It's an open and shut case of what's right against what's wrong -- no Klansman, much less a founding member of the hate organization - should ever be honored.
So it is incredible to me that the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) can seriously propose that former Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest get his likeness placed on license plates in Mississippi to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
Somebody please tell me these Civil War nuts are joking.
Forrest fought against the Union, so he was a traitor.
Forrest was a slave trader before the Civil War, so he was an enemy of freedom.
Forrest had his troops massacre black Union Army servicemen and white Unionists who had surrendered at the Battle of Fort Pillow, so he was a war criminal.
Forrest murdered innocent blacks during the Reconstruction in the South, so he was a domestic terrorist.
Did I miss anything?
The fact that the confederate veterans could even publicly propose to honor Bedford is a slap in the face to every black person in America.
As a journalist, I'm a big free speech advocate. But the rantings of the SCV really strain all logic defense of that right.
The group is dedicated to memory of the treasonous Confederacy. And it doesn't matter how brave Forrest was on the battlefield or the military strategies he developed. He was a criminal worthy of the gallows, pure and simple.
Some folks trying to clean up Forrest's image say that towards the end of his life, Forrest gave a speech to a group of blacks fighting for racial harmony. Bedford gave what newspapers described a friendly speech and even accepted a bouquet of flowers from a black woman.
What a guy?
Sorry but a lifetime of of murder, treason and race hatred can't be erased by a speech to a black group.
Forrest's name is on dozens of historical markers in his home state of Tennessee. An effort to strip his name from each and every one would be a worthwhile campaign.
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