Thursday, December 21, 2017

Nathan Bedford Forrest Statue removed in Memphis, Sons of Confederate Veterans efforts for naught.

The Nathan Bedford Forrest statue and the Jefferson Davis statue were both removed and the land on which they stood sold.

There are TWO major issues here. One is the impact of the statue removal. The other is the removal of the statue in defiance of the Tennessee Historical Commission.

Some news coverage.

It has gotten attention from some international media.


This is very important for multiple reasons.

First, the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) invested a lot of effort to keep this statue in place and the statue is being removed anyways. Second, it should tell the Sons of Confederate Veterans that they really don't have much influence in keeping a statue in place nor any real support in an urban public.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans just have the courts where they can make up claims and get them dismissed promptly.

This is really going to demoralize the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Also, it is going to affect the composition of their membership since with Confederate monuments coming down, membership in the SCV is not going to be normalized and the membership remaining will be more extreme as the members who really aren't that much into neo-Confederate ideology leave.

Third the vote for removal was unanimous and included both statues. It sets a precedence that the goal is to get a complete de-Confederation of the city and that it is something everyone should support. It rejects foot dragging like in Dallas and half-way measures like in Dallas.

Fourth, the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue in Memphis was the most important monument to Forrest. It was a large metal monument, probably bronze, and it was in a major city.

Fifth, it makes all the other efforts to memorialize Forrest seem anomalous. In various locations where there are items to memorialize Forrest, the local municipalities accommodation or support of memorializing Forrest will be less acceptable and recognized as the racist agenda that it is.

Sixth, it gets the ball rolling in Confederate monument removal moving again. It puts more pressure on Dallas and also Richmond where I think the establishments thought the issue was going to die down and they could just stall some more or hope it goes away. The Richmond establishment's retention of Confederate monuments will really show Richmond's true nature.

As each statue comes down elsewhere it will become more and more apparent that Richmond's establishment mentally live in a metaphysical Confederacy in which Richmond is the capital.


It seems that this statue removal was done by a legal means to avoid a Tennessee law put in place to keep Confederate monuments in place.

Earlier the Tennessee Historical Commission issued a denial of the request to remove the statues. It is becoming fairly common story that the local and state historical societies and commissions are defenders of the Confederacy. Here we have Preservation Dallas with its maneuvers to keep the Confederate memorial in Pioneer Park. Their name really should be Preservation White Dallas.

What judge will be willing to make the ruling to put it back up?  What will happen if city council members are jailed? What would be the public's response to an attempt to put a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest back up? It could put the nation into turmoil. I can only imagine the Republicans in Tennessee are thinking carefully about what they do and the 2018 elections, especially after Roy Moore has gone down to defeat.

I am sure that there are Alabama mayors and city council members paying close attention to Memphis and what happens next.

If this method of removing the Confederate statues works, I think there will be renewed calls in other Tennessee cities to remove monuments. Elected officials who point to Tennessee law will have pointed out to them the example of Memphis and be told, "Where there is a will there is a way."

De-Confederation is still unfolding. It may seem stopped, but things are happening here and there and there are only pauses.

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