Tennessee Republicans are throwing a hissy fit and are seeking to retaliate after the state’s historical commission voted to remove a bust of KKK founder Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Forrest is in infamous racist and Confederate general who ordered the massacre of Union soldiers at the Battle of Fort Pillow in 1864. Many of the soldiers, many of whom were African-Americans, were trying to surrender when Forrest ordered his troops to murder them in cold blood.
Having not been held accountable for his actions at Fort Pillow, Forrest went on to found the Ku Klux Klan, which terrorized black people across the South after the war. This is the man Republicans consider a hero, especially in Tennessee, where Fort Pillow is located.
Earlier this month, however, the Tennessee Historical Commission finally voted to remove a bust of Forrest from the State Capitol in a nearly unanimous vote. The bust will be moved to a museum instead.
Of course, the vote infuriated Republicans, and now News Channel 5 reports that GOP lawmakers are moving to punish the commission by seeking to remove half of the commissioners and changing how they are appointed.
Currently, 24 of the commissioners are appointed by the governor of the state. Sen. Hensley’s bill would reduce the total number of members to 12. The governor, Lt. Governor and state speaker of the house would each choose four members. While not specifically mentioning the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest in the meeting, members made references to decisions the historical commission has recently made.
One senator even seriously whined that the decision to remove Forrest’s bust was made based on facts.
“In our culture today it seems there is a desire to cancel history, cancel culture, cancel narratives that are just based on fact,” GOP state Senator Janice Bowling said. “I think that that’s a dangerous precedent.”
No, not making decisions based on facts is the true danger. Let’s not forget that over 525,000 Americans are dead because Republicans refused to listen to scientists and health experts about the coronavirus pandemic. The fact is that Nathan Bedford Forrest is not a hero. He was a traitor to this country who killed Americans and a virulent racist who helped orchestrate domestic terrorism against black people, terrorism that is still being committed by white supremacists today.
Forrest should have been held accountable for his actions during his lifetime, even though he wasn’t, and he should still be held accountable now. The fact that Republicans are complaining about it is all the evidence we need that they are racist traitors as well.
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