Hello White Nationalists,
I just heard that you’re planning a trip to Murfreesboro this weekend, and in the spirit of southern hospitality, I thought I should introduce myself and tell you a little bit about the city you’ll be visiting.
My name is Benjamin Sawyer and I’m a heterosexual white man who is originally from North Carolina. My family has deep roots in the south, and my third great grandfather, George Washington Straughn, was in the Confederate Army.
I wanted to start off by telling you that because I can see that these types of things matter to you, but you should know that I, and most people in Murfreesboro, usually don’t open conversations like that. We’re pretty busy, and we’d rather talk about the things we’re accomplishing than the things we had no say so in. It’s not that we don’t care about where we came from, it’s just that we’re more interested in making sure where we’re going is as good as it can be.
The next thing you should know about Murfreesboro is that it’s the home of Middle Tennessee State University. MTSU is really a spectacular place- the students are excellent and the campus is lovely this time of year- but you’ll probably want to avoid the university if you can help it. There are a lot of smart, ambitious, and talented people at MTSU, but they come from all types of ethnic, religious, and geographic backgrounds, so that’ll make it hard to stay excited about your parade.
I realize that this may come as a surprise to you given that MTSU has a building named after KKK founder Nathan Bedford Forrest. In truth though, the MTSU community has been trying to change the name of that building for years, but a few politicians in Nashville have blocked us so far. Those guys spend a lot of time talking about how big government is bad, so you’d think they wouldn’t use their power to tell us what to do on our own campus, but that’s another story. It confuses us too, so hopefully they’ll see the type of trouble it causes and take care of it soon.
From what I’ve read, it sounds like you plan to visit our downtown square while you’re in town. There are some great local businesses there run by hard-working entrepreneurs. I’d normally recommend checking out the farmers market, or enjoying a cigar on the patio of the Humidor as you enjoy the beauty of the square, but those places won’t be open this Saturday. They’re going to stay home and respect your right to free speech, even though it will harm their livelihoods.
To be totally honest with you, most of the best things in Murfreesboro either won’t be there or aren’t really up your alley, but since you seem to like history and care a lot about the Civil War, I do have one last idea for something to do while you’re in town.
In the middle of the square, there’s a monument to Confederate soldiers. Take some time to look at it and consider how many young Americans lost their lives to defend a system that kept a handful of wealthy leaders in power at the expense of everyone else. Think about how those soldiers fought to preserve the brutal institution of slavery, and a system that offered little upward mobility for poor white Americans. A lot of them didn’t realize that they were part of a long history of people in power using race to trick poor people into fighting each other.
If you can see this in your ancestors, you can probably see it in yourselves too. If so, I think you’ll get a lot out of your trip to Murfreesboro. I hope you do, because if you can turn that hate into love, we’d be excited to show you all the great things you missed on your first visit.