Lawmakers Call For Tenn. Capitol To Remove Bust Of Confederate General

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June 23, 2015 10:43 a.m.

Numerous Democratic lawmakers in Tennessee and the state’s Republican party chairman on Monday called for the state to remove the bust of a Confederate general from the Tennessee capitol following the debate over whether South Carolina should continue to fly the Confederate flag on its capitol grounds.

U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) on Monday called for the state to remove from the capitol the bust of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was also a grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

Democratic state House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh also called for the bust to be removed from the capitol.

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“In general, our Capitol should be representative of the people of Tennessee. Right now if you’re a young girl, like my granddaughter, Marley Mac, for instance, and you visit the Capitol, there are no busts in the building that look like you,” Fitzhugh said, according to The Tennessean. “For African-Americans, there’s only one β€” a fairly recent addition. So I think, generally speaking, we need to revisit what we have displayed in the Capitol so that it better represents a Tennessee for all of us.”

Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Ryan Haynes, said he felt the bust of Forrest should not have a place in the state capitol.

“If I were a legislator, I would vote to move it,” he said, according to The Tennessean.

Calls for the bust to be removed follow the debate over the Confederate flag in South Carolina following a deadly shooting at a historic black church in South Carolina. The state’s Republican governor, Nikki Haley, along with other Democratic and Republican lawmakers, on Monday called for the flag to be taken down from the state’s capitol grounds.

The Republican speaker of the Mississippi state house also called for the Confederate symbol to be removed from the state flag.

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