Nathan Bedford Forrest Proclamation Sparks Social Media Outrage In Tennessee

Tennessee law allows governors to proclaim six dates as special observance days. So, when Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee declared July 13 as “Nathan Bedford Forrest Day,” it was met with social media backlash from local leaders and a few lawmakers.

Nathan Bedford Forrest was a Confederate Army general who also traded slaves and an early Ku Klux Klan member.

Lee stirred up even more controversy with the move as many have debated for and against the removal of many Confederate movements, symbols and memorials. Supporters of keeping these items in place say it’s a way to mark and honor history and heritage. However, critics call them a symbol of racism and America’s dark slavery past.

According to Lee’s proclamation, “Nathan Bedford Forrest, a native Tennessean, was a well-known military figure in U.S. history. Lee said he signed the proclamation because the law demands that he does. He’s never looked at the law and didn’t say if he felt it needed changing.

Many Democratic and Republican lawmakers condemned the proclamation, saying it was wrong because Forrest was a Confederate general and an 1868 Democratic convention delegate who was a slave trader and the KKK’s 1st Grand Wizard.

Cruz suggested the state does whatever it can to change the law regarding proclamations.

Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen shared Cruz’ sentiment saying Tennessee should not be honoring the culprit behind the Fort Pillow massacre. Cohen said, by honoring Forrest, Lee is sliding the state backward – not bringing into the 21st century.

David Briley, Nashville’s mayor, said the General Asembly needs to take steps to repeal the heinous law. Briley tweeted to his constituents that they remember the people who fought against hate such as Z. Alexander Looby (civil rights attorney) and Diane Nash (civil rights activists)

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Posted by on Jul 15 2019. Filed under New. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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