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Okay class: today's oxymoron is "... a very humane slave trader." History is what happened 2,000 years ago, and 150 years ago, and 15 minutes ago. No one is making the argument that Forrest and all slave traders, Confederate generals, former members of the KKK, etc., should be stricken from the history books. Naming parks and putting up statues in a public place is a sign of honoring a person: "they dun guuuuud - lez rememb'r 'em!" There was a time in the post-war South (a loooooong time) when the white/dominate voice could suppress the black voice and they could freely "honor" their heroes as the constructed "The Lost Cause" mythology. It took 100 years to start, but in the past 50 years African Americans have gained political parity with whites in the South. And it's certainly not just African Americans who feel that, perhaps, Nathan Bedford Forrest does not rate the public honors bestowed on him since the end of the Civil War. There is no argument an apologist for Forrest can make that trumps the argument that a descendent of slaves can make on whether the man should or should not be honored in a public place. You're watching history being written - new chapters every moment.
Given current all-time-high prices for metals like copper and bronze, now would be a great time to send statues of Forrest and his like to the metal recyclers. Would be kind of fitting, actually--consigning these statues to the dustbins of history, much like the causes the statue subjects fought for.
This is what happens when people have too much time on their hands. If you really need to spend time and effort directed towards something no one with an actual purpose in life cares about, you need to be put to work.
Forrest had "ties" to the KKK? He started the KKK!
Whatever a mayor or council does will be controversial. Put the deletion of the name to a popular vote, then if majority wants it gone, at the next election vote on the replacement name. I'd rather lose to a widely held vote than one decision maker.
The "some historians" who say the massacre at Ft. Pillow was "a consequence of battle" are the same ones who say Forrest was a "humane slave trader" and "benefactor and promoter of black people after the Civil War." And Colonel Sanders was a vegetarian.
mouthwash--You're kidding, right?
What if a park was named after a more contemporary public figure, say from the 50's. but then it was discovered after he died that he was guilty of horrible crimes, like child molesting. Do you think they would change the name of that park? I don't care if you were the nicests slave owner in the world, slave owners don't deserve parks named after them. History be damned. If you defend keeping the name, then you are defending slavery. There is no such thing as "nice slavery".
davehoug, if they had done that 150 years ago, put it to a vote that is, we would still have slavery in this country, and people of color or other national origins would still be riding in the back of the bus. The old south needs to die a quiet death. Time marches on and the time has come to stop honoring those who were responsible for all that hatred.
As an American, I don't see how anyone can "honor" anybody that participated in an armed effort to destroy the country we live in and create a separate nation. The man is guilty of treason against the United States of America, which would not exist today if he had been successful in his efforts.
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