Compatriots, how do y’all seek to maintain alive the Confederate heritage within your family & relatives? This would be a great discussion point for any Sons of Confederate Camp or United Daughters of the Confederacy Chapter.
At the time of the Southern War For Independence, my ancestors were fighting my beloved French. It was a war that lasted 29 hard and violent years–1854-1883. This meant, with Imperial Vietnam’s defeat, a century of humiliating French colonial rule over a refined, civilised Vietnamese culture that had existed since 213 BC–before the French even existed. The haughty French (I so love France–I run a French Literature Club) were shocked to encounter such an elegant culture that they had wanted to conquer and was even more refined than their own. The French writer, François Nourissier, wrote, ‘Vietnam was the only colony that the French ever loved.’
You will never hear of any Vietnamese demanding REPARATION like the Leftist Democrats or race card activists in the US. In French Indochina, we Vietnamese and French fought each other bitterly. We killed each other viciously. And we loved each other ardently.
Every nation in the world owes REPARATION to somebody ELSE. This is ridiculous. The French Embassy is organising its annual Spring Fête de la Francophonie, celebrating French world culture. Without the French Empire, including Southern Louisiana, where would French culture have DEVELOPED? General Beauregard would have loved it!!! Oh I love this great event. France has separate tables for Canada & my beloved Québec! Very diplomatic of them. On opposite sides of the hall! Vive le Québec libre!
France, like the South, is essential to my life. Bad things happened around the world! My ancestors participated in many great actions–including a few evil ones. However, as a general rule, they did heroic deeds. I’m proud of them. History happens. And, we can also see, that great things happen following evil things in great cultures–such as with the two great world civilisations (India is a great civilisation but lacks the global impact of the other two): Western European Culture & East Asian Culture. NO REPARATIONS. Don’t like this? Go home to the wretched regions of your ancestors where your kinfolk live in utter misery. Sorry. I’m not politically correct.
At any rate, back to my original intention. I have a precious 13 year-old god-daughter. Her mother is my best friend since Yale days. Her mom & I have argued gently and lovingly for decades about the WBTS. She has said to me many times over the years, ‘The Original Sin of the South was slavery.’
I beg to disagree. New England merchants sold slaves to the South where their labour was needed on farms and plantations, so this was not simply a Southern matter–but an American matter. The North was not conducive to mass enslaved agricultural labour. They needed factory workers. After the WBTS, the North had their own semi-enslaved white working class–including child labourers devoting up to 13 hours a day in order to survive. Unlike white Southern slaveowners who provided cradle to grave care for their black slaves in their sickness or disability, large Yankee business owners did not share that same humane concern. Northern white labourers, including all these poor, abused, broken children, in dismal, Dickensian Yankee factories, were tossed out without a care if they were of no further use.
Yes, slavery is evil, but this was something that was universal. Slavery was the backbone of our ancestral civilisation, the Greco-Roman World. Slavery has been universal for at least 5,000 years. Slavery still exists in the Muslim world. The monstrous evil of sexual slavery, which is a major concern of mine, exists everywhere, and I want to help destroy it.
As it happens, my ancestors ruled Vietnam between 1225-1400 (the Tran Dynasty). Our family abolished slavery in Vietnam. This primarily meant household slavery & some country slavery. We didn’t entirely get rid of serfdom, but we got rid of slavery, as much as we could, in its purest form–beyond household slavery to include parents selling their daughters into sexual slavery. This was the Middle Ages. We did our best.
We established a form of temporary tenant farming so that the landowners would be paid off, not only by the imperial government, but also by tithes given by the former slaves, who now owned their own land plots with imperial protection. There were no revolts. There were no rebellions. Landowners & slaveowners felt they were fairly treated by the Tran Dynasty.
See what my ancestors did, and then see how criminal Lincoln & the Yankees behaved in what they did against the South. What the North did was NOT necessary & indeed, criminal in its unconstitutional invasion of the South. It costs the lives of over 800,000 military lives according to a new BBC account (which bypasses the now outdated late 19th Century 625,000 figure); moreover, we still don’t know the final accounting for the horrendous atrocities against Southern women, girls, and children. This is an area of research which is still in its infancy. Are there anyone left in mainstream academic “Civil War” scholarship willing to to research the horrendous atrocities against white Southern & Native American Confederate civilians?
I can tell you, that there were terrible things that happened to General Stand Watie’s people after the War, as revenge by the Yankees for being the last Confederate General to surrender two months after Appomattox–and, racially speaking, for being a Confederate Indian.
I have read an excruciating diary account about a Yankee atrocity which included a gang-rape of a young Southern girl which drove her into madness. Cf. Mary Chestnut Boykin’s Diary, edited by my friend, Pulitzer Prize winning C. Vann Woodward, the greatest Southern historian of the 20th Century.
When she was 8 years old, my god-daughter was over at my place for a cookout. She blurted out, ‘my grandfather and my uncles survived the War!’ They, and their two cousins (who didn’t survive the War–she doesn’t know this yet) served in A.P. Hill’s Division from Seven Pines to Appomattox. They fought at Second Manassas, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, The Wilderness, Petersburg, & the final Appomattox push before our surrender. 125 members, including my god-daughter’s grandfather and uncles, out of the original 450-500 original members of their regiment remained at Marse Robert’s surrender.
When she is old enough to drive, I want to take my god-daughter down to one of the nearby Virginia battlefields where her ancestors so bravely fought.
Fredericksburg would be great. It’s a beautiful historic town. Great restaurants. You can visit the battlefield, & if you have a daughter or a god-daughter who’s not a WBTS buff, it’s still a great trip. But my god-daughter at age 13, is proud of her Confederate heritage. I’m doing my best to stoke low-burning flames despite her sweet but anti-Confederate parents–and her mom is my best friend who still asked me to be her godfather 13 years ago, although I’ve always been unreconstructed.
Written by Alphonse-Louis Vinh for The Abbeville Institute ~ April 4, 2019