Commissioners on the Metro Board of Parks and Recreation voted unanimously Tuesday to start the process of removing a Confederate monument from Centennial Park.
The Tennessee Historical Commission won’t consider removing the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest from the state capitol until early next year. But some Tennesseans weighed in with public comments at the commission’s meeting Friday.
After hearing impassioned speeches from Black lawmakers, the Tennessee State Capitol Commission voted for the first time to remove the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest. And, in a last-minute vote, the group also voted to take out two other military figures from the Capitol’s second floor.
Gov. Bill Lee said on Wednesday afternoon that the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest in the state Capitol should be moved to the Tennessee State Museum. “Forrest represents pain and suffering and brutal crimes committed against African Americans,” Lee told reporters. “That pain is very real for many Tennesseans.”
For the first time, Tennessee’s State Capitol Commission is likely to vote for the removal of the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest. The monument to the Confederate general and early Ku Klux Klan grand wizard has been inside the building since 1978.
Tennessee officials are expected to take the first step toward removing the bust of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest from inside the Capitol. Gov. Bill Lee says he will convene the State Capitol Commission to meet and vote next week.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., is leaning toward supporting a potential rename of military bases named after Confederate generals. In an interview with Tennessee reporters Tuesday, Alexander said people should learn from history instead of erasing it. But he said that understanding the current historical context also mattered.
The Tennessee legislature isn’t going to remove a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest from the Capitol building. But that isn’t stopping some Nashville protestors who want the state to stop recognizing the Ku Klux Klan leader.
A bill that would eliminate Tennessee’s observance of Nathan Bedford Forrest Day has passed its first challenge in the House. But that’s the only measure regarding specifically the Confederate general that is moving forward in the General Assembly.
Rep. Sabi Kumar says this is meant to unite Tennesseans who are divided over the bust of the Confederate general.