On July the 7, the Nashville Metro Council voted to ask the Tennessee Department of Transportation “to plant vegetation to block the view” of a statue of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest.
The council cannot remove the statue–which sits by interstate I-65–because it is located on private land. Thus they decided they will simply “take the necessary action” and hide it via trees, shrubbery, etc.
The statue is surrounded by various Confederate flags.
According to The Tennessean, the push to hide the statue was introduced by At-Large Councilman Jerry Maynard, who is also “a paid adviser to Nashville mayoral candidate Bill Freeman (D).”
That statue and those flags do not represent the values of Nashville. We want the vegetation back up so that we do not have to see those things on I-65 that do not show what we are and what we value as Nashvillians.
Governor Bill Haslam (R) says he is no fan of the statue, but he’s not sure “the state has the right to just [block] everything [it doesn’t] like; to plant shrubberies or trees to block that.” He said the state leaders will “have to make certain that [they’re] following the law.”
The Metro Council vote came on the same day that the Memphis City Council voted to exhume the body of Forrest and his wife from their 110 year resting place and to sell the city’s statue of Bedford “to anyone who wants it.” The Metro Council vote was followed by a push to remove Confederate statues from New Orleans.
The New Orleans effort was spearheaded by Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D) and supported by the city council.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.