Today was obviously a day filled with bad news. But here’s something good:
The Memphis City Council unanimously voted today to approve an ordinance for the immediate removal of both Nathan Bedford Forest and Jefferson Davis monuments from public parks. After the third and final of the ordinance and the subsequent vote, council then moved to immediately accept the meetings minutes, thereby sealing the vote.
Removal of the statues is happening immediately. You can find live coverage of it via Facebook Live feeds (the only time I will ever discuss Facebook Live in a positive light) and other social media.
This is the fruit of grassroots activism in this majority-black city to remove monuments to men who should only be seen as racist embarrassments to every white Memphian, Tennesseean, and American. As with most of the black freedom struggle, the effort was led by a woman — Tami Sawyer, a freedom fighter of high order who spearheaded the #TakeEmDown901 movement to remove the statues.
I’ll be in Memphis in April for the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination. Please send bail money if I get arrested for publicly urinating on the former site of the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue.