Il y a 75 ans aujourd’hui était publié Gone with the Wind (Autant en emporte le vent) de Margaret Mitchell. Ce roman psychologique et d’amour se développe, on le sait, dans le cadre politique, social et économique de l’après Guerre de sécession, celui de la perte du pouvoir des Sudistes géorgiens au profit des Yankees et des Noirs. Un roman qui permet, lorsqu’on l’appréhende avec notre regard contemporain, de constater à quel point Margaret Mitchell, 70 ans après la victoire de l’Union, conservait une amertume incroyable envers les vainqueurs par sa sublimation d’un âge d’or de la suprématie blanche et son mépris affiché des Noirs:
Aided by the unscrupulous adventurers who operated the Freedmen’s Bureau and urged on by a fervor of Northern hatred almost religious in its fanaticism, the former field hands found themselves suddenly elevated to the seats of the mighty. There they conducted themselves as creatures of small intelligence might naturally be expected to do. Like monkeys or small children turned loose among treasured objects whose value is beyond their comprehension, they ran wild–either from perverse pleasure in destruction or simply because of their ignorance.
To the credit of the negroes, including the least intelligent of them, few were actuated by malice and those few had usually been « mean niggers » even in slave days. But they were, as a class, childlike in mentality, easily led and from long habit accustomed to taking orders. Formerly their white masters had given the orders. Now they had a new set of masters, the Bureau and the Carpetbaggers, and their orders were: « You’re just as good as any white man, so act that way. Just as soon as you can vote the Republican ticket, you are going to have the white man’s property. It’s as good as yours now. Take it, if you can get it! »
(Part 4, ch. XXXVII, sur Project Gutenberg of Australia)
Un âge d’or emporté par le vent…