US: Tennessee panel votes to maneuver Accomplice bust from Capitol | Black Lives Matter Information
The statue of the Confederate General and former leader of the Ku Klux Klan has been the subject of controversy for decades.
A commission in the US state of Tennessee has voted overwhelmingly to remove the bust of a Confederate General and early leader of the Ku Klux Klan from its capitol. This is a decisive victory in a decades-long battle for the controversial sculpture.
However, it could be months before the Tennessee Historical Commission gives final approval to move the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest from the Capitol to the Tennessee State Museum.
The commission agreed 25: 1 for the bust to be moved north of the Capitol Building to the State Museum, finding that it was better equipped for the appropriate historical context. The panel heard hours of testimony, largely in favor of removing the bust prior to the vote.
The decision is made as the US faces increasing pressure to live with its legacy of slavery. Statues and memorials to Confederate personalities are increasingly being questioned and sometimes forcibly removed.
The bust in the Tennessee Capitol was first unveiled in 1978 and has met fierce opposition for decades.
The bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest – a Confederate general, slave trader, and early leader of the Ku Klux Klan – should be removed from the state capitol, the Tennessee Historical Commission voted.
– Alison Gerber (@aligerb) March 10, 2021
Forrest had amassed a large fortune as a plantation owner and slave trader in Memphis before the Civil War broke out in 1861.
As a general in the Confederate Cavalry during the war, he became the postwar leader of the clan that terrorized the blacks and tried to reverse the reconstruction efforts and restore white supremacy.
“Forrest represents pain, suffering and brutal crimes against African Americans, and that pain is very real to our Tennesseans as they walk through the halls of our statehouse and evaluate how it could be one of the nine busts raised to a place of awe “said Governor Bill Lee in a taped video message during the meeting on Tuesday.
The commission found that those who oppose the bust removal still have the option to seek a review in court.
If no review is requested, the relocation plan will take effect 120 days after the decision is published on the Commission’s website.
Along with the Forrest bust, the Historical Commission agreed that the busts of David Farragut, a Union military leader, and U.S. Navy Admiral Albert Gleaves be moved from the Capitol to the state museum.
The decision was that state and federal officials should be honored in the museum rather than the Capitol.