Va. governor apologizes for omitting slavery from decree

April 08, 2010

RICHMOND, Va. - Gov. Bob McDonnell on Wednesday conceded a "major omission" for not noting slavery in declaring April Confederate History Month in Virginia. As part of his apology, McDonnell inserted into the proclamation a paragraph condemning slavery as "evil and inhumane" and blaming it as the cause of the Civil War. In a 400-word statement his office issued, McDonnell said the failure to include a slavery reference was a mistake. On Tuesday, McDonnell said in a telephone news conference that he wasn't focused on slavery in drafting the decree but on Civil War history. "The failure to include any reference to slavery was a mistake, and for that I apologize to any fellow Virginian who has been offended or disappointed," McDonnell's statement said. The Republican governor's revisions came after a day of scalding denunciations as the story became grist for cable news shows and caught fire on political blogs and in social media. The lack of any mention of human bondage in the original decree and his fumbling reply in a telephone news conference Tuesday when a reporter asked him why left critics and even former supporters outraged.

- Baltimore Sun News Services

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