Things are quite tense in Selma, Alabama, as construction of a monument is underway. The monument will be of Confederate General Nathan Forrest, the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. While State Senator Hank Sanders wants the construction to cease immediately, stating, “He killed women and children that would be enough alone that you would not have this monument built.”
Supporters of the monument, known as Friends of Forrest, claim than Forrest was a confederate hero who lead the defense of Selma against Union troops during the Civil War. Opposers are reminded that Forrest lead his troops to murder black soldiers who surrendered in the same war.
Construction to renovate the monument comes after the bust was stolen. Friends of Forrest have ordered a new bust and are looking to build a bigger monument to their hero. According to Senator Sanders, the Selma City Council has the power to hault construction, because the cemetery in which it stands is owned by the city. The President of the City Council, Cecil Williamson, claims the land where the statue resides has actually been controlled by the United Daughters of the Confederacy since the 1870s. The statue’s construction is due to be completed this fall.
Malika Sanders-Fortier, a community leader in Selma, has started a petition on Change.org, demanding that the Selma City Council remove the monument. So far, the petition has over 32,000 signatures, and needs less than 3,000 more to be sent to the Selma City Council.
Local News Coverage:
BMWK – If the city owns this land, should they stop construction of the monument? Although he was a confederate war hero, should his offenses against African Americans be overlooked?