Finding A Legal Loophole, Memphis Takes Down Its Confederate Statues


This statue of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest was removed from a park in Memphis, Tenn., on Wednesday night, following the sale of the park to a nonprofit group.

Adrian Sainz/AP

It was a long time in the making, but when the statues of Confederate figures finally came down in Memphis, Tenn., it was quick work.

On Wednesday, the city sold two of its city parks – one with a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, the other featuring a statue of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest on horseback — for $1,000 each.

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That night, work crews lifted the statue of Forrest from its base. Crowds of onlookers cheered the move, which was timed to occur at 9:01 p.m. — a nod to the Memphis area code and the group Take 'Em Down 901, which has been pushing for the statues' removal.

"This is a victory for grass-roots movements in the city," said the group's leader, Tami Sawyer.

"This happened because people mandated it and wanted it," she said to cheers. "Take 'Em Down 901 is now Took 'Em Down 901."

The statues' removal had been a goal of Mayor Jim Strickland, particularly before the city commemorates in April the 50th anniversary of the killing of Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis.

Selling the parks to a private entity allowed the city to skirt the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act, passed in 2013 and amended in 2016, which prohibits the removal, relocation or renaming of a memorial that is on public property.

In a long post to Facebook, Strickland explained the context of the statues.

"It's important to know why we're here," he wrote. "The Forrest statue was placed in 1904, as Jim Crow segregation laws were enacted. The Davis statue was placed in 1964, as the Civil Rights Movement changed our country. The statues no longer represent who we are as a modern, diverse city with momentum. As I told the Tennessee Historical Commission in October, our community wants to reserve places of reverence for those we honor."

He said the city had sought a waiver from the Tennessee Historical Commission, but its request was denied, and subsequent mediation had not been successful. "I was committed to remove the statues in a lawful way. From the beginning, we have followed state law — and tonight's action is no different," Strickland wrote.

A nonprofit organization called Memphis Greenspace Inc. filed for incorporation in October. And on Wednesday, the city council authorized Strickland to sell the two parks to the new organization. With the parks now in private hands, its owners were allowed to remove the Forrest and Davis statues, which were moved to an undisclosed location.

The nonprofit group is led by Shelby County Commissioner Van Turner. It received about $250,000 in pledges and donations from supporters, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports, and will now maintain the parks.

The move did not sit well with Republicans in the Tennessee House, who called for an investigation on Thursday.

"We are governed by the rule of law here in Tennessee and these actions are a clear infringement of this principle and set a dangerous precedence for our state," House Majority Leader Glen Casada and House Republican caucus chairman Ryan Williams wrote in a statement, accordingto the Commercial Appeal.

Among the questions the lawmakers will be asking is whether the city violated sunshine laws by coordinating the sale to a private company and whether anyone was set to gain personally by selling properties at a lower-than-market price.

But Thursday, the mayor and the many city residents who wanted to the statues to go were jubilant.

"In the days after the August events in Charlottesville, we saw an avalanche of support come together behind our efforts," the mayor wrote. "In all of my life in Memphis, I've never seen such solidarity."

Original Post

Something else to take with them when they ALL head back to the Caucasus Mountains. Hopefully, within the next week. Cavemen RETURNITH with their ugly-ass monuments to ugly-ass men who've been dead for hundreds of years.

Why is it no one ever films those old Caucasian Homestead caves? Why is it no one EVER GOES BACK??? You won't find anything black there but bugs, dogs and whatever cars you drive. Seems to  me you'd get back there quick, fast and in a damn hurry!! Lots of US would be ecstatic. You could flash your itty bitty squigly wiglies to each other forever and a day and NO ONE would give a half of shit. It would be "See ya later alligators!" 

It has nothing with "making America great again and all with "making America WHITE again." We made "America" great for the whites. It's NEVER been great for us. We're the free labor that made then wealthy. We never saw a dime. We saw their wrinkly dicks and had their albino babies that they sold like puppies. There's something drastically wrong with these fuckers called "whites." Someone tell the truth for a damn change. This is Turtle Island; Native American Land.

These EUROPEANS belong on the Caucasus Mountains in the fucking CAVES. No more, no less. Are these fuckers even HUMAN????????????????????????????????? Says Who???????? All they do is HATE and KILL worldwide. They're beyond annoying and ugly as sin. Grow that hair the way it's supposed to and you're living with BIGFOOT.

for the people that are complaining about public land being sold to a private company, they didnt have a problem when Trump gave Indian burial property to oil developers for a pipeline.  This is just Trump's playbook done to right back at the racists of Memphis.  





*An extra bonus...Nathan Forrest, the first Grand Wizard of KKK, is buried on that land and so the Black people now OWN his grave!!!  

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