- The Washington Times - Monday, June 29, 2015

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. announced a proposal last week to remove the statue and grave sites of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife.

“These relics, these messages of this despicable period of this great nation, it’s time for those to be moved,” the Democratic mayor, who is black, said in a news conference, a local NBC affiliate reported.

Mr. Wharton told The Associated Press that he wants the statue removed from Health Sciences Park and “returned to Forrest Monument Association that had it placed there.” He said the graves of the noted KKK leader and his wife, which are in the park, should be relocated to Elmwood Cemetery.

“I despise whatever the Confederacy stood for,” Mr. Wharton said. “This is not just an ordinary monument. This is a monument to a man who was the avowed founder of the organization that has as its purpose the intimidation, the oppression of black folks.”

Councilman Myron Lowery said he is in discussion with Council Attorney Allan Wade to draw up an ordinance to move the proposal along, NBC reported.

Councilman Harold Collins and Councilman Jim Strickland are running for Memphis mayor against Mr. Wharton, but reportedly support the mayor’s proposal.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans said Forrest was a “revered member of society in Memphis” and argued that racists like the alleged Charleston church shooter are misusing the Confederate flag, NBC reported.

“He was just a nut case basically and a white supremacist,” representative Lee Millar said of the alleged gunman. “That certainly is not what the Sons of Confederate Veterans is about.”

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