Reviving a practice begun by George “Macaca” Allen in 1995, and suspended by Allen’s two Democratic successors, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has April Confederate History Month. Thus, a formerly sleeping pup is now awake and howling.
The continued glorification of the Lost Cause by southern whites is perplexing to damnyankees, so let me explain it. Essentially, it’s all about stoking a cherished sense of righteous and glorious victimhood.
For example, white southerners still call the Civil War the “War of Northern Aggression” even though South Carolina started it by firing on the federal military garrison at Fort Sumter. Sumter and the sandbar on which is was built were federal territory and not part of the “soil” of South Carolina, even if it was in Charleston Harbor. South Carolina besieged Sumter and dared Abraham Lincoln to re-supply it before the troops in Sumter surrendered or starved to death. The latter possibility was looming when Lincoln sent re-supply ships, and then the South Carolinians called it an invasion and fired.
Then, having started the war, they whined ever since about “northern aggression.” Sounds a lot like our modern-day wingnuts. Nothing is ever their fault.
I’m not sure when they decided the war wasn’t really about slavery, but of course that’s a crock. The Confederacy existed only to protect the institution of slavery. It was THE issue that motivated the secessionists to secede.
After the war it was not long at all before the former plantation class was back in power in the South, brutally oppressing the black population and hoarding most of the region’s wealth, but somehow the South put over a revisionist version of Reconstruction history about how they were all picked on by those awful carpetbaggers.
That said, I’d be all for a “Confederate History Month” if it pushed an honest version of history rather than the highly fictional “moonlight and magnolias” romance that much of the white South still believes.