Letter to Abbeville

Return Address:

From deep in the Southern wilds, where mysticism is untouched by the noxious cloud of modernity.


To the Esteemed Professor Livingston,

As a brief preface to my letter, I ask your forgiveness for the state of my handwriting and beg you not to judge my sincerity by lack of grace in form.  Railroads were the nail in Dixie’s coffin and similarly, the keyboard murdered neat penmanship.  Nevertheless, as Southerners have always valued the particular over the abstract, and as we’ve always had an inkling for honorable communication, I’ve decided to write you in my own hand to convey the seriousness of what I hope to discuss:

I’m good friends with Matthew Heimbach.  Knowing how I esteem your organization, he relayed to me a message from you.  It politely declined his application for a scholarship to your summer school, citing his notorious views on “race” as the primary reason for rejection.

I hope you excuse me, but it is well known that some men in your position are frightened by potential loss in funds that association with ruffians (like Heimbach and myself) may cause.  That you, however, would reject friends as a means of currying favor with the politically-correct masses is unthinkable.

I can’t bring myself to believe it about either you or the Abbeville Institute.  You all make it your business to right wrongs done to Southern heroes.  Hope in your organization prompts me to speak a few optimistic words in defense of my friend and plead with you to re-consider your decision concerning his rejection.  I have full confidence my case will be duly considered.

As for the concerns over his political aspirations, I have two points.

1.  Can we blame young men, fresh out of college, for being ambitious?  If political ambition disqualifies one from friendship with the Abbeville Institute, then why all the lectures on poor Calhoun?  Would Abbeville deny a young Jefferson Davis scholarships?

2.  Far be it from Abbeville to reject possible influence over future politicians.  Shouldn’t we want those appointed over us to have a sophisticated and fair tolerance of Dixie?

In light of these points, I can’t bring myself to believe Heimbach was rejected due to his political ambitions.

No, as was directly stated in your letter, it is his perceived racial views and their inconsistency with Abbeville’s position that earned him the axe.

In response:

Without knowing more of Abbeville’s views than what was briefly discussed in the letter, I’m concerned that modernists, radical egalitarians, unitarians, and all the damned multicultural heathens, have found a new friend.  I apologize if that’s too harsh a criticism but I can’t help seeing a kinship.

I suspect you meant to convey a view on race that’s been influenced by Wendell Berry, though I don’t want to be presumptuous.  Regardless of where your ideals come from (and I’d be interested in any material you might supply concerning your perspective), the summation provided in your letter was unsettling.

Heimbach and I believe God created this socially recognizable category “race” and that it is not only legitimate, but a vital part of defining a man’s character. This is not the view held by an odd eccentric or even a few hot-headed Southern nationalists. To the contrary.  We represent a growing movement within the Christian world – men who aren’t afraid to discuss racial issues, or stand up for the bloodied heroes of their people.

It’s true:  we love all races and seek the best for all, but the best for all is to retain their respective identities by resisting the urge to blur into a mocha-colored mesh. It’s not an offensive view and given the chance, it might be seen as desirable.

Rejecting racial categories in favor of a mysterious and ill-defined abstraction is to side with the existentialists, or worse, the transhumanists.  What will be left of man if we define him away in accordance with arbitrary whims?  In this respect, Heimbach and I have looked to Dixie’s past, found men to emulate, and have turned back to face the oncoming future darkness.

The South will rise again by way of rising against…

When all of Hell has risen apace
And mankind has gone without a trace.
When villains have stolen heart and face,
The chaos is conquered with arms of place.

Southern reactionaries!  That’s what we are!  Yes, Allen Tate, Donald Davidson, Richard Weaver, and all the others – they have empowered a new breed of reactionary and made of us (alone) out of all the would-be conservatives, champions of place (where “place” might now even mean: the Godly design of our very souls).

Please don’t side with the modernists against us in this.

Please don’t turn away someone as passionate, intelligent, and as full of potential as my friend Matthew Heimbach.  You don’t like his racial policies?  Well by God, provide something better!  You don’t like his tactics?  Fine.  That means he needs you as a mentor, to guide him and help him develop wisdom in dealing with the modernist regime.

Wisdom is something we all need; it’s something the Abbeville Institute has in spades.  And I ask you, please – reconsider.

Additionally, I’ve spoken with Heimbach and being a Southern gentleman well aware of his reputation, he has assured me that his relationship with Abbeville would be kept in strictest confidence.  The original plan was for both he and I to attend the summer school this year if, by miracle, we worked out a way to afford it.  Our daydreaming has involved nothing but kind feelings of fun and camaraderie.

I beseech you in the name of southern honor, to please reconsider.

I hear there might be a bottle of homemade dandelion wine in it for you.

With all the goodwill a cramped hand can relay – I thank you for your time and consideration.

Scott Terry

Deo Vindice

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