Tennessee votes to remove bust of Confederate general, KKK Grand Wizard from Capitol

Tennessee votes to remove bust of Confederate general, KKK Grand Wizard from Capitol
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A Tennessee panel voted to remove a bust of Confederate General and Klu Klux Klan Grand Wizard Nathan Bedford Forrest from the state Capitol, according to multiple reports.

The vote comes months after the state’s Capitol and Historical commissions first voted to remove the bust, according to WZTV. Thursday’s vote by the Tennessee State Building Commission was the final step needed for the statue to be removed.

Forrest was a slave trader and Confederate General, and later became an early leader of the klan. The bust was first unveiled in 1978, drawing protests from African Americans, according to The Tennessean.

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Gov. Bill Lee (R) recently changed positions on the bust and called for it to be removed after the police killing of George Floyd, The Associated Press reported.

The governor originally said in 2018 “the Ku Klux Klan is a part of our history that we’re not proud of in Tennessee, and we need to be reminded of that and make certain that we don’t forget it. So I wouldn’t advocate to remove” the bust, according to the AP.

But WZTV reported that Lee voted in favor of the removal Thursday. 

The move comes on the heels of similar actions taken in other Southern states. On Saturday, a statue of Confederate Gen. Alfred Mouton was removed from the Lafayette City Hall in Louisiana, ending a decades-long dispute over the statute.

A week prior, the City of Charlottesville, Va., notably took down statues of Robert E. Lee and Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.