NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — On Wednesday, demonstrators gathered on Legislative Plaza to call for the bust of Civil War General Nathan Bedford Forrest to be removed.
The protest was organized by the same group that planned the peaceful ‘I Will Breathe’ rally on May 30.
During Monday’s protest organizer Venita Lewis said, “Now that we are in this climate change of the United States, take that bust down!”
Forrest was a Confederate general and slave trader before the Civil War. He was also a revered tactician during the conflict and an early leader of the Ku Klux Klan before later leaving the group.
Some Democratic lawmakers joined demonstrators on Legislative Plaza.
Earlier on Wednesday during a legislative session, Rep. Jerry Sexton shared that he doesn’t believe removing the bust is a solution.
“We have and will continue to have problems in this country because we are human beings. We don’t get it right all the time and I appreciate the efforts that have been made, even though I voted against my friend on his amendment …his bill, I think it’s a good effort that needs to be made. We’re not addressing the problem, we won’t address the real problem if we take the bust down. Who are we going to put up? Who decides what is ethical, what is right?” he said.
During Wednesday’s demonstration, Rep. London Lamar said, “Our community is crying out for more support, for more to be done to protect individuals like George Floyd….in order for us to stop symbolic racism with busts in the capitol like Nathan Bedford Forrest, and celebrating Nathan Bedford Forrest as a state holiday. In order for our community to trust that we’re working on their behalf, we must show up and stand up with them.”