Dems call for prompt removal of Forrest bust from state Capitol

Senate Speaker Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) presides over the chamber on June 1, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Senate Democrats are calling for the immediate removal of the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust from the state Capitol after a 120-day waiting period expired on a Tennessee Historical Commission vote to send it to the State Museum.

Here’s the full release:

NASHVILLE — Exactly one year after a state commission that oversees the Tennessee Capitol voted to remove the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest from the building’s second floor, Democrats in the Senate are urging state officials to finish the job.

“Our state Capitol should be a place that celebrates the values and causes that unite us as Tennesseans,” said Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis). “It was never a place for Nathan Bedford Forrest and now the day has come for us to finally remove his bust from these hallowed halls — and it should be done without delay.”

The Capitol Commission approved a petition to remove the Forrest bust on July 9, 2020, but a state law, passed by Republicans several years ago to protect Confederate memorials, requires the state Historical Commission to also sign off on any moving any war memorials.

The Historical Commission approved the petition in March clearing the way for the Forrest bust to be taken to the state museum after a 120-day waiting period also required by state law.

The waiting period ended today.

Although the yearlong process to remove the Forrest memorial concluded today, calls to relocate the bronze bust of the enslaver and early KKK leader began to sound the day the piece was installed in the late 1970s.

Sen. Brenda Gilmore (D-Nashville), who has been a leading voice for removing the bust over her decades of service in the legislature, says state law has been followed and it’s time for the bust to go.

“I have dedicated years of my life to racial justice and one fact I have learned time and time again: To overcome inequality, we must confront our history,” Sen. Gilmore said. “No figure in the modern history of Tennessee better encapsulates this lesson than the bust of KKK grand wizard Nathan Bedford Forrest.

“If we cannot remove a memorial to an enslaver from our state Capitol, how can we begin to make progress on equitable school funding, fair policing and adequate healthcare for all people?” she said. “Removing this bust today does not usher in racial equality, but it shows progress can be made. And the work of justice will continue.”

22 Responses to Dems call for prompt removal of Forrest bust from state Capitol

  • Avatar
    Stuart I. Anderson says:

    Removal of the bust is yet another shameful capitulation to the grievance industry in this state by a Republican super majority that defines its mission solely in terms of low taxes and making the world safe for members of the Chamber of Commerce. As the legendary Mark Steyn likes to say “Unless you are prepared to give them everything, give them NOTHING” because the grievance industry is not going away. . .it will never go away.

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      MARLE says:

      1) Mark Steyn makes a handsome living preaching to the choir.

      2)” Never give them anything”…EVEN if it is a reasonable request is a ridiculous precept (but in keeping with your earnings-mission which is to maximize adherent of the choir= RATINGS)

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Not ridiculous at all because since about 1975 the overwhelming majority of the demands of the members of the grievance industry have been nit-pickingly unreasonable so the monster that the grievance industry has become today has been caused by Republicans reflexively acceding to those demands. Indeed, we now need is a long period of “giving them nothing” in order to defang the industry before we finally have to give them EVERYTHING.

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        Taxpayer #314 says:

        Are You talking about the PARTY OF NO here? You seem to have the story backwards as usual, Stuart. “Give them nothing” is the only “position” the GOP and the Conservatives have these days. Oppose everything – and then you still make and repeat these silly comments above. And you want people to believe this type of junk story.

      • Avatar
        Tom says:

        Can you please specify a handful of nit-pickingly unreasonable demands of the grievance industry to which Republicans have reflexively acceded?

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          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          Removing a statue that honors General Forrest for fighting gallantly and bravely for this state as it was seeking to become a member of another country after a vote of our General Assembly is only the current example. The capitulation of the Republican dominated Williamson County Commission to changing the seal of this county and the Republicans on the Williamson County School Board paying tens of thousands of dollars for some outside group to conduct some investigation of “RACISM” in county schools on the basis of something or other that no one can quite define.

          I could go on and on but you get the idea. The current iteration of the Republican Party simply isn’t fit to govern. Thankfully the SIAECPCF is trying to change that. Won’t you join it in trying to move the Party RIGHTWARD, RIGHTWARD, RESOLUELY RIGHTWARD?

          • Avatar
            Tom says:

            I agree with you that the current iteration of the Republican Party simply isn’t fit to govern. I don’t know what the SIAECPCF is so no comment there. I also don’t believe moving the bust from the state capital to the state museum is a shameful capitulation. It isn’t being erased, it’s being relocated.

    • Avatar
      Cryan says:

      Let’s take a moment to remember some of the grievance industry’s greatest hits.

      • Banning the wearing of pants by women
      • Obstructing school board meetings and making death threats to cancel The Catcher in the Rye in schools
      • D.A.R.E. to not use drugs (unless you’re Nancy Reagan and the drug is Vicodin
      • McCarthyism
      • Obstructing school board meetings and making death threats to cancel Harry Potter in schools
      • Banning Elvis from television broadcast
      • Obstructing school board meetings and making death threats to cancel Holiday Parties that mention anything but Christmas
      • Removing The Beatles from every radio station in the southeast
      • Dungeons and Dragons (a boardgame) burnings and exorcisms
      • Women can’t wear makeup.

      Yeah, that all sounds like left-wing grievance to me.

  • Avatar
    Jason Wallflower says:

    Take it down. Put Alvin York there. At least Alvin is an American and Tennessee hero.

  • Avatar
    MARLE says:

    Ridiculous precept.

    Refusing reasonable requests (which is what give them NOTHING means) is not a sensible precept nor is it a logical action plan.

    The fact that this makes sense to You is unfortunate what is driving the educated away from Conservatives b/c loud, irrational voices saying stupid things to keep themselves in high paying jobs is Not Helpful…..

    And relative unknowns such as yourself putting their nonsense out there, even in little-read forums such as this, is also Not Helpful.

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Many things stand in the way of conservatives succeeding in reversing this country’s downward trajectory. For example, a Republican expending 90% of her effort “. . .even in little-read forums such as this. . . .” criticizing conservatives/Republicans while expending about 5% of her effort criticizing anyone or anything on the left “. . .is also Not Helpful. . . .”

      • Avatar
        MARLE says:

        Look at you micro analyzing even to the point of Remembering what percentage of ink I spend doing what.

        You’d be well served to never (EVER ) accuse me of doing what you now seem to be preoccupied with!

        • Avatar
          Cryan says:

          Criticizing Republicans? That reminds me.

          January 16, 2021 Stuart I. Anderson says:

          “Trump was WRONG, the Republicans who voted for him were WRONG and I did what I could to prevent it. I expected nothing and received a little more than I expected. Case closed.

          Trump is a jerk. He was a jerk as President. He was a jerk as a candidate the second time and therefore lost. He is going out like a jerk. CASE CLOSED!”

          Source: https://onthehill.tnjournal.net/former-commissioner-reports-rep-weaver-to-dc-police/

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            It’s ok for Stuart to criticize; it’s ok for Marsha to call for illegals to run amuck for decades rather than enforce Legal immigration policies…it all depends on whose doing what. And that is yet another reason why the educated have bailed of late.

          • Avatar
            Cryan says:

            I guess it’s not a new phenomenon, but it’s still amazing to witness. And what I mean is “straddling the fence.”

            I remember my grandfather using that term in reference to a politician every now and then. There is no better example of fence-straddling today than Marsha Blackburn.

            And of course the Heritage Foundation, Stuart (the infatuated with anything dyed blonde and “conservative”), and his latchkey kid, Eddie, are just the same. Any which way the wind blows…

      • Avatar
        Taxpayer #314 says:

        The major “thing that stands in the way of conservatives succeeding” in anything, is REALITY – it is your illusion that this country is on a downward trajectory. We certainly have our work cut out for us to improve our system but it is the conservatives that stand in the way of progress and freedom. Conservatives want to control who can vote and if they don’t like the outcome of any vote, they want to control the jury on any recount.

      • Avatar
        Eddie White says:

        No evidence Stuart that this anonymous blowhard is either a Republican or conservative so don’t waste your time. As for the other anonymous blowhard with the foul mouth, it is a joke to be ignored. Maybe the nursing home will take away their phones.

  • Avatar
    Stuart I. Anderson says:

    ______________________________________________________
    In the 3 1/2 Lamars Retirement Project designed to move the Republican Party RIGHTWARD, RIGHTWARD, RESOLUTELY RIGHTWARD we have three candidates each from Alabama, North Carolina, and Ohio but none from Missouri. According to yesterday’s “THE HILL,” not only is the Project’s dream candidate Jason Smith (Heritge-87%) still eying the race but so is Rep. Billy Long (81%). Both, of course, would be much better than walking empty-suit retiring Sen. Roy Blunt (64%).

  • Avatar
    LeeAnn C. says:

    Good golly! That statue should be removed pronto because two state senators that have stomped their feet and demanded it! The thing’s been there since 1978! Surely these Dems have something more important to be concerned about than the timeliness of the removal!

    • Avatar
      Cryan says:

      LeeAnn, please follow the protocol set forth by our moderator and Republican Party Boss, Stuart Anderson. When Stuart draws a line that means the original topic can no longer be discussed.

      Now do you have anything to say about the new topic? I’ll start.

      Isn’t it interesting Mo Brooks filed a motion with the court saying he couldn’t be sued for the insurrection because he was only following orders from Donald Trump (a.k.a a motion to throw one under the bus).

      Isn’t it even more interesting that the very next day Lynda Blanchard, a former Trump administration official, released an ad saying she was the one true Trump candidate for Alabama Senate?

      I find it very interesting since Stuart says party unity is at 100%.

  • Avatar
    Taxpayer #314 says:

    Party unity in conservative circles and the republican circles are nowhere near 100%; from all the news accounts, it seems to be pretty much split evenly. A lot of people are getting taken for a ride as chumps in all the Grifting that is going on with Trump and his family. Real conservatives are holding on for dear life as they don’t know which way to turn for a boost. Their many lies have turned so much of the public away from them. They have NO plans for any type of governing. The idea banks for the conservatives are bankrupt, they have lied themselves into a corner with the BIG LIE and will now start to pay for lying to the judge in court. The idea of Party Unity at this time for the conservative/republican party is laughable. Stay tuned.

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