TN lawmaker wants “civil rights” monument near state capitol’s Forrest bust

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There is a new idea about the future of a Confederate general’s controversial bust inside the Tennessee capitol building.

Keep it there, but add a civil rights icon says a state lawmaker.

Representative Sabi Kumar voiced his thoughts Thursday at the Tennessee Capitol Commission’s meeting where it discussed Confederate General’s Nathan Bedford Forrest’s bust.

The bust has been between the capitol’s House and Senate chambers since 1978, but there’s been repeated calls to remove it.

The lawmaker wants to keep the bust at its current location while adding something else in the capitol’s hallways.

 “Let us add a monument of comparable size and presence to the same area that celebrates a civil rights hero,” he told the commission.

Representative Kumar has an official House resolution suggesting the capitol commission take up his idea and decide details which include selecting the civil rights hero.

The lawmaker hopes the idea “unites people.”

“So people coming to the capitol will have an experience that is really museum-experience that tells the story from Civil War to civil rights and the heroes on both sides that we have,” added Rep. Kumar before the commission members.

The lawmaker’s idea is not a bill that requires action, its a resolution which is a suggestion.

The resolution for the capitol’s civil rights monument is scheduled for its first committee stop next week.  

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