College of Charleston English professor Joe Kelly has published an article for The Conversation that examines the racial history behind a recent controversial country music song.

In the article, “Small-town America’s Never-ending Struggle to Maintain its Values Hasn’t Always Been Good for U.S. Democracy,” Kelly says the song, ‘Try That in a Small Town” by country singer Jason Aldean, paints a picture of a renewed culture war between urban and rural versions of America. He says the controversy over hidden agendas has diverted attention from Aldean’s overt message: that cities are turning the nation into chaos and the remedy is a revival of small-town America.

“But Aldean’s effort isn’t innocent nostalgia,” says Kelly. “It echoes a similar period in American history during the 1920s and 1930s when the grievances of small-town America had dangerous consequences for democracy.”

Read the complete article on The Conversation.