NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) —Tennessee legislation aimed at removing the controversial Nathan Bedford Forrest bust at the State Capitol and also removing a day observing the former KKK Grand Wizard are up committees on Tuesday.
Forrest's bust has been the topic of controversy for years. There's been several protests, heated discussions in the Tennessee House and petitions with thousands of signatures calling for its removal.
Rep. Rick Staples (D-Knoxville) introduced HJR0686, which not only calls for the Bedford bust's removal, but suggests it be replaced with either Gatlinburg native Anne M. Davis, the third woman elected to the Tennessee House of representatives and was instrumental in the founding of the Great Smokey Mountains National Park or Knoxville native William F. Yardley who Staples says was an "influential and powerful advocate for the legal rights of blacks and was the first African American to run for governor of Tennessee. "
While some have called for additional context to accompany the bust, including Gov. Lee, others continue to seek its outright removal.
Meanwhile, Gov. Bill Lee is pushing the state Senate to prioritize a bill that would no longer require him to declare Nathan Bedford Forrest Day each year on July 13.
HB1670 is slated for the Naming, Designating, & Private Acts Committee on Tuesday.