If the slaves are erased from the picture, then what took place between Sumter and Appomattox is not about the fate of human chattel, or a battle between good and evil. It is, instead, more of an ancestral skirmish in the Reagan revolution, a contest between big and small government.And then there's Haley Barbour:
We cannot allow the story of the emancipation of a people and the expiation of America’s original sin to become fodder for conservative politicians playing to their right-wing base. That, to say the very least, is a jump backward we do not need.
CROWLEY: The [Virginia] Governor didn’t even mention slavery in his proclamation. Was that a mistake?Barbour also refers to "my Democratic legislature, which has done exactly the same thing in Mississippi for years." Not sure what he means by this, but if he's referring to Confederate Memorial Day, ThinkProgress links a 2009 proclamation issued by Barbour himself, which omits slavery but mentions "gain[ing] insight from our mistakes [Pickett's Charge? -TBA] and successes." Miss. Code Ann. 3-3-7 lists Confederate Memorial Day as one of the state's legal holidays, but I would have to do a little digging to find the enacting legislation and whatever it might say.
BARBOUR: Well, I don’t think so…I don’t know what you would say about slavery, but anyone who thinks that you have to explain to people that slavery is a bad thing — I think it goes without saying. * * *
To me it’s a sort of feeling that it’s just a nit. That it is not significant. It’s trying to make a big deal out of something that doesn’t matter for diddly.
... Some reax to Barbour. Ta-Nehisi Coates: "The notion that slavery shouldn't be mentioned, because everyone knows its bad, but Robert E. Lee should be because, apparently, no one knows he was a great general, is, well, ignorant."