Memphis City Council Votes To Remove Confederate General’s Remains

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The Memphis, Tennessee City Council voted unanimously late Tuesday to remove the remains of a Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan founder from a city park.

Local TV station WREG reported that the city council passed a resolution that would remove Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest’s remains from beneath a statute honoring him in the Memphis’ Health Sciences Park, which had been named after Forrest until two years ago.

Public officials have moved to take down Confederate flags and other symbols of the Confederacy in the weeks since a white man gunned down nine black parishioners at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina. The shooter posed with the Confederate battle flag in photos taken before the massacre. The city council’s action in Memphis, a majority-black city, appears to be the first attempt to disinter the remains of a Confederate icon, however.

“It is no longer politically correct to glorify someone who was a slave trader, someone who was a racist, on public property,” City Council member Myron Lowery said of Forrest, as quoted by WREG.

The city council also voted on an ordinance that would remove the statue of Forrest, according to local TV station WMC. The news station noted that the city council would need to get approval from several other agencies in order for Forrest’s statue or remains to be removed.

Forrest’s descendants are also likely to fight the resolution and ordinance, according to WMC. The city council also needs their approval to move Forrest’s remains and statue.

The Memphis City Council vote follows a bipartisan call from Tennessee legislators to remove a bust of Forrest from the state Capitol.

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