Two months after the City of Memphis ousted three Confederate monuments, a bill in the state legislature aimed at protecting historical memorials and monuments passed in the State Government Subcommittee.
Tennessee history is protected by the Heritage Protection Act. This bill would have local governments first consult local historical groups before removing, selling or donating monuments or memorials. Failure to do so would result in an investigation.
The connection to Memphis's removal of monuments after they sold two parks was made by democratic state representative Darren Jernigan Wednesday. One of those monuments was of Nathan Bedford Forest.
"It was put up when Memphis was a majority white," said Jernigan. "Now, it's 62 percent African American. And the local government that put it up, the same local government wants to take it down. And so, now the state says, no you can't take it down. So, there stuck with a piece of property they can't sell. You're asking the African Americans to maintain a statue, of you know, to be frank, a man who not only owned slaves, but sold little girls to men."
The bill was rolled one week as lawmakers discussed an amendment.