by Charles King Bird

Throughout the entire South, our Confederate Southern heritage is under massive attack. This time, it’s not just Yankee invaders who are doing this under a new Reconstruction; it’s being reinforced as well by influential Southern liberals who hate the traditional South. There’s a line that can’t be crossed. Jesus gave us an injunction to love our enemies, but this doesn’t mean that we have to allow our Western European civilisation to be destroyed either. Otherwise, what did more than 800,000 Southern soldiers heroically fight for against at least 2 million Union soldiers, if not to defend their people from a brutal and unnecessary invasion that needlessly took the lives of more than 750,000 soldiers (According to a recent 2016 BBC report, contemporary scholars have updated the heavy toll from the figures we’ve been using since the late 19th Century–which were extremely well collected given the statistics available. Remember that there were only 25 million people living in the US according to the 1860 Census. Today that’s the equivalent of 9.7 million soldiers killed in an American War Between the States).

Late last year, in Montgomery Co. Maryland where I live, the County government seat in Rockville took down the Confederate statue that stood outside the government building. Around the same time, the State of Maryland recalled all automobile licence plates that bore the Battle Flag.

Demographics are against us in the South. We have millions of people living here who don’t have Southern roots nor seek to acquire any. They are people living here because they have either lucrative careers or decent paying jobs below the Mason-Dixon Line (my old colleague John Shelton Reed delighted in calling it “Below the Smith-Wesson Line”). These newcomers know nothing about the Southern Tradition and, quite often, they’re hostile to what they understand to be the Southern Tradition. Ditto for brainwashed native Southerners.

Since Southern schools teach nothing that’s sympathetic about the traditional South nor its Confederate heritage (I regard the Confederacy as the High Tide of Southern Nationalism along with a deep awareness of its unique Western culture), we must find powerful educational alternatives to reach out to the new generations who are ignorant of their past–whether they are Southerners whose people have lived here for centuries, or offspring, such as I, of Vietnamese immigrant parents who originally came here 60 years ago. It doesn’t matter. They should all be Southernified. We have no future as as a distinctive culture otherwise.

In total, the SCV & the UDC have close to 120,000 dues-paying members. They are invaluable education resources that are unfortunately insufficient to counter a massive counter-current of Southernophobia, unless we begin our own Pauline missionary counter-revolution. The Southern United States now has a population of more than 114 million people (one third of all Americans live in Dixie)–that’s plenty enough to form our own country which would be in the top ten wealthiest countries in the world. It’s just a sober observation. Since earliest childhood I have unhesitatingly believed in the cause of Southern independence–but it aint gonna happen. We had our chance and lost. Now we’re in a marriage from which there’s no possible divorce–unless the Lord annuls it. Hence, until then, as God wills it, we must carve out for ourselves a life separate from the marriage and stand our ground.

Sadly, the old Southern distinctiveness and strong regional identity have lessened within the last several decades due to a tidal wave of millions of Northern and Latino immigration that’s changing the South in rapid ways. I’m no xenophobe–just look at my visual aspects (of Vietnamese descent). But due to the political correctness and de-Southernification cultural programmes going on throughout the South, this cultural deracination will continue to advance.

I was commissioned to write an article for the 22 volume New Encyclopedia of the South, published by the University of North Carolina Press. The first edition had only one volume. The second edition–twenty-two–not including the final Index.That’s how things have changed in the South within three decades. We are a very complex civilisation. The New Encyclopedia of the South is the definitive work on our region, no matter how “progressive” it can be. We must coldly face the facts about the professors teaching the young in Southern universities. It’s amazing that I slipped under the radar screen. But then, when I write for a peer-reviewed publication, I keep my intellectual composure, tell the truth, and remain fair and, if need be, politely incorrect. (My serious concern is that partisans of the traditional South will be ghettoised or self-ghettoise themselves). My entry appeared in the volume devoted entirely to “Ethnicity”. There you go. I’m also happily referenced in several entries within the Literature volume that deal with Southern Agrarianism. The former is the present. The latter is the past. We can, and should appreciate the present. We live in it, and it’s quite often very enjoyable; nevertheless, we must not let the past slip away unnoticed and forgotten; for without it, we have no future, and we become an anchorless people, doomed to land on the barren shore of cultural nihilism. After all, we are Southerners.

Years ago, I once gave a keynote address to the annual meeting of the J.E.B. Stuart Society in Richmond. I spoke from the pulpit of St Paul’s Episcopal Church where Jefferson Davis & Robert E. Lee attended services. Their seats were marked for visitors to see. My speech was about the necessity to restore to Virginia schools a genuine education in Virginia history. Now, under the new rector of historic St Paul’s (where every Virginia governor has attended services since Mr Jefferson), whom I know from Sewanee, when he was an undergraduate, every vestige of the Confederacy has been removed–including the name plates where Southern heroes once kneeled at prayer. The rector is from old Southern stock. His ancestors fought as officers for the Confederacy. He was a very kind and amiable young man. Yet he represents a new generation of elite Southerners who’ve joined the gigantic chorus of those who seek to eradicate the Southern Heritage, all in the name of progress and tolerance.

Progressive intolerance is left for everything that’s part of the old Southern Heritage–since, according to the American Left, we’re “hateful, racist, sexist & homophobic”. For my friends who received my news on the tragic state of affairs regarding the insane political correctness of my alma mater, Yale, and also the desired plan to remove the name of John C. Calhoun from the college named after him. I have a sad update. Yale has removed all of Calhoun’s portraits from his college! So the portrait of John C. Calhoun that once hung over the fireplace of Calhoun College’s dining-hall is no more. I used to dine there with friends who were Calhounites. It would be strange to dine in this new Calhoun College where the portrait of one’s college patron is nowhere to be found. The privileged young people who eat there every day don’t care. Indeed, they are happy not to see the “white supremacist” face of the Great Nullificator.These Calhoun College undergraduates have no appreciation of Yale’s long and rich heritage; furthermore, they don’t care, preferring to join with the radical faculty and administration to eliminate history. Indeed, the Millennial undergraduates were the ones who frightened their cravenly coward professors & administrators to bend to their will.

John C. Calhoun was a great man with major accomplishments. He was a devoted Yalie (Whenever he was with his family or spoke of Yale, his features would soften. JCC loved Yale.),and a great thinker–one of America’s greatest political philosophers. And yet because John C. Calhoun was an Ante-Bellum Southern slaveholder and an illustrious member of the elite planter class denies him of his undeniable greatness? One of the first things that totalitarian governments do upon seizing power is to eliminate history, installing their own fictions upon a gullible new generation and those to follow. True history is never about false indoctrination. However, in order to permanently fetter minds, you need to indoctrinate, not educate.

I remember that wonderful line from “Gone With the Wind”: ‘Scarlett, this is not to be borne!’ And yes, let us pray hard To God, not only for our own redemption (the Confederate South was deeply Christian), but also for that of those who hate our culture and heritage.

Alphonse-Louis Vinh

Alphonse-Louis Vinh is a former Fellow of Berkeley College, Yale University and a former Professor at the Catholic University or America.

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