The Tri-Star State: How The Battle Over Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Bust At The Capitol Is Evolving | Nashville Public Radio

The Tri-Star State: How The Battle Over Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Bust At The Capitol Is Evolving

Last week the conflict over Confederate monuments came back to a boil at the Tennessee State Capitol.

Protestors demanding removal of a bust honoring Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest clashed in the halls with Republican leadership.

Troopers are now guarding the statue.

State GOP leaders say they may have a long term solution by adding more "context" to the controversial bust.

The following are excerpts from recent interviews:

Rep. G.A. Hardaway, D-Memphis, on adding historical context to the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest: 

“The rest of the story needs to be told. The rest of this story is slaves — babies, children, mothers, wives, sisters — beaten, raped, sodomized. Men broken. All in the name of profit. So if you want to put it in context, put him in a museum and let’s get some pictures, let’s get some busts, some statues of black folk who were in that era. ”

Sen. Ken Yager, Republican Caucus chairman, on claims that Forrest went from leader of the Klu Klux Klan to someone who called them out: 

“He actually made —in some circles — controversial speeches where he advocated for a better life for the ex-slaves, the black citizens of our country, and repudiated the Klu Klux Klan.”

Our ongoing conversations about Tennessee politics are available in The Tri-Star State podcast. You can listen by visiting wpln.org/tristar or subscribe using your favorite podcasting app.