Kudos to the seven members of the Tennessee State Capitol Commission who voted to keep the bust of General Nathan Bedford Forrest in its place in the state Capitol.
Carl Mark Barker
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How proud I am of the seven that voted on behalf of saving the bust. Makes me feel good to be a Tennessean while keeping heritage and history intact.
It is a shame that Mr. Haslam wasn’t in support of this as he lost any attempt to gain my vote in his next election.
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Tennessee's Governor Bill Haslam and Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker recently recommended removing the bust of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest from the Tennessee state Capitol. It was almost as if these politicians lost their will, the hot wind of political correctness pushing them along.
You could almost hear their sighs of, "Oh well, let's keep people happy." The big tragedy are the misinformed attacks on men like Forrest and Lee by those who take a sound bite and run with it. "Oh yeah, Forrest started the KKK" and so on. Those who are willing to study readily available history know first, that is not the truth and secondly, the times of 15 decades ago were radically different than today.
But I am not writing to report facts; they seem to fall on deaf ears. My disappointment is in life-long Tennesseans who know better yet find it easier to embrace the "inevitable," at least in their eyes, than stand with the truth. There are those on the Capital Commission who voted for removal who are good people. Howard Gentry has been a steady leader in the Nashville African American community and is by all accounts a good man. But he, along with Haslam, Alexander and Corker, also by most accounts, good men, are helping reinforce a narrative that threatens our texture as a nation.
The lessons learned from history, the understanding of the noble and bad inside of every man and the story of America's historical resilience and perseverance, will be lost. Unfortunately, our state leaders have taken the easy way out, succumbing to the shouts and insults of the ignorant or worse, the opportunists. As our historical icons are removed or torn down and their lives erased, future generations lose the chance to ponder why these characters of history did what they did.
Americans of new generations will not learn how to react in times of crises and after great failure, how to pick up and move on. If current trends continue, some of the "steel" of America's story will be corroded because of the weakness shown by current "leaders" in a panicked quest to marginalize our history.