Gov. Bill Lee says conversation needs to be had about Nathan Bedford Forrest bust in state Capitol

Published: Jul. 17, 2019 at 6:57 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 17, 2019 at 7:01 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A Tennessee state law made national headlines last week when Gov. Bill Lee signed a proclamation to honor Nathan Bedford Forrest with his own day.

This week, Lee tweeted that he hopes to change that law.

The governor spoke to WMC Action News 5 Wednesday about the controversy. He says when any of us suffer all of us suffer, and there should not be a day celebrating Forrest, who was a Confederate general and early leader of the Ku Klux Klan.

Lee says state law requires that he make a proclamation for Nathan Bedford Forrest Day among others, but he didn’t want to do it.

Lee says he’ll work with legislators to change the law.

“I think you just have to do what is right,” said Lee. “I think you have to do what’s right for all Tennesseans, and that’s what you do when you lead.”

We also asked the governor about Forrest’s bust, which still sits in the state Capitol. Lee says the future of the bust is up in the air but it’s a conversation that needs to be had.

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