Monday, April 11, 2011
Bob McDonnell at the Dedication of Richmond's Slave Trail
The remarks of Bob McDonnell, Governor of Virginia, on the dedication of seventeen new historical trail markers along Richmond's Slave Trail. Governor McDonnell opened the ceremony dedicating the trail markers by offering greetings to the assembled audience.
Bob McDonnell deserves tremendous credit for his appearance today. It--along with this year's proclamation of "Civil War History Month" instead of "Confederate History Month"--marks a 180 degree turnabout for McDonnell. I do not mean that as a "left-handed" compliment: far from it. McDonnell has found his way to the right side of this debate and has worked hard to do the right thing: he has worked to promote, and has pledged to sign, a budget amendment that will set aside $3.3 million to purchase the site of Lumpkin's Slave Jail from Virginia Commonwealth University and hand it over to the City of Richmond for preservation of the site as a historical site and burial ground. In the near future, the asphalt of the parking lot will be torn up and will be replaced by a ground covering appropriate to its status as a burial ground--hallowed ground.
Governor McDonnell deserves full credit for his unifying message and his willingness to act. McDonnell was the sole elected Republican to appear at the event, and he deserves credit for taking a public position that might be less than popular among the rest of the Republican Party of Virginia.