All over America Confederate monuments are tumbling down. People are having the dialogue I hoped to inspire with the opening I wrote for Trouble on Happy Hill. (Which is posted below)
A new opening is order.
Allow me to take you back in time to an era that some people recall with nostalgia and others, like me, hope to never see the likes of again.
Once upon a time in the South when people said what they meant, and meant what they said, a Confederate Army veteran and one-time Mississippi state attorney general named Wiley N. Nash stated his vision and expectations for the future of the South when he spoke at the unveiling of a Confederate monument on the grounds of the Holmes County Courthouse in Lexington Mississippi, where he avowed that “the white people of the South shall rule and govern the southern sates forever.”
His words were deemed sincere when he uttered them in 1908. Given what is known about the ideals he promoted throughout his life, history now judges them to be a true and honest representation of the values he held dear and hoped to preserve.
Wiley Nash plays no obvious role in the story you are about to read. His name will not appear again on these written pages you hold in your hands, nor will the name of the town of Lexington Mississippi, or the Confederate monument that still stands there on the courthouse grounds. I only share his story with you as it provides a verifiable illustration of the white supremist sentiment that prevailed in the South at the time that the trouble came to Happy Hill—for therein lies the crux of this story.