White supremacy for Jesus: In a despicable development, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has signed a proclamation in honor of Nathan Bedford Forrest, the very first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
The Tennessean reports:
Gov. Bill Lee has proclaimed Saturday as Nathan Bedford Forrest Day in Tennessee, a day of observation to honor the former Confederate general and early Ku Klux Klan leader whose bust is on display in the state Capitol.
Reporting on the story, HuffPost notes:
The day of observation calls on Tennesseans to honor Nathan Bedford Forrest, a slave-owning war criminal and Klan grand wizard.
Despite public outcry, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) re-signed a proclamation Thursday declaring July 13 as Nathan Bedford Forrest Day in the state, honoring the Ku Klux Klan grand wizard and former Confederate general.
For the record, Forrest was a despicable human being, a brutal slave owner, a treasonous traitor to the U.S., and a General in the Confederate Army. In addition, he was the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. In short, the man was a moral monster.
However, the proclamation signed by Governor Lee makes no mention of Forrest’s key role in the creation of the KKK, nor does the proclamation make mention of the fact that Forrest was a traitor who betrayed his country in the name of racism. Instead, the proclamation only refers to Forrest as a “recognized military figure in American history and a native Tennessean.”
In an attempt at damage control, Lee tried to defend his deplorable proclamation by stating:
I signed the bill because the law requires that I do that and I haven’t looked at changing that law.
Lee could have refused to sign the proclamation, but he did not. And in signing the proclamation, Lee ignored the truth, and did not make any mention of what a deplorable character Forrest was, and failed to note the fact that Forrest was not an American hero, but a villain to be despised.
As one might imagine, many found Governor Lee’s proclamation yet another indication of the Bible Belt racism that animates much of the GOP.
For example, on Twitter there was the following reactions:
This is WRONG. Nathan Bedford Forrest was a Confederate general & a delegate to the 1868 Democratic Convention. He was also a slave trader & the 1st Grand Wizard of the KKK. Tennessee should not have an official day (tomorrow) honoring him. Change the law. https://t.co/XBgoRCBoI0
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 12, 2019
For Tennessee to honor a KKK grand wizard who was a traitor to the United States is abominable. https://t.co/ocdmUO37gN
— Larry Sabato (@LarrySabato) July 12, 2019
This is Tennessee Republican Governor Bill Lee. He just signed a declaration honoring Nathan Bedford Forrest—a confederate general, slave owner, and first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
RETWEET if you think Lee should be forced to resign for his overt racism and bigotry! pic.twitter.com/xP9IxtqlRY
— Protect Robert Mueller ✊ (@DisavowTrump20) July 12, 2019
“Forrest is known to history as a bloodthirsty slave trader and the KKK’s very first grand wizard… As The Holler points out, plenty of governors have declined to sign proclamations in the past.”
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) July 12, 2019
Bottom line: Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has signed a proclamation in honor of Nathan Bedford Forrest, the very first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.