“My duty will have been discharged, when the load of calumny which rests upon this people is lifted, when the story of Southern outrages against negroes and their allies is explained, and the Church of Christ is rescued from the suspicion of winking at lawlessness and crime — holding the nation breathless at the persecutions endured in the cause of equal rights, without a sigh of remonstrance from those who call themselves Christians.”
So wrote Joseph Pere Bell Wilmer in his ‘A Defense of Louisiana’, written during the troubled Reconstruction era. The ‘load of calumny’ to which he refers has to do with the accusations made against the White citizens of his state, and against the South generally, by the White allies of the black freedmen.
I feel the same burden that Wilmer felt; I somehow feel I have a duty to my folk and to my own ancestors, specifically, to answer the ‘load of calumny’ that not only continues these many decades later, but continues to intensify.
But let’s let Wilmer speak:
“To what is this tending? Nothing is more practicable than the cultivation of harmony among the States of this Union. Not less practicable, is the restoration of amity and affection between the two races in the South. Our hope is to live in peace with the negroes, ourselves and our children — but not while a respectable body of citizens are busy in segregating them and nursing distrust and alienation in their breasts; not while the public journals are teeming with accusations unknown in political warfare and foreign to the spirit of civilization, invoking upon the white race the restraints due to a turbulent and sanguinary people.”
I can’t say I share his optimism about the possibility of restoring ‘amity and affection’ between the two races; things have become that much worse since his words were written, and so much water has passed under the bridge. And I don’t think that it is now just a matter of troublemaking White traitors sowing distrust and animosity between the two races. If only it were that simple.
“Posterity will read with admiration, not unmingled with regret, of the patient struggles of the South to recover its forfeited rights in the Union. The privileges of representation first proffered were rendered imaginary in this State. Its representative men had all been in arms, and these by the will of Congress were excluded. This act of discrimination was not accepted by the people. From motives honorable to their spirit of chivalry, but fatal to their returning prosperity, the opportunity was lost to the Southern States to recover their influence in the councils of the nation.
[…] That the Reconstruction measures adopted by Congress for the South, were punitive in their design, I will not assert; that their aim was to establish the supremacy of a party, it is not my province to judge; that they were disastrous in their results, will be the verdict of history.”
One of the aims was to establish the supremacy of the Radical Republican party in the South, in case the allusion above is not self-evident. The Radical Republicans were the equivalent, in their anti-White tendencies, to the Democrat party of our day — or shall we include today’s Republicans in that category too? Why not?
“A more consuming policy could not have been devised. It excluded the statesmen of the land, and a large body of its ablest and best citizens, from any share in the rehabilitation of the State, and exalted to the highest functions of government, men wholly ignorant and incompetent to the task, bewildered indeed by this sudden transformation from slaves, into magistrates and rulers. So perilous a change was not wise statesmanship. The capacity of the Africans for government had been tested on their own native shores. Again, in the Islands of the Gulf of Mexico. The attempt to transfer to this race the fairest portion of the South, reckoning on their numerical strength to hold it under their sway, was to laugh to scorn the lessons of history. Ought we to be surprised that the inhabitants, — proprietors of the soil, men of our race and lineage — should revolt at this offence to their pride, not to speak of the inevitable spoliation and destruction of their property. Witness the result — in the present condition of this State, vividly, but imperfectly described in the message of the President to Congress, and the testimony before the Committee, in this city. Was anything else to be expected from African supremacy? A state illustrious in history, unrivalled in its resources, intense in its submission to Federal authority, reduced to shame and bankruptcy. Over its ample domain, or the larger portion of it, the eye ranges hopelessly for some object to break the monotony of suffering. Homes dilapidated and deserted, fields stretching far and wide uncultivated as a Libyan desert, schools suspended, churches closed, and when opened, half the congregation left to guard their property and homes from spoliation. No law exists against vagrancy, consequently in many parishes little or no stock is raised, no poultry, not even vegetables, so unsparing is the spirit of depredation. Disgrace is never attached to stealing from the whites, among a large class, and the convict emerges from the penitentiary with no sense of shame, and no loss of respectability. Indeed, the forbearance displayed by the planters under these outrages, if the facts were known as I know them, would often be regarded with amazement.”
I realize many of these facts are known to Southern folk, but I reiterate them for those who never learned of these things in our politically correct, anti-White school system. I happen to know that many private schools, sadly, even Christian schools, are just as derelict in their duties of teaching real history to their students.
And it’s important to provide some context for this controversy over the history of the South, and the wanton destruction and censorship of the history of the Confederacy, and the blackout (!) of any information about Reconstruction.
We need to be aware of the other side to the story rather than relying on the ‘history’ as related by Mitch Landrieu’s speechwriters.
More on this subject to come.