Tennessee House Republican Caucus Calls for Investigation into Removal of Confederate Statues in Memphis

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On Thursday, Tennessee House Majority Leader State Rep. Glen Casada (R-Thompsons Station) and Republican Caucus Chairman State Rep. Ryan Williams (R-Cookeville) called for an investigation into the removal of two Confederate statues Wednesday evening from property that was owned by the City of Memphis until just a few hours earlier.

“Last night, the Memphis City Council unanimously approved the sale of the Health Sciences Park and Fourth Bluff Park under the cover of night to a private entity. For years, these two parks have housed the statues of Nathan Bedford Forrest and Jefferson Davis,” the statement began.

Casada and Williams noted that “within an hour following the vote … cranes were spotted shortly thereafter to remove both statues,” adding:

Multiple questions have been raised involving the legality of these actions, including:

  • Did Memphis officials violate sunshine laws by coordinating this sale outside of the public eye?
  • Did anyone gain financially from the rapid and clear undervalued sale of these two properties?
  • Were existing state statutes violated related to the removal or relocation of these memorials?

With these and many additional questions still unanswered, we will immediately begin work in conjunction with the Speaker, the Attorney General, the Comptroller’s office, and other stakeholders to further investigate this situation and recommend action to the full body of the legislature.

The Tennessee Historical Commission has already voted to deny the city’s application to remove these statues and this decision in Shelby County, at a minimum, completely violates both the spirit and intent of state law in protecting Tennessee history. We are governed by the rule of law here in Tennessee and these actions are a clear infringement of this principle and set a dangerous precedence for our state.

“We look forward to beginning this investigation and addressing this important constitutional issue as we prepare for the 2018 legislative session in Nashville,” the statement concluded.

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9 Thoughts to “Tennessee House Republican Caucus Calls for Investigation into Removal of Confederate Statues in Memphis”

  1. John Bumpus

    People of the South today are proud to be Americans, but they are also proud of their unique Southern heritage. Over the last century and a half, as the once divided nation healed its wounds and reunited, there was a spirit (born out of the horrors of battle) of live and let live—until relatively recently.

    But today there seems to be a new Spirit among some who say, “My ancestors were noble and must be honored, but Yours were not and must be repudiated.” And furthermore, these people demand the removal of all vestiges of my ancestors’ lives.

    The States of the Confederacy during the War Between the States were fighting for Southern independence from an ever growing political force far away whom the people of the South considered to be foreign and hostile. And so the nation divided. The Confederate monuments that exist today are memorials to those Southern people of yesteryear and to their bravery, courage and gallantry of that time. My Great Grandfather was a Confederate Cavalry Officer. And yes, I am as proud of my ancestors as anyone else is of theirs.

    And yes, slavery was a terrible thing, and the South is blessed to be rid of it—and it has been gone now for one hundred fifty plus years. And great strides have been made in recent decades to assure to all Americans equal justice under law.

    So what really is the function of the objections of today except to voice meaningless complaints that again only divide.

    All of this reminds me of Germany in the 1930s when one group of extremists demanded the removal of all ideas contrary to their own. These ‘objectionable’ ideas were found in books to which this group objected, so they banned them and they publicly burned them. In principle, those today who demand the exaltation of their heritage and the repudiation of mine do the same thing as the German extremists of the 1930s when they demand the removal (and some even want the destruction) of Confederate monuments and memorials.

    Monuments and memorials are but tangible conveyances of ideas—ideas which, as aforesaid, our adversaries find objectionable and which they want to ban, remove (and even destroy). These people have no tolerance for views contrary to their own. The decades-old former spirit of comity and of live and let live (i.e., let bygones be bygones) has no place in the thinking of these people. Oh they dress it up in ‘flowery’ language but it is the same old bigotry that has been the curse of mankind since the beginning of time.

    I have no control over what these people think, but I do oppose what these people are trying to do and that is to have their way at any cost. When disputes arise accommodations can be made among people of good will to peacefully resolve those disputes, but the attitude of ‘my way or the highway’ just won’t work with me.

  2. MH

    The absolute very first thing we should be asking is whether these parks are still considered “public” and whether the sale of them to a non-profit changes the ownership of the monument and the bodies buried there. If this park is still “open to the public” for free then the existing legislation should still apply. If the land is no longer public then we must consider the ownership of the monument and the bodies resting beneath it as it should NOT be up to the non profit to manage these entities in any way.

    Secondly, the City of Memphis must have established criteria for ensuring ethics are met in any business deal. There is no way that any of these local laws/guidelines have been met.

    Regardless of proof of “financial benefit” we should note that this is a loss of great magnitude to the citizens of Memphis and the the greater county/state populace. This land was donated in full faith many years ago to provide citizens with a public space which also provided for the memories of the history of those that lived here and fought for this city at that time. The location of these parks makes the value of them priceless for this intended purpose.

    Finally, a swift movement of action must be considered as the local municipality is now believes it is no longer limited in the approach it takes towards these resources. Some executive order or injunction should be levied to stop all actions before something is undertaken that can not be undone.

  3. JD Curtis

    Don’t let the Cultural Marxists win 👍✌

  4. Terry Klima

    Isn’t there a provision in the Tennessee Annotated regarding desecration isl
    of a burial site,which was violated with the removal of the Forrest memorial?

  5. Jack Norris

    Glad to see that Memphis is taking the right steps. We need to follow suit and get rid of the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest at the capital.

  6. Matt Studd

    Crime Statistics tell us all some chilling facts.

    Memphis is an example of how Lawless Politicians set the tone for patterns of Lawlessness. These Government Criminals need to feel the anger of We The People and the Heat of a competent Department of Justice and Legislative Investigation/Prosecution!

    Crime in America 2016: Top 15 Most Dangerous Metro Areas – Law Street
    https://lawstreetmedia.com/blogs/crime/crime-america-2016-slideshow-top-15-dangerous-metro-areas/

  7. Randall

    This is the city where infant mortality was described as “ third world “ and the Fraternal Order Of Police placed billboards near the entrances of the interstates proclaiming “ Enter at your own risk”. I’d say the leaders have a handle on everything.

  8. Sim

    These people seem to forget that people who disagree with their views have as much “RIGHT” to have their views upheld by government as any who disagrees with them.

    The type of action taken by these “Politicians”, …”under cover of darkness” both in the night and legislative action, is an act of discrimination against all who hold opposing views.

    Joh 3:19 ————–, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

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