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Role of Confederacy: Virginians “Fair-Minded”

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It is my opinion that the statement “tell the whole story” is a code word for speaking only about the effects of slavery in Richmond (“Lost and Found,” Cover Story, April 28). It is readily apparent that the plan of the future of Richmond's past will include little of the story of why the Confederacy seceded or pay any attention to what will draw tourists to Richmond in the next five years. I think it will be tragic if the total emphasis is placed on slavery because I don't think people will be drawn to our state if that is the theme. The “whole story” includes a lot more than slavery, and simply because the University of Richmond's president, Ed Ayers, has drawn together the political and business types does not mean that this plan will ever really succeed without also including the Confederacy, battles, leaders and themes of the war. What could be a showcase for our state will be forever lost.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans issued a news release after Gov. Bob McDonnell's Confederate History Month Proclamation was so roundly hammered in the press. Gov. McDonnell was interested in promoting education and tourism. The shrill and vitriolic outcry over his omission did not surprise. Because of that, the SCV commissioned a statewide poll conducted by Conquest Communications. The results of the poll run completely counter to what the average person would expect. After years of media and academic attack, the average Virginian remains fair-minded about the history of the Commonwealth and the role of the Confederacy during the war and historically. It might also indicate that the average citizen is tired of the liberal drumbeat. The results of the poll will probably never be allowed to see the light of day in a newspaper but this is to let the media understand that they are not succeeding in diminishing Virginia's history with their revisionism.

Brag Bowling
Sons of Confederate Veterans

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