He has openly defended his gubernatorial colleague, Bob McDonnell of Virginia, whose original proclamation can be found here.* (It was replaced by a slightly less inflammatory version that allows as how slavery wasn't such a good thing, and even the Google cache of the original disappeared.)
I suppose it's good to know where people stand...
April 12, 2010By THE ASSOCIATED PRESSFiled at 6:56 p.m. ETJACKSON, Miss. (AP) -- Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour drew criticism for proclaiming April as Confederate Heritage Month without mentioning slavery, the second governor this month to come under fire for the omission.Rep. Robert Johnson, D-Natchez, who is black, said Monday that people need to learn about the ''abhorrent, violent, depraved actions of slavery.''Virginia's Republican governor, Bob McDonnell, also named April as Confederate History Month but his original proclamation didn't mention slavery. After coming under national criticism, McDonnell last week revised it to denounce slavery as ''evil and inhumane.''Barbour, also a Republican who helped campaign for McDonnell last year, said Sunday on CNN that slavery was bad but a fuss over McDonnell's original proclamation ''doesn't amount to diddly.'' [emphasis added]
* Because things move around on the Internetses, here is the text of the original Virginia proclamation before it got all gussied up with anti-slavery language:
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.