Alabama Gov.'s Slavery Blunder

memorial service at Fort Hood, Texas, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2009.
Confederate heritage groups got excited when Gov. Bob Riley's annual proclamation designating April as Confederate History and Heritage Month dropped a paragraph saying slavery was the cause of the Civil War.

The groups were pleased because they consider that description of slavery historically inaccurate. Their excitement, however, was short lived.

"It was a mistake," said Jeff Emerson, the governor's communications director, on Monday. He said he did not know how the mistake was made.

Emerson said the governor was unaware of the deletion until The Associated Press contacted his office. The governor quickly reissued the proclamation with the paragraph on slavery restored, and posted it on his Web site.

"That makes Bob Riley look very inconsistent and inept," said Roger Broxton, president of the Confederate Heritage Fund.

State Rep. Oliver Robinson, House chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus, was pleased that Riley withdrew the version of the proclamation that makes no mention of slavery.