City leaders 'chilly' to Memphis secession proposal

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis City Council members are responding to a state representative's suggestion that Memphis secede from Tennessee and form its own state.

At City Hall, even discussing the idea is raising eyebrows.

At this point, the talk of Memphis seceding from the state of Tennessee appears to be just that: talk.

However, it is also symbolic of a frayed relationship between the Bluff City and lawmakers in Nashville over the years

"The thought hit me," Memphis state Representative Antonio Parkinson (D) said. "I said, 'Wow, this is an abusive relationship.'"

Monday night, Parkinson raised the idea of the Bluff City breaking off from the state of Tennessee. The suggestion garnered a lot of talk on our Facebook page.

But Tuesday, the notion got a chilly response from council members.

"I think seceding from the state of Tennessee is an impossible and stupid idea and any time spent researching it is probably a waste," said council member Worth Morgan.

"I believe that we need to be more inclusive in our state," said council member Patrice Robinson.

Robinson said the secession discussion highlights a longstanding disconnect between Memphis and state lawmakers.

The secession push comes a week after lawmakers pulled a quarter of a million dollars from Memphis in a largely symbolic move after the city legally removed Confederate monuments last December.

"We need to just learn to work together to just cooperate and collaborate and that may take some extra effort, but we really need to make that effort," Robinson said.

"Across the country, you have cities and different sections of states that are always in conflict with each other," Morgan said.

Even if Memphis wanted to secede from Tennessee, it would not be easy. It would require local, state, and federal approval.

Copyright 2018 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.