In a statement released last Thursday, Mayor Bill Euille criticized Gov. Bob McDonnells proclamation of April as Confederate History Month in Virginia.
Euille, the citys first African American mayor, said he was deeply disturbed and disappointed by McDonnells decision and that it is unacceptable to honor a cause that focused on the enslavement of over 450,000 Virginians based on the color of their skin.
About two weeks ago the Republican governor decided to renew Confederate History Month, a proclamation last effected in 2002, but left out any reference to slavery in his original declaration. The move, for which McDonnell later apologized, drew the ire of many from around Virginia and the country, including Euille.
In this new age of unity and enlightenment, we as a state and a nation must move beyond honoring causes that have separated us for so long, Euille said.