A Tennessee commission voted to remove the bust of the KKK's first grand wizard from state Capitol
- A Tennessee commission voted to remove the bust of a KKK leader from the state Capitol.
- The Tennessee Historical Commission voted 25-1 on Tuesday, WKRN-TV reported.
- The monument of the first KKK grand wizard will be relocated to the state museum.
The Tennessee Historical Commission voted for the removal of the bust of a Ku Klux Klan leader on display at the state's Capitol, according to local reports.
As WKRN-TV reported, the commission voted 25-1 to move the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest to the Tennessean State Museum on Tuesday. Forrest, born in Tennessee, was a Confederate general in the Civil War and the "first grand wizard" of the KKK, according to History.com.
According to the Tennesseean, the commission heard from many people during the virtual meeting, with most who agreed with moving the monument.
"Removing the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest from the capitol would move us a step closer toward ensuring that the history we choose to celebrate and honor in our public spaces reflects respect and dignity for all Tennesseans," American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee said in a letter to the commission on Monday, WKRN-TV reported.
In the wake of anti-racism protests around the country, calls have grown to remove statues of controversial figures like slaveholders and confederate leaders. As Insider previously reported, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's statue was removed from the US Capitol in December, and two Confederate statues were removed in Georgia last month.
"We respect the thoughtful process addressing the location of the Forrest, Farragut, and Gleaves busts," Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee tweeted Tuesday afternoon. "Today, the Historical Commission approved that the State Museum should be the new home, and I believe this process should begin as soon as possible."
"Forrest represents pain, suffering, and brutal crimes committed against African Americans, and that pain is very real for our fellow Tennesseans as they walk the halls of our statehouse and evaluate how he could be one of just the nine busts elevated to a place of reverence," Gov. Lee said, according to the Tennessean.