The Republican governor of Tennessee, Bill Lee, has for the first time called for the removal of a bust of Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest from the state capitol. Lee said the statue now belongs in the state museum—not the building where laws are made. According to The Tennessean, the governor is expected to make his recommendation during a Thursday morning meeting of the State Capitol Commission, which is able to authorize the removal of the bust. “Forrest represents pain and suffering and brutal crimes committed against African Americans, and that pain is very real for our fellow Tennesseans,” said Lee. However, in his announcement, he managed to take a dig at protesters who have targeted statues over the past weeks, adding: “The Nathan Bedford Forrest bust has spurred a heated debate that began long before all of this national ruckus on monuments that we're seeing play out today.” Lee reportedly said his recommended process is very different from what he condemned as the “mob rule” seen elsewhere in the country.
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