Petition calling on Gov. Lee to move Nathan Bedford Forrest bust from Capitol gets 40K signatures

Posted at 1:14 PM, Dec 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-16 14:22:38-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF/AP) — A petition asking Gov. Bill Lee to move a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest from the Tennessee State Capitol has gotten more than 40,000 signatures.

A release from "The Tennessee Holler" says local pastors Chris Williamson and Kevin Riggs, along with supporters, will deliver the petition to the State Capitol Commission meeting on Wednesday. However, the Associated Press reported last week that the commission has no plans to address the contentious bust during the meeting.

Gov. Bill Lee had told reporters in October that he expected the state panel to discuss the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust when he appointed two new members to the commission.

Forrest was a Confederate General during the Civil war, a slave trader and an early KKK leader. Groups have rallied in the past to get the bust removed, saying it and other statues that reflect racism should be removed and either placed in a museum or a private collection, but not on display.

The bust has been on display inside the state Capitol for decades. Removing it requires approval from the Capitol Commission before going to the state’s Historical Commission as laid out by the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act.

Click here to view the petition.