A resolution to remove Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s remains from a public park was passed by the Memphis, Tenn., City Council.
The council unanimously approved the plan Tuesday night to dig up Forrest’s grave from under his statue at the Health Sciences Park on Union Avenue.
“I think it’s disgusting that people use the shooting in Charleston [S.C.] and use those victims to forward their own agenda and join this anti-Confederate hysteria that’s going on,” the Sons of the Confederate Veterans spokesperson, Lee Millar, told WREG, adding that the decision was a knee-jerk reaction. “To attack something like that now I feel is just really misguided.”
City council member Myron Lowery even admitted the Charleston church shooting spurred the decision.
“It was clearly after what happened in South Carolina,” he said. “It was clearly after what happened in the state capital of Tennessee.”
There’s no word if the American flag will also be removed from public areas around Memphis, since it flew over a pro-slavery nation far longer than the Confederate flag.
Also, Forrest was a proud Democrat, but there’s similarly no word yet if Democratic Party symbolism around Memphis will also banned, since that would follow the same logic as the removal of the Confederate flag.
The staff at Elmwood Cemetery, the oldest active cemetery in Memphis, offered to take Forrest’s remains, but said they didn’t want his statue currently standing above his grave.
Still, to remove the remains, a court has to sign off on the removal with involvement from Forrest’s descendants.
Some local residents are completely against digging up the general.
“We need to have a coming together of people, not a divide and conquer,” resident Katherine Blalock said.
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