," said Brandon Dorsey of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Sen. Emmett W. Hanger Jr. (R-Augusta), who has spoken from the floor of the General Assembly about honoring Virginia's Confederate past with appropriate acknowledgments to its difficult racial past, said he believed Warner and Kaine "avoided" the issue by failing to issue similar documents.

"It would be totally inappropriate to do one that would just poke a stick to stir up old wounds. But it is appropriate to recognize the historical significance of Virginia in that era," he said. "I think it's appropriate as long as it's not fiery."

McDonnell's proclamation comes just before the April 17, 1861, anniversary of the day Virginia seceded from the union.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...040604416.html

Here is the proclomation that Governor McDonnell originally issued:

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 that concluded at Appomattox Courthouse; and


WHEREAS, Virginia has long recognized her Confederate history, the numerous civil war battlefields that mark every region of the state, the leaders and individuals in the Army, Navy and at home who fought for their homes and communities and Commonwealth in a time very different than ours today; and


WHEREAS, it is important for all Virginians to reflect upon our Commonwealth's shared history, 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; and

WHEREAS, Confederate historical sites such as the White House of the Confederacy are open for people to visit in Richmond today; and


WHEREAS, all Virginians can appreciate the fact that when ultimately overwhelmed by the insurmountable numbers and resources of the Union Army, the surviving, imprisoned and injured Confederate soldiers gave their word and allegiance to the United States of America, and returned to their homes and families to rebuild their communities in peace, following the instruction of General Robert E. Lee of Virginia, who wrote that, "...all should unite in honest efforts to obliterate the effects of war and to restore the blessings of peace."; and


WHEREAS, this defining chapter in Virginia's history should not be forgotten, but instead should be studied, understood and remembered by all Virginians, both in the context of the time in which it took place, but also in the context of the time in which we live, and this study and remembrance takes on particular importance as the Commonwealth prepares to welcome the nation and the world to visit Virginia for the Sesquicentennial Anniversary of the Civil War, a four-year period in which the exploration of our history can benefit all;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Robert McDonnell, do hereby recognize April 2010 as CONFEDERATE HISTORY MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.
Here's the paragraph he added when some people complained that his original proclamation didn't address the defining issue of the Civil War:

WHEREAS, it is important for all Virginians to understand that the institution of slavery led to this war and was an evil and inhumane practice that deprived people of their God-given inalienable rights and all Virginians are thankful for its permanent eradication from our borders, and the study of this time period should reflect upon and learn from this painful part of our history
My two cents: the Civil War was an act of rebellion and treason agains tthe United States in support of the right of white men to enslave blacks. It is a shameful moment in the history of the South and Virginians ought to be as embarassed by it as Germans are of Nazism.
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Old 04-08-10, 12:40 PM
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Re: Is Treason against the United States something to be celebrated?

I don't see the point of the proclamation but it doesn't look like it is a celebration of the confederacy.
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Old 04-08-10, 12:40 PM
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Re: Is Treason against the United States something to be celebrated?

I wonder if the Brits considered what we did to be treason years ago.
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Old 04-08-10, 12:44 PM
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Re: Is Treason against the United States something to be celebrated?

Originally Posted by kvrdave View Post
I wonder if the Brits considered what we did to be treason years ago.
probably. but they probably don't have months to commemorate it either.
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Old 04-08-10, 12:46 PM
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Re: Is Treason against the United States something to be celebrated?

No offense, but the poll topic seems grundlesque.
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Old 04-08-10, 12:46 PM
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Re: Is Treason against the United States something to be celebrated?

Originally Posted by Venusian View Post
probably. but they probably don't have months to commemorate it either.
We have the 4th of July. They don't celebrate that in the UK?
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Old 04-08-10, 12:51 PM
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Re: Is Treason against the United States something to be celebrated?

Originally Posted by VinVega View Post
We have the 4th of July. They don't celebrate that in the UK?
Yes but it is called Guy Fawkes day.
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Old 04-08-10, 12:57 PM
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Re: Is Treason against the United States something to be celebrated?

Originally Posted by VinVega View Post
No offense, but the poll topic seems grundlesque.
The whole OP does.



I knew it would be ridiculous when I saw the thread title.
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Old 04-08-10, 01:05 PM
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Re: Is Treason against the United States something to be celebrated?

I thought this was going to be about Sarah Palin's "reload" tweet.
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Old 04-08-10, 01:07 PM
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Re: Is Treason against the United States something to be celebrated?

I'm from the North, but if the Civil War happened today, I'd absolutely side with the Confederacy.
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Old 04-08-10, 01:09 PM
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Re: Is Treason against the United States something to be celebrated?

Originally Posted by VinVega View Post
No offense, but the poll topic seems grundlesque.
Yeah, I was going for grundle-esque because, quite frankly, I don't get the south's Civil War fetish. First, they were on the side of slavery, and second, they got their asses handed to them. If I were a southerner, I'd do everything I could to try to avoid reminding people of the colossal mistake my forebears had made.
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Old 04-08-10, 01:10 PM
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Re: Is Treason against the United States something to be celebrated?

I think there's a lot of people in the south who appreciate the culture, honor and valor of their forefathers----and that doesn't mean that they're pro-Confederacy, nor even that they're conservative politically.

I don't think this is a bad thing.

And on that note, allow me to plug the awesome craft of a songwriter buddy of mine in Arkansas who deals with some of these issues:

http://gothicrangers.com/music/

edit: music player doesn't seem to be working on that site---here's samples:

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/gothicrangers

Last edited by Ky-Fi; 04-08-10 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 04-08-10, 01:20 PM
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Re: Is Treason against the United States something to be celebrated?

I thought this thread was going to be about the Dixie Chicks summer tour, my bad.
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Old 04-08-10, 01:23 PM
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Re: Is Treason against the United States something to be celebrated?

Originally Posted by VinVega View Post
No offense, but the poll topic seems grundlesque.
No offense, but you're a poopy-head.

I'm looking forward to Tea Party month.
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Old 04-08-10, 01:28 PM
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Re: Is Treason against the United States something to be celebrated?

Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
Yeah, I was going for grundle-esque because, quite frankly, I don't get the south's Civil War fetish. First, they were on the side of slavery, and second, they got their asses handed to them. If I were a southerner, I'd do everything I could to try to avoid reminding people of the colossal mistake my forebears had made.
There was more to the confederacy and southern values than just slavery. I mean we still celebrate the American Revolution even though we were on the side of slavery, right?
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Old 04-08-10, 01:33 PM
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Re: Is Treason against the United States something to be celebrated?

Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
I don't get the south's Civil War fetish.
Neither do I.

Originally Posted by Ky-Fi View Post
I think there's a lot of people in the south who appreciate the culture, honor and valor of their forefathers----and that doesn't mean that they're pro-Confederacy, nor even that they're conservative politically.
Yes, but Virginia isn't celebrating 'Grits, Gumbo, and Delta Blues Month', they're commemorating a violent rebellion against the government for the purpose of maintaining a system by which they owned other human beings as property.
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Old 04-08-10, 01:36 PM
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Re: Is Treason against the United States something to be celebrated?

Originally Posted by RoyalTea View Post
I'm from the North, but if the Civil War happened today, I'd absolutely side with the Confederacy.
Were they the North or the South?
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Old 04-08-10, 01:40 PM
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Re: Is Treason against the United States something to be celebrated?

Originally Posted by kvrdave View Post
Were they the North or the South?
South Central.
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Old 04-08-10, 01:42 PM
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Re: Is Treason against the United States something to be celebrated?

Originally Posted by wendersfan View Post
Yes, but Virginia isn't celebrating 'Grits, Gumbo, and Delta Blues Month', they're commemorating a violent rebellion against the government for the purpose of maintaining a system by which they owned other human beings as property.
I think people can make reasonable arguments as to the immorality of the Vietnam war, or the Iraq war for that matter. I don't think people should thus be scorned for appreciating and honoring the sacrifice and efforts of those who fought in those conflicts. Again, I don't think respecting and honoring is the same thing as "endorsing".
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Old 04-08-10, 01:45 PM
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Re: Is Treason against the United States something to be celebrated?

A lot of people thought the Dukes of Hazzard were racists because they had the confederate flag painted on their car. This was hogwash! They were racists because of that episode where they lynched a guy.
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Old 04-08-10, 01:53 PM
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Re: Is Treason against the United States something to be celebrated?

Originally Posted by kvrdave View Post
I wonder if the Brits considered what we did to be treason years ago.
I assume so; however, they lost, so it doesn't matter. Had they won, there would have been a lot of hangings.

Had the South won:
*There'd still be slaves (maybe)
*They'd be a separate country
*They could celebrate their victory all they want

As a Northerner, I agree there may have been some other factors too; however, I believe those other factors NEVER would have come to Civil War if they hadn't insisted on the right to own other people (of color). So they wish to celebrate a culture, values, and sense of "honor" that embraces that.
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Old 04-08-10, 01:53 PM
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Re: Is Treason against the United States something to be celebrated?

Originally Posted by VinVega View Post
We have the 4th of July. They don't celebrate that in the UK?
No. Why would they?

The Beginning of the End of Our Empire: A Yearly Celebration
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Old 04-08-10, 01:54 PM
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Re: Is Treason against the United States something to be celebrated?

On this topic: you lost. It was 150 years ago. Get the fuck over it.
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Old 04-08-10, 01:56 PM
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Re: Is Treason against the United States something to be celebrated?

Originally Posted by OldDude View Post
Had the South won:
*There'd still be slaves (maybe)
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Old 04-08-10, 01:59 PM
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Re: Is Treason against the United States something to be celebrated?

Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet View Post
On this topic: you lost. It was 150 years ago. Get the fuck over it.
I agree with that. But I agree with that on most everything we bitch about today that took place over 100 years ago.
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