Proposed Tenn. bill stirs up Civil War wounds - WKRN News 2

Proposed Tenn. bill stirs up Civil War wounds

Posted: Updated: Feb 8, 2013 05:54 PM

Old wounds from the Civil War are being felt again by a bill on Tennessee's Capitol Hill.

The measure bans renaming sites and monuments from all U.S. military conflicts including what the bill calls the "War Between the States."

The Memphis City Council took notice this week renaming three parks named for the Confederacy, and some of its leaders, including Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest who after the Civil War started the Ku Klux Klan.

The action prompted a promise from a secret Klan leader named "Edward" who said on local Memphis TV, "Y'all [are going to] see the largest rally Memphis has ever seen, thousands will be there."

Sponsoring the measure is Rep. Steve McDaniel who is a Civil War re-enactor and history buff.

He told the Memphis Commercial Appeal, "We've got monuments on the capitol grounds that I wouldn't have approved of putting there. Changing names or removing monuments could have the appearance of trying to rewrite history."It was a reference to busts like that of General Forrest who used to gaze down on Tennessee lawmakers as they entered the House of Representatives.

The likeness has since been moved to a less conspicuous place just a few feet away.

Its new location is no less disturbing in to longtime North Nashville pastor Rev. Enoch Fuzz.

"It's kind of like putting a statue of Hitler on the lawn of a synagogue," said Fuzz who makes frequent trips to Capitol Hill to visit with the legislative black caucus.

He's has been following the preservation bill and the reaction in his native Memphis.

"I have been asking since I was a little boy, how can you have a Confederate Park in Memphis, Tennessee?" Rev. Fuzz told Nashville's News 2. "I want to be sensitive to people who relationships to their heritage, but you should also be sensitive to those who were enslaved in America."

McDaniel's bill is scheduled to be voted on for the first time in a house-sub committee next Wednesday.

Click here to read the full text of the bill.

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