Jul 14 2019
02:15 pm

Tennessee is once again in the news because Gov. Lee declared a state Nathan Bedford Forrest day, and his bust remains on display in the statehouse. National news outlets and even Ted Cruz piled on.

Never mind that every governor is required by state law to commemorate the former KKK Grand Wizard, along with other Confederate causes at various times. Haslam had to do it for eight years. Bredesen for eight years before that. And every other governor going back to the 1920s.

The real shame is that these laws have been on the books for so long. It's the Twenty-first Century! Why is it so hard to get rid of these laws and remove the bust? Oh, wait. Rhetorical question.

Gov. Lee says he's reluctant to change the law, because it would be a "mistake to whitewash history." Interesting choice of words. So maybe we should have commemorations and statehouse memorials for victims of lynchings or the Fort Pillow massacre? Why not tributes for the East Tennessee patriots who joined with the Union? Or the Clinton 12?

JaHu's picture

Gov. Lee says he's reluctant

Gov. Lee says he's reluctant to change the law, because it would be a "mistake to whitewash history."

There's a huge difference between remembering events in history and celebrating them.

Rachel's picture

Beat me to it.

Beat me to it.

R. Neal's picture

See also: (link...)

See also:


Dave Gorman's picture

Kappa Alpha at WKU in 1979

As a freshman at WKU 40 years ago, I showed up at my dorm and was met by brothers of the Kappa Alpha Order, who helped me move in. They explained that my high school guidance counselor was a KA at Murray State and he tipped them off that I might be KA material, so they showed up to introduce themselves and to invite me to their fraternity house the next night for a "social". I'd seen "Animal House" the year before and therefore knew all about fraternites...and so I went to their house, hung out, and drank my first college beer.

They all seemed like nice-enough guys and so I went back the next two nights for more "socials." On the third night, the brothers gathered around a piano and one guy sat down and started playing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic". People started singing along but not words that I knew.

"Abraham Lincoln was a ni$$er in disguise, Abraham Lincoln was a ni$$er in disguise..." (I forget the third line, but it was equally abhorent)

I looked around in shock as they enthusiastically moved to the 2nd verse:

"John Wilkes Booth was a hero in disguise" etc...

I put my beer down and walked quickly out of the house and all the way back to Keen Hall. It took a while and I was a bit woozy from the beer as well, but I couldn't believe that I was in the middle of that shitshow. I mean, I'd noticed some "Old South" pics on the wall but didn't understand and they didn't exactly ask me how I felt about these things before they dropped a bid off in my dorm mailbox. I never replied.

R. Neal's picture

(link...) Kappa Alpha in the


Kappa Alpha in the news again...

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