Tags: Tennessee state legislature | Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest | statue

Report: TN Rejects Plan to Remove Civil War Statue

Report: TN Rejects Plan to Remove Civil War Statue

Bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest in the Tennessee State Capitol. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

By    |   Friday, 01 September 2017 10:16 PM

Tennessee officials Friday rejected a plan to remove a statue of a Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan leader from the statehouse amid a national controversy over how to display symbols of the Civil War, the Tennessean reported.

At a meeting of the state Capitol Commission in Nashville, Larry Martin of the Department of Finance and Administration requested a waiver to relocate a bust of Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest — the KKK's first grand wizard and a slave trader — to the state museum.

It was voted down 7 to 5, the Tennessean reported.

Defenders of the statue argued the statue commemorates the native Tennessean's role as a general for the Confederacy, and removing it would be ignoring history. They also pointed out after Forrest ordered the KKK disbanded in 1869, he advocated for civil rights, the Tennessean reported.

State Rep. Curtis Johnson, a Republican from Clarksville, Tenn., said removal of the Forrest bust could be the first step on a slippery slope.

"Where does this stop?" he asked, the newspaper reported.

Tennessee GOP Gov. Bill Haslam had urged the commission to take up the issue, and his spokeswoman told the Tennessean he was disappointed in the decision. Republican U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker also have called for the statue's removal, the Tennessean reported.

"The constitutional offers kept emphasizing that the legislature needs to act," Democratic state Rep. Harold Love, a member of the legislature's black caucus, told the newspaper. "Then we need to go ahead and act. They kept emphasizing that there have been no bills to make a motion to remove the bust. Apparently, that's what they want us to do."

Confederate statues have been removed in about a dozen states, including Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina and Texas, the newspaper reported.

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Politics
Tennessee officials Friday rejected a plan to remove a statue of a Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan leader from the statehouse amid a national controversy over how to display symbols of the Civil War, the Tennessean reported.At a meeting of the state Capitol Commission...
Tennessee state legislature, Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, statue
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2017-16-01
Friday, 01 September 2017 10:16 PM
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