- Associated Press - Monday, July 6, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A Tennessee lawmaker says he plans to slow the effort to remove a bust of a Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan leader from the halls of the Tennessee Capitol.

House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick told The Chattanooga Times Free Press (https://bit.ly/1fhJtnx) that he thinks a calmer discussion is needed before a final decision is made. He said there has been a wave of “hysteria” over Confederate symbols since the recent massacre of nine people at a black church in South Carolina. The white suspect, 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof, posed in photos displaying Confederate flags.

McCormick said he still favors removing the statue and intends to talk about the bust when Tennessee’s State Capitol Commission meets July 17, but says the issue needs “a calm, reasonable discussion.”

The Chattanooga Republican, who is white, called the current uproar over Confederate symbols a “sort of erasing of history that’s going on and it’s more of a political movement, I think, than it is a reasonable discussion of these issues.”

Democratic Rep. JoAnne Favors of Chattanooga, who is black, said, “You cannot erase history because history is there. And because of history we want to have the statue removed.”

She said she doesn’t intend to argue with McCormick, but “we would hope that this (bust) would go ahead and be removed.”

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Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, https://www.timesfreepress.com


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