21 December 2017

Confederate Statues in Memphis Are Removed After City Council Vote - The New York Times

There is a law in Tennessee that prevents the removal of monuments on public land.

The intent is to prevent the removal of Confederate monuments.

The Memphis city council sold two of its parks to a non-profit, and last night, Confederate monuments were removed:
The City Council here voted Wednesday to sell two city parks with Confederate monuments, clearing the way for two statues to be removed before the city commemorates the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Mayor Jim Strickland first announced the sales of Health Sciences Park and Memphis Park on Twitter.

“History is being made in Memphis tonight,” he said at a news conference later in the evening.

Health Sciences Park had a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general and an early member of the Ku Klux Klan, which was removed around 9 p.m. local time.

By 10:30 p.m., cranes had maneuvered into Memphis Park and around a statue of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy during the Civil War. About 15 minutes later, a crane hoisted the statue onto a truck as a crowd cheered and struck up songs, including “Hit the road Jack.”

The removal of the statues came not only as Memphis prepares for the 50th anniversary of the death of Dr. King, who was assassinated on April 4, 1968, while visiting the city, but also amid a sweeping national debate about the significance of Confederate monuments and whether their removal would be an erasure of history or a righting of past wrongs.


Bruce McMullen, the chief legal officer for the city, said in an interview on Wednesday night that the parks had been sold to Memphis Greenspace, a nonprofit led by Van D. Turner Jr., a Shelby County commissioner.

The nonprofit seems to have been created expressly for the purpose of buying the parks: It filed its incorporation papers in October, Mr. Strickland said. Mr. Turner did not immediately return a request for comment.

The city sold Health Sciences Park in its entirety, Mr. McMullen said, and it sold its interest in an easement in Memphis Park. Each was sold for $1,000, he said.

The transfer of the parks to private ownership effectively allowed the city to skirt the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act, a state law that prohibits the removal, relocation or renaming of memorials on public property.
A well deserved f%$# you to the lost causer racists.


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