Karen Finney: Virginia Shame

Another great comment about the situation in Virginia Governor McDonnell’s proclamation of April as Confederate History Month.  This one is from the African American- mixed race Great, Great, Great, Great,  Niece of Robert E Lee.  That’s another issue that’s not discussed very often in the white South…

As I said, I’ll have my comments in a couple of days when I have more time….

The shame is in the proclamation’s failure to acknowledge the full range of the truth about the Civil War and Virginia’s role in it. What about the sacrifices of whites who were part of the underground railroad and helped slaves escape to the North, or those who did not support the Confederacy, or the African slaves who actually fought on the side of the Confederacy? If we are going to celebrate and honor sacrifice, let us also celebrate the progress we have made since the Civil War, which should be a source of pride for every American, just as we must acknowledge the work that remains to be done.

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.

Link to full article:  Karen Finney: Virginia Shame.

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Filed under Politics, Social Commentary

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