I think the citizens of Memphis should be able to decide how their money is spent. Democracy. If you are a Memphian and disagree with the majority, more power to ya, opine away.. If you ain't a Memphian, then it ain't none of your business.
Just say no to Big Government.
The blacks want all of the terrible things we did as slave holders back in the day to be public. I don't have a problem with that. It's history!! Now, leave Bedford & other like situations alone!! Again, the good, the bad & the ugly!! It's all our history!! Own it people & stop sniveling!! Stop spending tax dollars on something that is ridiculous & spend it where it benefits everyone!!
Naming a building or park named after someone is a way of honoring them, highlighting their accomplishments and inspiring others to be like them. Our parks should reflect that.
Naming a park for someone is not necessary to remember them. Most everyone that knows about our nations fight for indepdendence and knows about Benedict Arnold - he has no parks.
What do we want to honor? A slaver? A traitor? a racist guerilla leader? I think not
Folks, here is further evidence that to bartend in a newspaper hangout is one of the best jobs in the world.
Now who will drive those pimped out caddies around town? We lost a real classic.
Grove Reb, well thought out and written post. But I believe our so-called leadership is more interested in steering fat legal fees to well connected lawyers and playing to their base more than moving the grave of a long dead soldier. The remains and legacy of the general are not going away, no matter where the remains are moved.
I am a first gen southerner. My dad was born in NYC, and my mom in the upper mid-west. I was taught that the south were the bad guys. Latter on, I learned the Civil Was wasn't quite that simple. Therefore, I don't have a border collie in that sheep herd. I just don't want my expensive city taxes wasted in this rabbit hole that cannot be won and truly just does not matter.
I understand that some may be offended by the alleged mis-deeds of the fustest with the mostest, and if they are, they should be raising the legal funds to fight this battle, if the so-called leadership wants to be PC, they need to do it on their dime, and not mine. John Spain brings up excellent points also.
We had at least one more murder last night in Fox Meadows, I'm sure the family of the young deceased man is more interested in bringing the killers to justice more than digging up an old general.
That was my point Grove. Lest anybody think I was actually trying to defend modern usage of a swastika.
CL, I just thought that Ole Miss billboard money could be better spent elsewhere. The coach Freeze recruiting slush fund has got to be getting low these days.
Nashville having contempt for civil rights heroes?
You won't believe how surprised I am by this.
East Memphis Mark,
As a Tigers football fan you should be well beyond offending.
If the Earth were actually round wouldn't the statue fave slud down to DeSoto County by now?
I've heard that if you play Trump's inaugural speech backwards he admits to everything.
There's an Ole Miss billboard on the south loop of I-240. As a Tigers fan, I demand that it be taken down. It offends me.
You do bring up a good point. Symbols, word, names, and probably even historic people all carry meanings, and those meanings change based on time, geography, and even audience. In short, context matters. The swastika was at one time just a Buddhist and Hindu symbol, though the Nazis adopted a counterclockwise swastika that was used primarily only by Hindus.
Point being, the swastika didn't develop its modern meaning until the Nazis adopted it. Before that, it was just a religious symbol. Even today, if you see a swastika in a Hindu or Buddhist place of worship, the context clearly tells you that it's not an Aryan superiority symbol. However, in any other context, it's hard to argue that the symbol means anything other than racism and hate.
Likewise, the 3 symbol that NBA players use after hitting a 3 pointer (essentially the A-OK symbol with the thumb and forefinger together in a circle, and the other 3 fingers up) is the equivalent of the middle finger in Brazil and some other South American cultures. In other words, you need to know the context of where you are when using that symbol, or else you could send the wrong message.
I make this argument all the time when it comes to the Confederate battle flag. There are numerous flags of the Confederacy. Only one gets highlighted as a symbol of hatred and oppression. Why is that? It's because that one flag is the flag that was adopted by people who were resisting the Civil Rights movement. The Civil War Confederacy affiliation isn't the major issue with it. If that was the issue, then a number of other flags would get attention too. The only one that does is the battle flag though, because it's associated with those who fought against Civil Rights. It doesn't matter if you think the flag is a symbol to honor your Great Great Grandpappy. The context of using that symbol in most settings associates you with racists and segregationists from decades ago.
Back on this topic though, whether Forrest did some good things in his life or not, the context in which he's remembered is his association with the Confederacy and with the KKK. Whether that's fair or not, it's the context associated with him now, and therefore, when choosing to honor him, you have to be smart enough to recognize that context and not just assume everyone is going to see it for the context that YOU want to see.
Well of course they do...
Yeah, John, and the swastika is really a symbol of peace.
"unequivocably"? Unequivocally incorrect. Even spell check flags that.
That's some post Mr Spain, if the South had your thumb endurance we'd still have space slavery today. Sad.
Most people find the statue offensive because they've been misinformed for years by the media, or they don't know the full story. The story of Forrest becoming a Christian, having a change of heart, and dedicating his later years to repairing race relations in the South.
Forrest's speech to the Independent Order of Pole-Bearers Association July 5, 1875.
A convention and BBQ was held by the Independent Order of Pole-Bearers Association at the fairgrounds of Memphis, five miles east of the city. An invitation to speak was conveyed to General Nathan Bedford Forrest, one of the city's most prominent citizens, and one of the foremost cavalry commanders in the late War Between the States. This was the first invitation granted to a white man to speak at this gathering. The invitation's purpose, one of the leaders said, was to extend peace, joy, and union, and following a brief welcoming address a Miss Lou Lewis, daughter of an officer of the Pole-Bearers, brought forward flowers and assurances that she conveyed them as a token of good will. After Miss Lewis handed him the flowers, General Forrest responded with a short speech that, in the contemporary pages of the Memphis Appeal, evinces Forrest's racial open-mindedness that seemed to have been growing in him.
"Ladies and Gentlemen I accept the flowers as a memento of reconciliation between the white and colored races of the southern states. I accept it more particularly as it comes from a colored lady, for if there is any one on God's earth who loves the ladies I believe it is myself. ( Immense applause and laughter.) I came here with the jeers of some white people, who think that I am doing wrong. I believe I can exert some influence, and do much to assist the people in strengthening fraternal relations, and shall do all in my power to elevate every man to depress none. (Applause.) I want to elevate you to take positions in law offices, in stores, on farms, and wherever you are capable of going. I have not said anything about politics today. I don't propose to say anything about politics. You have a right to elect whom you please; vote for the man you think best, and I think, when that is done, you and I are freemen. Do as you consider right and honest in electing men for office. I did not come here to make you a long speech, although invited to do so by you. I am not much of a speaker, and my business prevented me from preparing myself. I came to meet you as friends, and welcome you to the white people. I want you to come nearer to us. When I can serve you I will do so. We have but one flag, one country; let us stand together. We may differ in color, but not in sentiment Many things have been said about me which are wrong, and which white and black persons here, who stood by me through the war, can contradict. Go to work, be industrious, live honestly and act truly, and when you are oppressed I'll come to your relief. I thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for this opportunity you have afforded me to be with you, and to assure you that I am with you in heart and in hand." (Prolonged applause.)
Whereupon N. B. Forrest again thanked Miss Lewis for the bouquet and then gave her a kiss on the cheek. Such a kiss was unheard of in the society of those days, in 1875, but it showed a token of respect and friendship between the general and the black community and did much to promote harmony among the citizens of Memphis.
Highpoint - I haven't been to Central Park or Grant Park. But comparing Memphis to NYC or Chicago is just ridiculous. A more apt comparison would be to Nashville or St Louis, or hell, just about any other city in the country.
It really doesn't matter how physically fit a person is, they're not going to walk or bike from East Memphis (I won't even bike from Midtown) or beyond to get Downtown. It's exhausting and unsafe.
(by the way, I've been to awesome parks in Nashville and St. Louis that had lots of parking)
By Toby Sells
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