Where is the Start?

This bombing story is making me so sad, I can’t even begin to tell you. It’s just shit show after shit show.

But where does it start? That’s the problem I’m having trying to understand how this happened and why it remained unsolved. Does it start with Ezra Pound? Does it start with the Southern Agrarians? Does it start with the people of Whites Creek looking out over the fields next to the creek seeing the man they knew was Frank James behind a plow and waving a friendly hello? Does it start with the sound of Nathan Bedford Forrest’s boots thudding down the hall at the Maxwell House hotel as he goes to his first Klan meeting?

When is the first instance of deciding to keep poison right next to your heart for use on your enemies only to realize later that you’ve not escaped injury?

There is a reason, I think, that snake handling and strychnine drinking remain a part of some religious services. A lot of people–a lot of people–have been hanging their hopes for a long time on the belief that God has promised them they can drink the deadly thing and it will not hurt them. That they can make themselves a poison to their enemies and yet not harm their loved ones.

And if the Hattie Cotton portion of this story has taught me anything, it’s that people pay dearly for the self-poisoners’ false hopes.