Virginia's proclamation of Confederate History Month without any reference to slavery was unacceptable, President Obama said in an interview broadcast Friday.
"Well, you know, I'm a big history buff. And I think that understanding the history of the Confederacy and understanding the history of the Civil War is something that every American and every young American should, should be a part of," he told ABC in an interview taped Thursday. "Now, I don't think you can understand the Confederacy and the Civil War unless you understand slavery. And so, I think that was a - an unacceptable omission. I think the governor's now acknowledged that."
Obama was referring to Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who apologized Wednesday for leaving out any reference to slavery in his recent proclamation designating April as Confederate History Month, calling it a "major omission." McDonnell also said he would amend the proclamation.
Asked by ABC to weigh in on the dispute, the nation's first African-American president said, "I think it's just a reminder that when we talk about issues like slavery that are so fraught with pain and emotion, that, you know, we, we'd better do so thinking through how this is going to affect a lot of people. And their sense of whether they're part of a commonwealth or part of our broader society."