Tags: kkk | billboard | selma | marchers

KKK Billboard in Selma Greeted Marchers for National Tribute

By    |   Monday, 09 Mar 2015 06:24 AM

A billboard honoring Ku Klux Klan founder Nathan Bedford Forrest was erected in sight of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma days before the weekend's nationwide tribute was held in the Alabama city.

The billboard asked tourists to visit "Selma's War Between The States Historic Sites," reported the Los Angeles Times. It which showed a large picture of Forrest, a former Confederate general, on horseback with a Confederate flag in the background.



At the bottom of the billboard was a quote adopted by Forrest's men, "Keep the skeer on 'em." The billboard did not directly mention the KKK.

Forrest was a millionaire business owner in Tennessee who took up arms to lead Confederate troops as an officer during the Civil War, according to the Civil War Trust website. After surrendering near the end of the war, he went on to become one of the founders of the KKK and was one of its first "Grand Wizards," according to the website.

Pat Godwin, head of the group Friends of Forrest Inc., defended the billboard and its location to the New York Daily News, shrugging off suggestions that it could be offensive to some visitors.

"That billboard was put there with positive intent to ask people who come to Selma to explore and enjoy our 19th century history," Godwin told the Daily News. "Does it say anything in the Constitution where a certain faction of people cannot be offended? I'm offended by all these people walking around with their pants hanging around their knees."

A Southern Poverty Law Center report in 2005, though, suggested that Goodwin's effort may have had other motives. The center wrote that Godwin, a Selma native, had long fought to block any acknowledgement of the historic Selma march to Montgomery on the Capitol grounds.

It's not the first recognition of Forrest in the city, reported the Times. In 2000, three city council members used city funds to help pay for a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest.

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A billboard honoring Ku Klux Klan founder Nathan Bedford Forrest was erected in sight of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma days before the weekend's nationwide tribute was held in the Alabama city.
kkk, billboard, selma, marchers
354
2015-24-09
Monday, 09 Mar 2015 06:24 AM
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