A GOP state lawmaker in Alabama, Representative Will Dismukes, is facing criticism from not only Democrats but his own party members after he posted on social media about honoring Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate army general and founder of the Ku Klux Klan.
Some are calling for his resignation.
AL.com reported Monday that Dismukes is facing backlash from people from both parties after he posted a photo of himself celebrating Forrest’s birthday in Selma over the weekend right around the same time the late Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a civil rights champion, was being honored in the town following his death. Lewis has been referred to as the “conscience of the Congress” by many not only after his passing, but through his life.
“Had a great time at Fort Dixie speaking and giving the invocation for Nathan Bedford Forrest annual birthday celebration,” Dismukes posted in a now-deleted Facebook post, according to AL.com.
Here’s the now-deleted post:
“Will Dismukes has demonstrated yet again why he is unfit to hold public office. Americans don’t celebrate racists or traitors. Nathan Bedford Forrest was both. And a founder of the Klan,” state Democratic Party Executive Director Wade Perry told AL.com. “The Alabama Democratic Party renews our call for Dismukes to resign. It’s 2020 and it’s time for racial extremists like Will Dismukes to go away.”
While not calling for his resignation, Terry Latham, The state’s GOP chairwoman, urged constituents to contact his office to tell them how they feel about his celebration of Forrest. She also added, “It is one thing to honor one’s Southern heritage, however, it is completely another issue to specifically commemorate the leader of an organization with an indisputable history of unconscionable actions and atrocities toward African Americans,”
Dismukes colleague, Danny Garrett, also a Republican, said this in a tweet:
I cannot fathom why anyone in 2020 celebrates the birthday of the 1st KKK Grand Wizard. And while the body of a civil rights icon beaten by the Klan lies at state Capitol being honored by GOP/Dem leaders from all over the state. This mentality does not rep my party or my faith.
— Rep. Danny Garrett (@DannyGarrett44) July 27, 2020
In response, Dismukes claimed that his attendance at the celebration was in no way disrespectful of Lewis or glorifying the Klan.
Clueless, party of one — your table is ready.