Gov. Bill Haslam Calls for Removal of Bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest from the Capitol

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Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is advocating for the removal of a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest from the Capitol in Nashville.

“My position on this issue has not changed – I do not believe Nathan Bedford Forrest should be one of the individuals we honor at the Capitol. The General Assembly has established a process for addressing these matters and I strongly encourage the Capitol Commission and the Historical Commission to act,” Haslam said in a statement issued Monday.

A Tennessee native, Forrest was a lieutenant general in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Also a slave trader, Forrest was known for his brutality. According to some accounts, he became a Christian later in life and distanced himself from the KKK, which he helped start.

Activists in many states are calling for the removal of Confederate monuments after violent clashes between white supremacists and leftist radicals on Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Dozens of protesters gathered at the Capitol Monday to demand that the bust come down, according to Nashville Public Radio. The bust was installed in the 1970s and ever since there have been calls periodically to remove it, the last time being after the Charleston church shooting in 2015.

State Sen. Jeff Yarbro (D-Nashville) was at the protest and told Nashville Public Radio that Tennessee needs to deal with its past involvement in slavery, including the buying and selling of slaves in Nashville.

“We got to take that seriously, because what I think we saw this weekend is that, when you fail to deal with your history, when you suppress that, we’re letting these things come out, letting violence out,” Yarbro said. “We have to be better than that.”

Meanwhile, the city of Memphis is pressing its case to remove a statue of Forrest from a city park, reports WREG News Channel 3.

Memphis City Council voted to remove the statute in 2015 but the Tennessee Historical Commission denied the request. City officials plan to appeal at the next meeting of the state board in October, and have said they’ll take their fight to the Tennessee Supreme Court if their appeal isn’t granted. The statue of Forrest was dedicated in 1905.

Memphis city officials also want to remove a statue of Jefferson Davis, the Confederate president, located in another park. That statue was put up in the 1960s. Activists have also been pushing for the removal of both statues.

The push to remove Confederate monuments wherever they are found has been growing in recent years, as well as a movement to remove those recognizing other historical figures deemed offensive. Last October, more than 200 protesters gathered at the Museum of Natural History in New York to demand the removal of a statue of Theodore Roosevelt and the renaming of Columbus Day. The activists called the statue of Roosevelt an affront to African Americans and Native Americans. In 2015, a petition was created at the University of Missouri to remove a statue of Thomas Jefferson because he owned slaves.

 

 

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19 Thoughts to “Gov. Bill Haslam Calls for Removal of Bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest from the Capitol”

  1. […] is a turn from where [Haslam] was previously headed on this very critical matter,” Norman said. “It’s […]

  2. […] Haslam, the current Tennessee Republican governor, as well as activists, have called for the removal of the controversial […]

  3. Wolf Woman

    This is the same Bill Haslam who handpicked La Raza Randy to be his successor as governor. What does that tell you?

  4. […] did not specifically state whether he agreed or disagreed with Governor Bill Haslam, who on Monday advocated “for the removal of a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest from the Capitol in […]

  5. James Roberts

    Was it there 8 months ago before the election?. During Obama’s 8 years was it there?How long has it been there? Then quit caving into these Liberals. Ever see a Liberal stop after they get something? No. They come back for more. This crap isn’t about statues. Its about Democrats losing an election. A election they wanted to impose socialist and communist ideas on the people if they won. Well they didn’t win. But they’ll use a statue or bust as an excuse to still get their socialism and communism imposed on the people. I’m a Tennessean, and I believe its up to the people of this state and not dictated by people from outside. People in the rural cities and country side have a say too. All these statues,monuments and bust didn’t become some slave issue till after Nov 2016 by Democrats who lost because their agenda was rejected by America and its citizens.

    1. Bieker

      I continue to ask the same questions @James Roberts but no one seems to have the answers. Why is monument removal suddenly the country’s most critical issue? What about the serious drug problems that ruin lives daily? The lagging educational systems which continue to render less-qualified students than in previous years? [No criticisms against the teachers, my complaint is about the broken systems.] Also, more than 1m children regularly go to bed hungry in the US. That should not be acceptable in a developed country. So many valid concerns and yet the focus is on monument removal. So sad…

  6. Oldgeezer62

    What is a RHIINO? Ask governor, he can demonstrate it for you. H actually added to put him in the name. All those truckers out there should boycott the Flying J’s.

  7. Dustin williams

    I think this is some bullshit why is everyone trying to erase history we should leave it be it is part of the history of the united states of America if your going to remove the confederate monument and membrance of the civil war then you should remove all monuments of the war all together not just one side of it this is really getting out of hand. This war was over a hundred years ago

  8. […] Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is advocating for the removal of a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest from the Capitol in Nashville. “My position on this issue has not changed – I do not believe Nathan Bedford Forrest should be one of the individuals we honor at the Capitol. The General Assembly has established a process for addressing these matters and I strongly encourage the Capitol Commission and the Historical Commission to act,” Haslam said in a statement issued Monday. More>> […]

  9. Gary Cole

    Wendy. You need to do a little more research on Forrest. He did not start the KKK

  10. Russ

    Well, I am completely against what Haslam said and some true conservative ought to run in the primary against Corker too. These RINOs have got to go!

  11. Sim

    Slavery is alive and well in America, more people are being bought today than at any time in history
    Most are too ignorant to know when they’ve been bought, here’s a good example.

    When LBJ started his “Great society” and “War on proverty” with Welfare, he went behind the colored folks back and made the comment,
    “I’ll have the niggers voting for Democrats for the nexr hundred years”.
    Well we’re half way there and his prophecy is still holding true.
    Did he really intend to have a war on poverty or was he “Buying votes and people”??
    He lost the war on poverty, if he ever had one, the people he “Purchased” are still living food stamp to food stamp, and still supporting their “Oppressors”.

    Don’t kid yourself, you can buy as many people as you can afford, with free food, housing, medical care, college tutions, and hundreds of other things.

    “NOTHING IS FREE”, everything has strings attached, strings that are used to manipulate you like a puppet.

  12. D. Stepp

    Once gone, just like the factual parts of American History have been bleached out of our History books in schools by “Historical Revisionists”. We lose our factual history for good! Slavery is a dead issue, there hasn’t been a slave sold or bought in over 150 years. There are far more important issues to be dealt with than who had or didn’t have slaves. The Confederacy is a part of our History, like it or not, and the losers even though they thought they were in the right on the matter of owning slaves fought to defend that and lost! So the Almighty saw fit to see to their defeat. America does not need anther Civil War over slavery, it will be over destruction of our country by insurectionists, which by law are advocating overthrow of our government which is a Treasonist act in itself! Calmer minds and hearts are needed here, not a total removal and destruction of our monuments! Gov Haslam is dead wrong! As Southerners we should reject such desires as unwise and foolish.

  13. 83ragtop50

    Just another thought. Maybe Mr. Haslam has his eye on a job in Washington. Nikki Halle got one after leading the charge to remove the Confederate Battle Flag from the South Carolina state capitol. Bless her heart.

  14. He says his position has not changed. I bet he did not come out with this while he was running for governor. This is a great thing that these issues are coming out to the Forefront now. We must insist that everyone who is running now make their view public. Where do the current candidates for Governor stand on this issue? They cannot remain silent now and then once they become governor publicly declare they want to remove General Forest from the public eye.

  15. Bob

    Bill,
    You idiot kumquat, It doesn’t matter what you think. Ask the people.

  16. Jim Forsythe

    This is STUPID!!! Other than supporting people who hate America, he has accomplished nothing.

  17. Bob

    When will this guy be gone? Well, that is not soon enough for me. He should be removed from the capitol not the bust of Forrest.

    1. Randall

      How come Haslam doesn’t work hard to remove Planned Parenthood? In 2015 alone 900,000 children were aborted in the U.S. That’s a genocide !

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