The Mayor of Memphis Tennessee, A C Wharton has called for the removal and transfer of the grave of controversial Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest from a park in the city.
"These relics, these messages of this despicable period of this great nation, it’s time for those to be moved... This is not just an ordinary monument, this is a monument to a man who was the avowed founder of the organization that has as its purpose the intimidation, the oppression of black folks.” Wharton said on a press conference on Thursday.
Forrest was one of the early members of Ku Klux Klan , but there are still questions on whether he served as its Grand Wizard. Later in life he would distance himself from the group, and he was even invited to give a speech for an organisation of black southerners known as the Independent Order of Pole Bearers association, which advocated racial reconciliation. He accepted the invite and gave a friendly speech. But there are still atrocities ascribed to him by certain historians, during the time he served as a Klux Klan member.
The local Sons of Confederate Veterans have voiced their opposition on the Mayor's call. Their leader refers to Forrest as a “very well respected, and a military leader who is still studied worldwide in military academies today.”
It is not yet clear if the City Council will move on the Mayor's proposal.