- The Washington Times - Monday, April 12, 2010

NEW ORLEANS (AP) | The dust-up over Virginia’s proclamation for Confederate History Month seems like a lot of noise over something that “doesn’t amount to diddly,” Mississippi’s governor said in an interview aired Sunday.

Virginia’s Republican governor, Robert F. McDonnell, apologized for leaving out of his proclamation any reference to slavery, later adding language to the decree calling slavery “evil and inhumane.”

Fellow Republican Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi said he doesn’t think the proclamation was a mistake.

“To me, it’s a sort of feeling that it’s a nit, that it is not significant … it’s trying to make a big deal out of something [that] doesn’t amount to diddly,” Mr. Barbour said in the interview aired on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Last year, Mr. Barbour issued a similar proclamation in his state that did not mention slavery. He also noted that his state has a holiday, Confederate Memorial Day, that has been maintained by Democratic and Republican governors and the state’s majority-Democrat legislature. The state also honors the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert E. Lee, a Confederate general, on the same day in January.

Mr. McDonnell had issued the Confederate History Month proclamation at the behest of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, descendants of rebel soldiers. Mr. McDonnell was the first Virginia governor to issue such a proclamation since fellow Republican Jim Gilmore in 2001. Democrats Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, who succeeded Mr. Gilmore, refused.

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