This goes even further than tearing down statues. Memphis protesters begin digging up the body of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest. He was a lieutenant general in the Confederate States Army. The protesters have already broken soil above the grave.
The group of Nashville protesters also wants the state on site to be removed. It is of a soldier on a horse. Forrest died in 1877 and has been buried in the Health Sciences Park of Memphis since 1904.
AC Wharton, Mayor of Memphis, wants the body and statue removed. This is in the wake of the church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina. Before moving forward with this he needs approval from several branches of government.
The group who is pushing this agenda is called the Commission on Religion and Racism. At this point they have only removed a small patch of grass from the park, but they have made threats to return with heavy machinery to take down the wartime symbol.
The leader of the group is Isaac Richmond. He told local station WREG:
‘If he’s gone, some of this racism and race-hate might be gone. We got a fresh shovel full, and we hope that everybody else will follow suit and dig him up.
‘We are going to bring the back hoe, the tractors and the men with the equipment to raise Bedford Forrest from the soil of Memphis.’
A spokesman Forrest’s family has spoken out against the act. The spokesman has said the act was vandalism and these people digging it up are not breaking the law.
Another man drove 270 miles to replace the grass after becoming irate at the sight of the digging.
The park where Forrest is buried was known as Forrest Park until 2013 when it was renamed as Health Sciences Park.
Mayor AC Wharton has been leading the charge when it comes to no longer honoring Forrest. Wharton claims Forrest belongs to a ‘despicable period’.