An Open Report Part II / Marion, Alabama / Furman University / VA Hospital
On Tuesday, April 5, 2011 I would arrive at the former Command Home Headquarters of the Honorable General Nathan Bedford Forrest in Marion, Alabama, at the request of its new proprietor, the Honorable Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp Commander, Gary and Mrs. Sandra Johnson, in anticipation of a speech I would make to the students of Marion Academy as a part of the State recognition of the Sesquicentennial of the War between the States and Confederate History Month. I would be told later that evening by Commander Johnson that in a telephone message Mr. Tony Yelvert, the Headmaster, had decided to rescind that speech.
It appears that in the small town in rural Alabama and its citizens live in fear of the infamy of one of its elected officials, the one Commissioner, Albert Turner. Mr. Turner, I am told, came from behind his appointed seat in the Commission Chambers in a rage and wrapped his hands around the throat of Ms. Vinny, a middle aged Black woman who as a citizen had some disagreement with the Commissioners. He retained his seat, and was never prosecuted for his crime. Mr. Turner, I was told, on his weekly radio broadcast, announced that anybody that messed with him, he would shoot down like he did a dog that was in his trash can. I wonder what the Human Alliance had to say about that as well as the law; nothing, I am told. Mr. Turner on this same radio broadcast had declared that he wished for the day when there were no more White people in Marion, Alabama.
Mr. Yelverton, in a trembling voice declared that he wanted to stay under the radar, and keep his school the same. The best he could do was to accept a poster that declared by the State, Confederate History Month and the Sesquicentennial of the War between the States. I would later in the week spend over an hour in the office of Mr. Yelverton, a very nice man who claimed that he wanted only to teach his happy little Black and White kids in preparation for the world they were to face after leaving the care of Marion Academy. I believed him to have some psychosis associated with White Southern man’s guilt levied upon him by the very educational system that he claimed he bettered, and just out right fear. I would bid this kind fellow adieu and return to the Johnson home and study in possibly the finest library in the South, in preparation for a speech that I would give on April 12, 2011 at Furman University, the name sake of James Clement Furman, a Founder and President. Furman was an outspoken secessionist and a member of the South Carolina Secession Convention in 1860. As I planned to leave Marion, I now knew what I would title the book that so many urge me to write: "See How They Run".