The Tennessee Historical Commission will be discussing the future of the Memphis statue of General Nathan Bedford Forrest on October 13th.
We’re pretty sure about that. Will they vote on it? We are not sure about that.
To get the statue taken down the Historical Commission will have to have two-thirds of its members vote.
There are 28 members one of them is Reverend Keith Norman of Memphis.
He is going to try and argue some commissioners are members of an organization that have filed a petition or a written objection to the commission. “Certainly the members of these organizations should not be voting on the rules,” Reverend Norman says, “Nor should they be voting on the actions. That to me represents a conflict of interest.That would be the Sons of the Confederate Veterans. There are several who have been identified as being members. I’m proud they have.”
Reverend Norman says the law requires a two-thirds majority vote for the city to take the Forrest statue down. “That’s going to be very difficult,” he says, “Especially when there are some who won’t be hearing very clearly this issue. They’re not listening to it on the merits of the changes taking place not just in Memphis, but all of America as well.”
So far, there is no agenda for the October 13th meeting.
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and others, including Governor Bill Haslam have asked the commission to take an official vote on the future of the Forrest statue.
The commission sometimes lets members of the public talk…but Reverend Norman says in his experience, the Sons of Confederate Veterans show up with a big crowd early…and dominate all public discussion.
Pastor Norman says past meetings have been contentious and this one? He’s pretty sure it will be contentious as well.