Tennessee lawmakers pull back funds from Memphis after removal of Confederate statues

Tennessee lawmakers pull back funds from Memphis after removal of Confederate statues”

The amendment, sponsored by Republican Matthew Hill, passed along with the $37.5 million budget. Many were angered that Memphis officials circumvented a state law created to protect Confederate memorials, by selling the parks the statues were in to a nonprofit.

On Tuesday, the House voted on a last-minute amendment attached to the budget bill that removed the $250,000 that was to go Memphis. In an effort to avoid a repeat of the Virginia violence while also ridding itself of statues of Jefferson Davis (the Confederate president) and Nathan Bedford Forrest (an early KKK leader), the city of Memphis quietly sold two parks a year ago to a nonprofit in order to remove the statues without violating the state's law regarding the removal of "historical" monuments. "It was the city of Memphis that did this, and it was full knowing it was not the will of the legislature".

"You can boo all you want, but let's call it for what it is", the Memphis representative said.

Not every House member is here for the budget cut decision, however.

"This amendment and the explanation, it is hateful, it is unkind, it is un- Christian-like and it is unfair, OK?" she said.

"I think the city of Memphis, like any other city in the nation, needs to if not obey the law, at least obey the spirit of the law", he said.

Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden) noted that "bad actions" have "bad consequences".

"You're going to choose to honor that person here on this floor today and hold it against a city", Mitchell said.

The reason for the vote was that Memphis last year removed statues of former Confederate President Jefferson Davis and former Confederate General Forrest, who would go on to become the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan in the years following the Civil War.

"You remove money from a city because we removed your God from our grounds", Parkinson said.

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