MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A group was fed up with waiting, so they got a shovel and dug up a patch of grass next to Nathan Bedford Forrest’s grave and statue in a public park in the Medical District.
The group says they wanted the statue and remains removed for a long time, because he was a Confederate soldier, a KKK leader and a slave trader.
“If he’s gone, some of this racism and race-hate might be gone,” said Isaac Richmond with Commission on Religion and Racism. ” We got a fresh shovel full, and we hope that everybody else will follow suit and dig him up.”
“They can protest all they want. Just because they don’t like it, doesn’t mean they are right. Digging up the park is just pure and simple vandalism,” said Lee Millar, the spokesperson for the Forrest family and Sons of Confederate Veterans.
He said every person who held onto that shovel broke the law today.
“That’s plain vandalism,” he said.
“We really don’t want to make this a confrontation. We just want to say hey, we want to get on with it!” said Richmond.
The City Council agreed to move the statue and the remains.
Now state law requires the Tennessee Historical Commission to sign off.
The issue will have to go before the Chancery Court as well.
The group told WREG if the process took too long, the could take more drastic measures.
“We are going to bring the back hoe, the tractors and the men with the equipment to raise Bedford Forrest from the soil of Memphis,” said Richmond.