April 9, 2010

So how does the media decide to handle Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's 'Confederate History Month' proclamation? Why trot out some racists who want to defend his original decision to ignore the issue of slavery of course. And what do all three of these interviews have in common? All three involve having someone of African American descent trying to argue with these Yahoos. First up we had Pat Buchanan on Hardball arguing that both sides were right in the Civil War and former DNC head Karen Finney. Finney posted this at Politico on the subject:

Gov. Bob McDonnell’s decision is shameful. If you’re going to declare April as “Confederate History Month” to commemorate, “… the 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;” then have the courage and character to embrace the full truth, not hide from or censor it. This is not about being “PC”. [...]

For me this is very personal. My father, who is African American, is from Virginia. The Finney name comes from the man who once owned my family as slaves. My mother, Mildred Lee, is the great, great, great niece of Robert E. Lee, or “the General”, as he is referred to by my family. I am therefore the great, great, great, great niece of General Lee. That is my American story, a mixed race heritage that I am proud of, just as Virginia, the South and our country has a mixed history.

I think it was shameful to make her sit through Buchanan's crap on Hardball. More from CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 and MSNBC TV below the fold.

Next up from the previous night, CNN's Anderson Cooper brings on Sons of Confederate Veterans Brag Bowling to debate Roland Martin who looked like he was about to blow a gasket by the time this interview was winding up. Bowling defended the Governor omitting slavery from the proclamation and said the motivation for the Civil War was about "the preservation of liberty and freedom". In the second half of the interview which is posted above, Bowling repeats Pat Buchanan's talking points almost word for word.

BOWLING: But there were plenty of other issues.

MARTIN: Oh give me a break.

But what was the dominant issue? That's like Tiger Woods' wife saying I'm going leaving you because we can't communicate. No, you're leaving because he cheated. So stop trying to sit here and say there's other stuff. The dominant issue that cast a cloud over everything was slavery.

COOPER: Mr. Bowling I want to give you the final thought and then we've got to go.

BOWLING: No, I just -- I totally disagree. I think there's a place to honor veterans, all veterans. And the confederate veteran is a recognized American veteran by Congress and he deserves full honor for the sacrifice he made.

COOPER: I guess, though, the critics say well, why not then, have the month where confederate -- you know, everyone who fought in the Civil War is recognized, where confederate veterans, union veterans --

BOWLING: Well, that's -- that's an easy one because the Union Army invaded the south. And the Union Army killed thousands and thousands of Virginians.

COOPER: Right. But there were plenty of Virginians who actually --


COOPER: -- there are plenty of Virginians who actually supported the union and actually formed the State of West Virginia and there is -- you know, to say that they invaded Virginia, there are those who would argue with you it's part of the United States.

BOWLING: I think that's the prime motivating factor of the confederate soldier, is the fact that they were invaded and they had to defend their homes and their families and some of the things that the union armies --

MARTIN: Right.

BOWLING: -- did when they were in Virginia by completely destroying the Shenandoah Valley, burning people's homes and stealing things --

MARTIN: Sir, how dare you --

BOWLING: This is the way --

MARTIN: How --

BOWLING: -- this is the way the Union Army behaved in every southern state from the march to the sea all the way through South Carolina.

MARTIN: So what -- were you --

BOWLING: And it was shameful and degrading.

MARTIN: So -- so were you offended when they destroyed Africans? Were you ashamed when they destroyed the families? When they killed them? When they tortured them, when they murdered them? You sit here and talk about what the Union Army did --

BOWLING: The Union Army?

MARTIN: When the people -- you sir, but no. The people you're supporting, they tortured and killed Africans who were slaves. And you're sitting here by saying well, they invaded. Come on, do you not even see and do you feel and hear how you sound?

BOWLING: I think I sound perfectly rational. I'm giving you what happened.

MARTIN: No, I think, no I think you sound delirious when you can't even recognize how they destroyed human beings. This was a --

BOWLING: You're giving a perfect reason why this whole era needs a full study.

COOPER: But -- but -- but Mr. Bowling you're not -- you're not --


COOPER: I just want to give you an opportunity to respond to what Mr. Martin said, I mean, you do recognize that, you know, slavery was inherently evil and Africans who were --

BOWLING: I do. I do.

COOPER: -- brought over here were treated terribly.

BOWLING: I make no -- I make no defense of slavery. But we live in 2010. We don't live in 1860, where slavery was a world-wide institution. It's a completely different place now.

MARTIN: And it was wrong then -- and it was wrong then. And in the governor's statement, he even said we need to recognize the times people lived in. I'm sorry, sir, I reject evil then and I reject it now.

And last but not least, Tamryn Hall on MSNBC gets more of the same from Bowling's fellow Sons of Confederate Veterans member, Jeff Davis who also defended the omission of slavery from the proclamation. Watching these three was just pitiful. About as pitiful as the media giving them a platform for their revisionist history.

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