The Clock Must Have Stopped: A republican does something decent for once

Tennessee republican leader Jeffrey Faison is trying to have a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest removed from the state capitol. Forrest was a confederate general, kidnapper who used forced labour (“slave owner”), and early leader of the KKK.

It’s time to move the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust from Tennessee’s Capitol, GOP leader says

Two years ago, Rep. Jeremy Faison was like most of his Republican colleagues when it came to the question of what to do with the bust of a Confederate general and early Ku Klux Klan leader on display in the Tennessee state Capitol.

He said the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest, an addition installed at the Capitol in 1978, was part of history and should be left alone.

Then the Cocke County Republican — whose own distant grandfather Paul Faison was a Confederate colonel — began to grapple with hard facts.


“I fundamentally reject any notion by someone saying that moving him to the museum is trying to whitewash history,” Faison said, referencing comments made by numerous Tennessee Republicans, including Gov. Bill Lee at one point, amid an ongoing debate about whether the state should relocate the bust.

“If we want to preserve history, then let’s tell it the right way. Right now there are eight alcoves (in the Capitol). Seven are filled with white men.”


“How about getting a lady in there?” Faison asked. “My daughter is 16, and I would love for her to come into the Capitol and see a lady up there. What’s wrong with Anne Dallas Dudley getting in that alcove?” Faison added, referring to the 19th-century women’s suffrage activist from Nashville.


“What’s wrong with someone like Dolly Parton being put in that alcove?”

I’m not entirely trusting of his motives (i.e. he’s probably on the way out of politics), but this is far from the worst thing I’ve heard.


  1. says

    You’d think the Republicans could find Reconstruction Era Republicans to commemorate in statues. Like Robert Smalls, a Congessman from South Carolina who stole the CSS Planter from his slave owner along with his crew and their families, and handed her over to the Union blockaders, and ended up commanding that ship.