NAACP Reacts to Confederate Month Announcement

04/07/10

Lynchburg, VA – Governor Bob McDonnell is apologizing to the commonwealth after omitting a major part of confederate history.

He proclaimed this month Confederate History Month, but failed to reference slavery as a part of history.

Leaving slavery out has a lot of people upset. It’s not just NAACP (web | news) members, locals say the omission was wrong and frankly unacceptable.

"It’s racist. There’s no way you can get around it," NAACP member Walter Fore Jr. said.

That’s what many people like Walter Fore Jr. are saying. He’s upset over Governor McDonnell’s omission of one of the major parts of confederate history.

"We’re regressing. We’re going backwards. And the old slave mentality, that we’re superior and that they’re still 3/5th of a person has resurfaced," Fore said.

Even before his apology, Governor McDonnell called slavery shameful.

"Slavery was an absolute abomination on this nation. It was the darkest period in our history and it was a vile and horrific practice that I’m delighted is wiped off the face of this country," McDonnell said while at Brookville High School earlier Wednesday.

"How can he face a camera and say that it’s wiped out that it doesn’t exist anymore? How can any, any, any white person say that racism doesn’t exist today?"  Fore said.

"It is inexcusable for the governor to say he made a mistake. To talk about that period in American history and leave out entirely the whole segment about slavery is despicable, it’s reprehensible and it’s unacceptable," NAACP member L. Garnell Stamps said. "I am the great grandson of slaves and it is an insult to me and to my heritage and to the people in my family."

Former Virginia Governor Douglas Wilder says McDonnell made a wise decision by apologizing.

"I think it’s the right thing for him to have done so because most people recognize that slavery was because of the war," he said on an interview with CNN Wednesday.

McDonnell says he will re-issue the proclamation with slavery.

In a statement released by the NAACP, the organization says they’re deeply disappointed with the governor’s decision to make April Confederate History Month. They say the decision disrespects Virginia’s people and history.

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