Reaction to Gov. Bob McDonnell's (R-VA) proclamation designating April as Confederate History Month in Virginia has created consternation both at home and abroad. Gov. Hayley Barbour of Mississsippi is on record as follows:
Barbour, chairman of the Republican Governors Association (RGA), said Virginians know slavery is immoral without being reminded.
"I don't really see what to say about slavery, but anybody that thinks you have to explain to people that slavery is a bad thing--I think that goes without saying," he said
Reached by telephone, Bobby Joe Bootstrap, a tollbooth attendant on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel carried the thought somewhat further. "The South has apologized for slavery again and again, but I ain't yet to heard no damned Yankee apologize for burning Atlanta. It's OK, though. I've been collecting higher tolls from cars with Yankee plates for years now and I'm using all the money to open a Confederate Heritage Museum at my Uncle Orry's farm." When further pressed, Mr. Bootstrap conceded that he had been able to collect little of historical import. "Mostly what we gots so far is some surplus automatic weapons, but we done embossed "Deo Vindice" on the buttstock of ever damn one of 'em. They represents a proud heritage and a proud future to come. Just you wait 'n' see."
Reaction has not been limited to the American South or even the United States. Babbette Porcherie, reached at her home in Le Havre, France expressed envy at the Confederates' freedom to celebrate their past without the need to disassociate themselves from their treasonous ancestors. "I am directly descended from Henri Petain and I'm forced to conceal my pride in my Vichy Ancestry", she said. "People don't seem to be willing to acknowledge that it was only our collaboration which kept French Culture alive throughout the war. Sure, we had to transport our Jews, but the trains always returned with foodstuffs. Had the trains not returned with enough Bratwurst for the German High Command, all of our Andouille would have been confiscated."
Babbette Porcherie keeps her head shaved in solidarity with her Collaborationist forebears but is forced to wear a wig to conceal her sympathies in public.
She went on to say, "It is not widely known, but Gros-Grand-Pere Henri held out against the Bosch well past the point of breaking. Negotiations were fierce, and Monsieur Petain only capitulated when threatened with the loss of his hat. Many indignities could be borne, but I think you'd agree that the loss of his hat would have been an unacceptable compromise."
In researching this story, we encountered Le Kim Yat in Fenton, MI. In spite of dubious documentation, Mr. Le claims direct lineage from Pol Pot. Mr. Le immigrated with this family to America in 1979 from what was Democratic Kampuchea. He dreams of one day returning to his homeland and "restoring the Khmer Rouge to the glory it sought to achieve". "The People were not given adequate time to implement the programs envisioned by our glorious leaders. Certainly, there were excesses", he continued, "but it takes a firm hand to lead a nation from being a primitive agrarian society to being a modern agrarian paradise." He went on to say, "America's own leaders are beginning to see the light. I hear much, these days regarding the tyranny of the 'Educated Elite' in America. Pol Pot was merely ahead of his time, as shall be seen in the fullness of time."
Bobby Joe Bootstrap maintains that there is no racism involved in today's Confederate Heritage movement. "That's all in the past", he said. "People of all colors are welcome to stand by my side and take up arms as my brother against continued Northern Despotism. Why, the Sheriff in our county is a colored man and he drops in to visit with Uncle Orry quite regular like. Sometimes they sit around and jaw for hours about ammo and such. He's just hopped up as a bead o' water on a hot skillet waitin' for Uncle Orry to let him know when them surface to air missiles finally show up."