Yes, Virginia, Slavery Happened

What would Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s supporters make of Donald Kaul’s recent column about the “Compton Cookout” party at the University of California at San Diego? McDonnell proclaimed April to be “Confederate History Month,” purportedly to honor soldiers who fought for the pro-slavery South in the Civil War. McDonnell sparked widespread outrage and criticism for failing to acknowledge slavery during his proclamation. At first, he said it was because that wasn’t among issues that were the “most significant for Virginia” during the Civil War. One day after this story broke, McDonnell apologized “to any fellow Virginian who has been offended or disappointed.” But actions speak louder than words, and when the governor was not spinning damage control he thought it more important to ask all Virginians to “understand the sacrifices of the Confederate leaders, soldiers and citizens during the period of the Civil War.”