Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, reviving a controversy that had been dormant for eight years, has declared that April will be Confederate History Month in Virginia...he did not include a reference to slavery because “there were any number of aspects to that conflict between the states.”
Here is the central truth: The South started the Civil War in order to create a slave owning, white supremacist state. How do we know this? Because they fucking said so.
Virgina's Ordinance of Secession sated it was about “the oppression of the Southern slave holding states”. In the official statements explaining their acts of succession, Georgia denounced “the equality of the black and white races”, and Mississippi proclaimed slavery “the greatest material interest of the world” while complaining about the Union “It advocates negro equality, socially and politically, and promotes insurrection and incendiarism in our midst.”
Texas was the most bold proclaiming their status “as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery-- the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits-- a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time.”
The Confederate constitution was a duplicate of American document with extra language making slavery a permanent institution. This included the following language:The Confederate States may acquire new territory; and Congress shall have power to legislate and provide governments for the inhabitants of all territory belonging to the Confederate States, lying without the limits of the several Sates; and may permit them, at such times, and in such manner as it may by law provide, to form States to be admitted into the Confederacy. In all such territory the institution of negro slavery, as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected be Congress and by the Territorial government; and the inhabitants of the several Confederate States and Territories shall have the right to take to such Territory any slaves lawfully held by them in any of the States or Territories of the Confederate States.
This shows the Confederacy aspired to be an expanding slave owning empire. Note they specified “negro slavery”.
After the war, some confederates tried to revise history saying rhetoric about protecting the Southern way of life against Northern injustice was about vaguely defined complexities. Prior to the war, they were clear and strident that it was about white people owning African Americans as property (to be bred, burdened, traded and killed at will).
There were bigots a plenty in the North, but this isn't the issue. The South fought a war to create a racist slave empire. The Confederacy's defining - and arguably only - purpose was a crime against humanity.
The defeat of the Confederates is as much a victory as the defeat of Nazis in WWII. Both wer attempts to found a society on racial superiority and brutalized, oppressed and/or killed an entire group of people. Except Germany doesn't have state leaders whining they were only protecting a now vague “way of life”.
ADDENDUM: Offended provincials should realize people accept the diverse 21st Century South is not the Confederacy; it's part of why they think this is bullshit.