Taylor Swift, Reese Witherspoon Join Calls to Remove Confederate Statues in Tennessee


Taylor Swift called on Tennessee leaders Friday to remove monuments “that celebrate racist historical figures who did evil things.”

“Edward Carmack and Nathan Bedford Forrest were despicable figures in our state history and should be treated as such,” Swift said in a statement posted on Twitter Friday.

A statue of Carmack outside the Tennessee Capitol was torn down by protesters after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

“He was a white supremacist newspaper editor who published pro-lynching editorials and incited the arson of the office of Ida B. Wells,” Swift said of Carmack.

At Gov. Bill Lee’s request, the Tennessee Senate passed a bill (already approved by the House) last week that will exempt him from having to declare July 13 Nathan Bedford Forrest Day, which has been a requirement of every governor since 1969. A bust of Forrest, a Confederate general and the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, was placed in the State Capitol in 1978.

The State Capitol Commission considered the removal of the bust in February, but ultimately took no action, The Tennessee Star reported.

“Taking down statues isn’t going to fix centuries of systemic oppression, violence and hatred that black people have had to endure but it might bring us one small step closer to making all Tennesseans and visitors to our state feel safe – not just the white ones,” Swift said. “I’m asking the Capitol Commission and the Tennessee Historical Commission to please consider the implications of how hurtful it would be to continue fighting for these monuments.”

A proposal to remove the bust of Forrest was rejected in an 11-5 vote Tuesday in the Naming, Designating, and Private Acts Committee, though Gov. Lee said “something should be done” about the statue.

Actress Reese Witherspoon joined Swift in calling on state leaders to remove the bust of Forrest.

“Is this even a conversation? Gov. Bill Lee? A statue that honors a KKK founder? We need to get rid of this disgusting symbol of racism,” she said on Twitter. “And every other mark of white supremacy in the state. The great state of Tennessee deserves better.”

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].








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29 Thoughts to “Taylor Swift, Reese Witherspoon Join Calls to Remove Confederate Statues in Tennessee”

  1. Theresa Powers

    taylor swift is NOT from Tennessee. She and Reece should stfu because they aren’t relevant.

  2. Clay Ledford

    Why do all of these “Entertainers” think we could care-less what they think? I know I don’t.

    1. Karen

      Ditto, Clay !!

  3. Franklin Lee Moss Jr

    I certainly look first to AutoTaylor and The Chin for my opinions on issues.

  4. I ADAIR

    It is a shame that these bigots feel they need to resort to fiction and lies in their opposition to statues memorializing figures from the War. Forrest did not found the KKK. It was founded by James Crowe, John Lester, Richard reed, Calvin Jones, Frank McCord and John Kennedy in Pulaski, Tennessee in December 1865. Moreover, Forrest was outspoken in his support of black advancement, voting rights, education and opportunities for employment. He also sided with Ida B. Wells–he donated a considerable sum to her church, even. If they know so much about Tennessee, why can’t they get it right before going on the attack. They look like fools.

  5. Dee

    Nathan Bedford Forrest. Forgive the spelling error.

  6. Dee

    Interesting that Reese accepted a role (for money!) in the movie “Sweet Home Alabama.” Her “father” in the movie was a Civil War re-enactor, and her “wedding” in the movie took place on the lawn of a beautiful plantation mansion.

    Guess Miss Witherspoon wasn’t quite as woke as she now is, or perhaps the money was greater than her scruples?

    It is also interesting that these liberal woke individuals are fine with other forms of art that is truly disgusting, but the well made bust of Nathan Bedford Forest gives them a fright. LOL.

  7. Joyce Smith

    Makes me sick. Use some common sense and actually read and learn your history!!!!!

  8. MAGA

    How about removing Planned Parenthood.

    1. Dave

      Yes please!!!!

  9. Davis

    Before standing with any group against what is public knowledge a trip to the library or a constructive course in period history is highly recogmended from teachers who truely know there subject matter and not biased by there own agendas on particular activist groups stamp and seal. Read the truth about souithern heritage before these same people go in and burn the books too . Hitler would love whats going on today.in our media .People need to wise up!

  10. Robert wilcox

    You cant change history

  11. Bill

    Talking about white privilege, these two are the poster girls for it. Stop trying to sell songs and win Oscar’s with your drama tantrums. Stick to what you know best, your imagination.

  12. Traditional Thinker

    You two might have been tennesseans, before you sold your souls to california, you know, satan’s hometown, and left your brains at the state line.

    1. Erik

      Taylor is from Pennsylvania.

  13. Gordon Greene

    All this crap about removing the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest shows just how little people know about the man. The KKK was originally established to combat the Carpetbaggers coming down from the north and trying to take everything from the Southerners. Forrest disbanded the KKK when it started to become racist. Read up on your history and see that Forrest was loved and respected by the Black Community.. There are more important issues going on than to argue about where a statue should be.

  14. 83ragtop50

    Does anyone really care what Taylor Swift has to say? What has she accomplished that makes her opinion superior to mine? Her indecent outfits or her money? Neither encourage me to listen to her. If she wants to make a real difference she should run for and be elected to public office. She and AOC were make quite a pair.

  15. Tell them to go back To California.
    If the Governor takes down our Confederate Monuments he won’t be reelected.

  16. If the Governor allow our statues to be taken down by these Anarchist Trash he won’t be reelected.
    Witherspoon and the other do not speak for the millions of Tennesseans!
    They cant take their Anti White anti American Radicalism and Terrorism back to California. They are not welcomed, not wanted here.

  17. Ron Welch

    If anyone actually researched history, it is obvious that the calls to remove the statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest are based on ignorance and bigotry. It’s easy to search his 1875 speech to the Black Community of Memphis and see. He was beloved by the Black Community then and thousands of them attended his funeral. As for his affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan, that was basically the political action committee of the Democratic Party resisting tyrannical Federal “Reconstruction”. When it moved to have racist elements against black people, Forrest disbanded it. It was later re-organized under the same name as a racist and terrorist organization lead by people like Democratic Senator, Robert Byrd. Hillary Clinton called him a “mentor” and he was eulogized by Barack Obama and Joe Biden. I suppose they granted Byrd a pardon for his repentance, but not with Forrest. Their attitudes now seem to be a that of a perverted, judgmental quasi-religion that must ban and destroy anything them deem offensive to their perceived ideological purity.

    1. Stephanie Mayerhofer

      It would be easy to prove that Taylor Swift’s knowledge of history is, to say the least, shallow. That, unfortunately is true of most Americans – especially since we teach almost no history in schools anymore. Nathan Bedford Forrest was no saint, but none of the rest of us are either. I don’t particularly like Forrest and I certainly have no sympathy for the KKK or the other Democrat Party operatives that lynched about 3450 Blacks and about 1300 whites (in both cases, mostly Republicans). I am proud to live in a part of Tennessee (Knoxville) that supported the Union and opposed both the Confederacy and slavery. However, I am opposed to erasing history. There is much to learn from studying what has gone before. My fear is that what we are seeing is elements of the Democrat party following in the pattern of the French Revolution – which led to the guillotine and to the dictatorship of Napoleon. They too wanted to wipe away the past. It led to disaster and millions of deaths and plenty of misery to go around.
      By the way, if you are interested to look it up, Nathan Bedford Forrest strongly opposed the Klan in later life. I have no love for the man, but I dislike the destruction of history more.

      1. Ron Welch

        President Lincon stated in August 1862, “if I could preserve the union without freeing any slaves, I would do it…”Re: his Emancipation Proclamation which is commemorated on June 19 , Lincoln said, “I view the matter (of slaves’ emancipation) as a practical war measure, to be decided upon according to the advantages or disadvantages it may offer to the suppression of the rebellion. I will also concede that emancipation would help us in Europe, and convince them that we are incited by something more than ambition.” His Secretary of State admitted,William Seward, “We show our sympathy with slavery by emancipating slaves where we cannot reach them and holding them in bondage where we can set them free.” That’s because the 1857 U.S Supreme Court Dred Scott decision ruled slavery legal. The Emancipation was only directed toward States “still in rebellion”, actually secession, whereas slavery was still allowed in Union states, Kentucky, Delaware, Maryland and Missouri. Also, Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant was a slaveowner after the Civil War until the enactment of the 13th and 14th Amendments overturned the SCOTUS Dred Scott decision.

        If you do an Internet search Gen Forrest’s 1875 speech to the Black Community of Memphis, he said “we are all brothers and sisters” and he stated that he would do his part yo help elevate them to be full citizens in all respects. So according to historical knowledge, Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest would have to be held in at least as high esteem as Lincoln and Grant.

        1. William P Bruce

          Thank you for thoughtfully reminding us that General Forrest was not only one of Tennessee’s greatest military minds but also a man who found it in his heart to love men of all races.

          I am personally incensed at this current reckless attitude toward our nation’s history because my great great grandfather served under General N B Forrest.

  18. William Delzell

    Good for Taylor and Reece! More music artists in Tennessee need to join them in their protest against bigotry!

  19. David Blackwell RN BSN

    Dumb blondes both and reason why women should not be allowed to vote.

    1. Traditional Thinker

      Hey! Dont be so hard on Delzell….


    it makes me sick that outsiders involve their opinions in matters we should settle. they only inflame the situation. move the bust to the state museum and put elvis or dolly in its place.

    lets see who gets offended with that.

    1. Ron Welch

      James, Although I also disagree with Swift and Witherspoon, I think that they are, like me, both native Tennesseans and not “outsiders”.

  21. rick

    Ignorant Trash! Shut up and go away.no one cares what you think.