Lawmakers want to revisit Forrest statue removal - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Lawmakers want to revisit Forrest statue removal

Statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest in Memphis (Source: WMC Action News 5) Statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest in Memphis (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The removal of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest's bust from Tennessee's capitol building seems inevitable with leaders from both parties behind it. Now, some said the early KKK leader's statue near downtown Memphis needs to be next.                 

"This is not about black and white, this is about right and wrong," said Rev. Al Sharpton during a 2005 rally in support of removing
the statue.

"If you can justify, based on history, building a statue to him," asked Sharpton.  "Then what stops somebody 50 years from now from
building a statue of James Earl Ray?"

Tuesday, the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators formally called for the removal of a bust of Forrest from the state capitol. 
It's something Governor Bill Haslam already supports.

"I'm excited there seems to be growing momentum, from the Governor to the majority leaders of the Democratic and Republican caucus,
standing up and saying it's time we remove this bust," said Black Caucus Vice Chair Raumesh Akbari of Memphis.

Akbari said it may be time to finally address the Memphis statue.

"You really want to make sure you have something that celebrates Memphis, not something that divides Memphis," said Akbari.
    
There are those who oppose removing the statue, including the Sons of Confederate Veterans.  Additionally, Forrest and his wife are also buried there, which complicates the matter.

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