NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Governor of Tennessee said if it were up to him, he would remove the bust of one-time KKK leader and Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest from the state Capitol.
The Tennessee Historical Commission, of which Governor Bill Haslam is a member, will ultimately make the decision on whether the bust will be removed.
Their next meeting is scheduled for Friday in Memphis. The governor will not be present.
At this time, the commission’s Executive Director Patrick McIntyre tells News 2 the issue of the bust is not on their agenda.
He said the governor has not attended meetings in person in the past, but has always had a representative attend each meeting.
On the heels of the South Carolina governor saying the Confederate flag should be removed from the state’s Capitol, Tennessee lawmakers are now pushing for the removal of the bust here in Music City.
Previous story: SC House OKs measure to consider removing Confederate flag
“The Nathan Bedford Forrest statue should have been removed from our state Capitol a long time ago,” Mary Mancini, Tennessee Democratic Party Chair said Monday.
On Monday, Congressman Jim Cooper tweeted the bust of Forrest should be removed.
“Symbols of hate shouldn’t be promoted by government,” he said in part.
The monument of Nathan Bedford Forrest, a decorated Confederate general in the Civil War who would later be named the “Grand Wizard,” which is the Ku Klux Klan’s highest rank, is situated inside the Tennessee Capitol.
Another statue of Forrest sits on private property on the edge of Nashville that can be seen from Interstate 65.
Mayoral candidate Megan Barry has suggested planting trees around the statue to block it.
“While we can’t physically remove it, I [would] sure like to make it something that people don’t see when they drive by,” she said.