Republican gubernatorial candidate and former State Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) released a statement on Thursday criticizing the Memphis City Council for a series of actions that resulted in the removal of statues in Memphis parks under the cover of darkness Wednesday night honoring Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and Jefferson Davis.
“Our history is not perfect, nor are the historical figures who helped shape our state and nation, but it is wrong to destroy these public monuments suddenly and in the dark of night in order to cater to the politically motivated demands of those who want to cleanse our history,” Beavers said, adding:
There are some individuals and groups who want to promote a divisive agenda using claims of racism and bigotry against anyone who respects history and wants to preserve it. Sadly that rhetoric, and weak-kneed politicians unwilling to stand up to them and their threats of violence if they don’t get their way, is creating a climate where hysteria seems to matter more than history.
Removing these historical monuments won’t help a single child in Memphis do better in school. Perhaps the Memphis City Council should worry more about the abysmal test scores being produced in their city schools rather than using removal of monuments as a way to distract from their failures. Removing these historical monuments won’t make the City of Memphis a bit more safe from the violence that plagues it daily and the nearly 200 homicides this year.
Perhaps the Memphis City Council should focus more on creating a safer community for its citizens rather than using monuments to distract from the fact that none of those statues are a threat to the safety and security of the parks where they sit. And removing those statues will not create any new jobs or reduce the regulations that hamper small business growth in the city. Perhaps those issues deserve more attention by the Memphis City Council if they really want to improve the quality of life in Memphis.
According to a recent Tennessee Star Poll, 64 percent of Tennessee Republican likely primary voters are more likely to vote for a candidate who opposes the removal of these monuments, while 26 percent are less likely to vote for a candidate who opposes the removal of these monuments.
Breitbart News reported that Memphis Greenpeace, the non-profit that purchased the parks from the City of Memphis “is a shell group set up by Shelby County Commissioner Van Turner for the sole purpose of destroying the statues.”