State Watch

Tennessee lawmakers pull back funds from Memphis after removal of Confederate statues


Tennessee state lawmakers voted to take $250,000 away from the city of Memphis after its decision to take down Confederate statues.

The Republican-dominated state House decided to take away the money, which was meant to be used next year for a bicentennial celebration, by passing an amendment attached to the House appropriations bill, The Associated Press reported.

Rep. Antonio Parkinson (D) was booed by other lawmakers when speaking out against the amendment.

{mosads}“You can boo all you want, but let’s call it for what it is,” the Memphis representative said.

Rep. Andy Holt (R) ripped the city for removing the monuments and said he wished the punishment was even worse.

“Today is a demonstration that bad actions have bad consequences, and my only regret about this is it’s not in the tune of millions of dollars,” Holt said.

Memphis was able to remove statues of Confederate generals from parks in the city after it sold the parks to a nonprofit.

The Memphis City Council last year unanimously approved the sale of two public parks — Health Science Park and its easement in Fourth Bluff Park — that contained statues of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and Confederate President Jefferson Davis. The statues were subsequently removed.

The city had faced numerous legal hurdles in attempting to remove the statues from the parks.

Rep. Raumesh Akbari (D) said lawmakers in Tennessee were “being ugly” if they decided to punish the city for removing the statues.

“It’s not fair. Memphis is a part of Tennessee,” Akbari, who also represents Memphis, said.

“I didn’t even realize how much y’all disliked Memphis till I got to this legislature.”


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