Tennessee Panel Axes Bid to Move Confederate's Bust from Capitol

Tennessee Panel Axes Bid to Move Confederate's Bust from Capitol”

A motion to remove the bust of Confederate leader Nathan Bedford Forrest from the Tennessee State Capitol has failed in the State Capitol Commission Friday. Governor Bill Haslam called for the removal after last month's deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

It was voted down 7 to 5, the Tennessean reported. Comptroller Justin Wilson spoke out against the unelected panel overruling the Legislature's vote to place the bust in the Capitol.

Defenders of the statue argued the statue commemorates the native Tennessean's role as a general for the Confederacy, and removing it would be ignoring history.

"Where does this stop?" he asked, the newspaper reported.

Each of Tennessee's three constitutional officers who are on the commission raised issues about why the Forrest bust should not be removed and sent to the state museum, as requested by the Governor.

Gov. Bill Haslam urged the Capitol Commission to take action, saying, "I do not believe Nathan Bedford Forrest should be one of the individuals we honor at the Capitol". Republican U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker also have called for the statue's removal, the Tennessean reported. "I thought they would at least have some deference and concern about the feelings we might have", says Rep. G.A. Hardaway (R- Memphis).

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