As Americans join marches and protests across the nation to demand an end to institutional racism, Republicans in the Tennessee state General Assembly voted on Tuesday against removing a statue of a founder of the Ku Klux Klan from its place of honor in the state’s Capitol building.
A bill calling for the removal of the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest was defeated by an 11-5 vote in the state House Naming, Designating, and Private Acts Committee. All 11 votes against removing the bust came from Republicans. One Republican joined four Democrats voting in favor of removing it.
The bill, introduced by Democratic Rep. Rick Staples, suggested replacing the statue with one of either William F. Yardley, the first African American to run for Tennessee governor, or Anne M. Davis, the third woman elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives.