Make For­rest bust re­flect real his­tory

Chattanooga Times Free Press - - OPINION -

Gover­nor Lee does not want to re­move the bust of Con­fed­er­ate Gen­eral Nathan Bed­ford For­rest from the Capi­tol in Nashville. Ap­par­ently clue­less to his ironic choice of words, Lee de­clares that it would be “a mis­take to white­wash his­tory.”

Does he know the his­tory of the Fort Pil­low Mas­sacre when For­rest’s troops yelled “take the white men, kill the [blacks]” as they pro­ceeded to slaugh­ter the sur­ren­der­ing U.S. col­ored troops who had laid down their arms?

Lee goes on to say, “The Ku Klux Klan is a part of our his­tory that we’re not proud of in Ten­nessee, and we need to be re­minded of that and make cer­tain that we don’t for­get it.” I couldn’t agree more, but the bust doesn’t men­tion any­thing about that, it only glo­ri­fies For­rest’s mil­i­tary po­si­tion.

I would like to pro­pose a com­pro­mise in line with the gover­nor’s logic. Leave the bust in place and add the fol­low­ing lines to the pedestal un­der Con­fed­er­ate States Army: Slave Trader, War Crim­i­nal, Founder of the Ku Klux Klan.

There you go, gover­nor, his­tory pre­served in its en­tirety.

Sheila St. Au­bin

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