Target: Selma City Council of Alabama
Goal: Stop new monument dedicated to former KKK member from being resurrected in Alabama
A local neo-Confederate group in Alabama has recently made public its proposal to expand a monument to the founder of the Ku Klux Klan, Nathan Bedford Forrest. A large petition has been formed, but many are complaining that the monument has a right to be erected, defending Forrest on the grounds that he quit the group before the most violent of its practices began. Others claim that petitions against the monument directly violate their rights, as American citizens, to build memorials for deceased Americans despite negative effects on history.
Others support the monument and defend Forrest’s character, overlooking his association with the KKK and instead revering him for his unique and effective military tactics. These people, however correct their historical analyses, must consider what the monument would mean for citizens of color today. In this case, the negative effects of constructing this monument far outweigh the positive. Selma is a place where “thousands of students, religious leaders, and families fighting for civil rights in Selma were arrested, injured, or brutally killed” in the words of Malika Fortier, a grassroots organizer who has formed a rally against the construction. “Monuments celebrating violent racism and intolerance have no place in this country, let alone in a city like Selma, where the families of those attacked by the Klan still live.”
There are other ways to pay homage to historical figures – ways that are not so public or controversial. Because this figure in question has ties to one of the most abominable groups to ever commit heinous crimes against humanity, the measure should be reconsidered. Contribute your name and tell Selma City Council that it does not matter what good deeds Nathan Bedford Forrest did in the past. It matters that he stood for the most infamous hate organization in the history of the United States. To erect this monument in his honor is disrespectful to everyone who lost family members at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan, and discourteous to any civilized person in modern day America. Say no to a monument that represents death, discrimination, and incredibly disturbing history.
Dear Selma City Council of Alabama,
Selma is a respected city that has witnessed numerous influential and historical events. The life of Nathan Bedford Forrest was a part of the town, and it undoubtedly played a role in shaping the environment of Selma, for better or for worse. Still, it would be inappropriate to expand a monument dedicated to this person as his name is tied to the most infamous hate group the United States has ever seen: the Ku Klux Klan. Regardless of whether this man has accomplished a great deal for our nation or revolutionized the military of his day, the fact that he was a former member and founder of a racist organization poses a problem.
To erect such a monument would cause daily pain for people of Selma who were directly affected by the hate-crimes of the KKK. To these people, the monument would only be a reminder of the racism and intolerance that occurred in this town many years ago. The negative aspects of the public tribute would outweigh the positive. Please be respectful to all citizens of America and stop the expansion of this monument at once.
[Your Name Here]
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