Gov. Lee says he will work to change Nathan Bedford Forrest Day law


NASHVILLE (WDEF) – Gov. Bill Lee tweeted out on Monday that he wants to change the law that mandates a Nathan Bedford Forrest Day in Tennessee.

He told a Nashville television station that he wants to clear the air on where he stands on the issue.

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Last week, the Governor signed the proclamation as he is required by law to do.

But his proclamation drew heavy criticism nationally, including a Washington Post headline that went “Tennessee Just Showed That White Supremacy Is Alive and Well.”

On Monday, Gov. Lee tweeted:

“While it is my job as governor to enforce the law, I want Tennesseans to know where my heart is on this issue. Our state’s history is rich, complex and in some cases painful. With this in mind, I will be working to change this law.”

Forrest was an innovative general of cavalry in the Civil War, born near Chapel Hill, Tennessee.

But he was also a slave-trader before the war and the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan after it.

A statue to him was removed from a park in Memphis, but a bust of him remains in the state capital in Nashville.

A bill to remove it failed by just one vote.