Lee signs proclamation declaring Rosa Parks Day in Tennessee

Gov. Bill Lee sits in a bus at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis after signing a proclamation declaring Rosa Parks Day in Tennessee on Dec. 1, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Republican Gov. Bill Lee traveled to Memphis on Sunday to sign a proclamation declaring Rosa Parks Day in Tennessee. The bill to honor Parks on the anniversary of her 1955 arrest for refusing to move to the back of a bus in Montgomery, Ala., was sponsored by Sen. Raumesh Akbari and Rep. Karen Camper (both D-Memphis).

Lee called Parks “an inspiring human being, who did so much for so many, so [I’m] proud to be working with the legislature today to honor her.”

Lee got into hot water last summer over signing a proclamation honoring slave trader and Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, as required by a state law dating back to 1969. Lee has said he hopes to change that law next legislative session.

Parks is a better example of historical figures the state’s should be honoring with proclamations, Lee told reporters Sunday.

“It’s important that we recognize folks who have made major contributions for civil rights in this country and to change the trajectory for civil rights,” Lee said.

“Whenever we can make proclamations about inspiring individuals who are to be celebrated — and that’s someone who is celebrated by everyone  — that’s the  kind of thing we need to be doing in this state.”


10 Responses to Lee signs proclamation declaring Rosa Parks Day in Tennessee

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    Phil Lassiter says:

    Good to sign Rosa Parks. That’s easy.

    Bad to want to change The Nathan Bedford Forrest law. It takes guts to protect heritage-all of it and all the time. Maybe a little calcium for the backbone with the meals?

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      MARLE says:

      We didn’t allow Germany to protect their inhumane “heritage”. Any imagery or symbols of the inhumanity of the Third Reich were forbidden in Germany after their defeat~ forbidden BY the USA. Guess we don’t always find preserving (and certainly not honoring) the memory of man’s inhumanity to man to be something we should allow.

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    Perry Aubric says:

    Bad to protect racist, slave-holding, treason against the United States like Forrest.

    Good to praise and honor champions of equality and justice like Parks.

    Get on the right side of history and decency, Phil.

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    Beatrice Shaw says:

    I need to read up on this Forrest man Where is he from and what did he do?

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    David Collins says:

    He hailed from Pulaski Tennessee. He was a Confederate General and after the war he is credited with helping to establish the KKK. Some say he abandoned the Klan once they got into lynchings, etc. but others say he didn’t.

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    Eddie White says:

    No problem honoring Parks…no problem honoring Forrest…both were great historical figures in their time…

    • Avatar
      MARLE says:

      Yea….and in Fascist Italy, under Musolini, the trains ran on time. Guess that would make him a great historical figure?

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