Friday, August 18, 2017

Members of UT Health Sciences Community Want Nathan Bedford Forrest Statue Gone

Posted By on Fri, Aug 18, 2017 at 2:02 PM

click to enlarge Dental student Bryan Goodman says the statue must go
  • Dental student Bryan Goodman says the statue must go

Nearly 100 students and faculty members from University of Tennessee Health Sciences participated in a walkout on Friday around noon to promote the removal of the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue in the Health Sciences Park that sits adjacent to the campus and that the school manages.

The walkout was a joint effort by several student associations including, the Black Student Association, the Student National Medical Association, and Student National Dental Association (SNDA).

One of the organizers of the walkout, Bryan Goodman, president of SNDA says the statue is a "direct contradiction of the oath we all take as health-care professionals: do no harm." The statue, he says, is harmful to the city and to the school's reputation.

click to enlarge img_2902.jpg
Goodman says "as students whose tuition dollars go toward maintenance of the park," he and others demand the statue is taken down immediately.

He continued, expressing that he believes the statue is "strategically placed to intimidate and terrorize persons of color."

"It serves as a constant reminder that regardless of how hard we work and how much we achieve, in the eyes of some. we will never be seen as equals," Goodman said. "Its a physical representation of hate and pain and its presence is a direct contradiction to our school's mission to produce healthcare providers that support and treat Memphis' diverse population."

As a result of these students, like other activists across the city, requesting that the City act immediately and remove the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue there, as well as the Jefferson Davis statue from Memphis Park,
City officials announced Friday plans to amend Tuesday's City Council executive session to include discussion of immediate removal of both statues and "related artifacts" from the city.

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