Where Things Stand: Republican Lawmakers Withdraw Bill To Rename John Lewis Way After Trump

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WASHINGTON D.C. - MARCH 17: Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) is photographed in his offices in the Canon House office building on March 17, 2009 in Washington, D.C. The former Big Six leader of the civil rights moveme... WASHINGTON D.C. - MARCH 17: Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) is photographed in his offices in the Canon House office building on March 17, 2009 in Washington, D.C. The former Big Six leader of the civil rights movement was the architect and keynote speaker at the historic March on Washington in 1963. (Photo by Jeff Hutchens/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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Last month, my colleague Hunter Walker published an in-depth look at Nashville city councilwoman Zulfat Suara efforts to fight a Tennessee state Republican push to rename a portion of John Lewis Way in Nashville after Donald Trump.

The effort to rename the street drew intense backlash given Lewis’ legacy and the nature of the Civil Rights leader’s relationship with Trump while he was still alive. Trump repeatedly antagonized and insulted the congressman before and after his death.

The Tennessee GOP proposal also highlighted key tensions in state and local law, but more broadly struck at the heart of an already contentious issue in the South about memorializing the dead. As Hunter put it:

In recent years there has been a growing movement to take down monuments and street names honoring Confederate generals. In 2016, lawmakers in Tennessee approved legislation that made it more difficult to rename streets or relocate statues that were erected to memorialize the dead. The proposal to rename “Rep. John Lewis Way” would remove some of those protections. 

Suara tweeted last night announcing that the effort to rename a portion of the street honoring Lewis had been withdrawn.

Read Hunter’s piece in its entirety here.

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