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Despite public outcry, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) re-signed a proclamation Thursday declaring July 13 as Nathan Bedford Forrest Day in the state, honoring the Ku Klux Klan grand wizard and former Confederate general.
Each year, according to state law, the governor is supposed to sign six such proclamations for days of observation, three of which are in honor of the Confederacy, according to The Tennessean. Though they’re mostly symbolic, the governor says he signs them out of a sense of duty.
“I signed the bill because the law requires that I do that and I haven’t looked at changing that law,” Lee told The Tennessean on Thursday.
His decision was roundly panned by the media. New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie tweeted: “Very cool that Tennessee has a day honoring a confederate war criminal and founder of America’s oldest and deadliest terrorist group.”
Forrest is known to history as a bloodthirsty slave trader and the KKK’s very first grand wizard. In 1864, he led Confederate soldiers to commit what’s known as the Fort Pillow Massacre, according to The Washington Post. Three hundred Union soldiers, including 200 black soldiers, were murdered there, often at point-blank range.
Residents have been petitioning to remove two statues of Forrest ― including a bust from the state Capitol ― for years. But Lee defends Confederate monuments and the Ku Klux Klan as “part of our history.”
Though there may be many reasons this one reason should be enough to not move to Tennessee, but we can see why Harpo loves it.
". . . those who claim to know the Mind of God, who will tell you what God thinks and how He will judge and condemn others—those people are the greatest of all blasphemers." Aloysius Xingu Leng Pendergast
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