SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. (WMC) - It’s customary for former presidents to have streets, parks, buildings, even airports named after them sometime after they leave office. But a Shelby County commissioner wants to make sure that honor is not extended to former President Donald Trump.
Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer introduced a resolution on Wednesday that would prohibit the naming of any Shelby County-owned property after Trump, including buildings, memorials, parks, sites and facilities.
“I don’t want to see his name used as a banner for white supremacy,” said Sawyer.
Sawyer said she got the idea from Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro, who introduced legislation at the federal level barring Trump’s name from appearing on federal buildings.
Sawyer founded the grassroots group Take ‘Em Down 901, which led efforts to remove the monument of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest from Health Sciences Park.
She says naming anything after Trump promotes white supremacy.
“As the founder of Take ‘Em Down 901, I know how white supremacy has used buildings, parks and property to lift the names of white supremacists and those who hold racists and xenophobic ideals,” said Sawyer. “Just knowing what Donald Trump stands for, I want to make sure we protect future generations from the same thing we’re going through now, where we’re having to clean up the names of our buildings, our parks, and what’s placed there.”
Some of Sawyer’s fellow commissioners like Mark Billingsley seemed puzzled by her resolution.
“There are no proposals, nor can I even envision any proposals where there’ll be buildings, of any sort, named for the immediate past president,” said Billingsley.
Billingsley and other commissioners said the focus now should be on unity and said Sawyer’s resolution doesn’t help with that.
“I truly value all my colleagues on this commission, but I’m ready to move forward and I’m not certain if this resolution helps us move forward or it helps us heal,” said Billingsley.
After some debate, the resolution ended up passing the committee with five members voting in favor and six abstaining.
It now goes to the full commission for consideration on Monday.
The committee also passed a resolution condemning the attack on the U.S. Capitol. They added an amendment from Sawyer, which acknowledged the attack was done in the name of white supremacy.
That also will go to the full commission for consideration.