Petition For Statue Of Dolly Parton To Replace That Of KKK Leader Has Collected Over 16,000 Signatures
Celebrities, public figures and fans alike have signed a petition to replace a Tennessee statue of a KKK leader with one of Dolly Parton, a native of the state and a beloved pop culture figure.
The online petition has collected over 16,000 signatures and calls for the state’s officials to honor “a true Tennessee hero, Dolly Parton.” The page continues saying, “Tennessee is littered with statues memorializing Confederate officers. History should not be forgotten, but we need not glamorize those who do not deserve our praise.”
The statue in question resides in the Tennessee Statehouse and represents Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general, slave trader and KKK leader.
In December, petition author Jeremy Faison told the Tennesseean, “If we want to preserve history, then let’s tell it the right way. How about getting a lady in there? My daughter is 16, and I would love for her to come into the Capitol and see a lady up there… What’s wrong with someone like Dolly Parton being put in that alcove?”
Celebrity residents of Tennessee, Taylor Swift and Reese Witherspoon, have both publicly called for the removal of the statue. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and actor Henry Winkler are among the public figures supporting the movement for a statue of Parton to replace that of Forrest.
As a Tennessean, it makes me sick that there are monuments standing in our state that celebrate racist historical figures who did evil things. Edward Carmack and Nathan Bedford Forrest were DESPICABLE figures in our state history and should be treated as such.
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) June 12, 2020
Is this even a conversation? @GovBillLee ? A statue that honors a KKK founder ? We need to get rid of this disgusting symbol of racism. And every other marker of White supremacy in the state. The Great state of TN deserves better https://t.co/TSkthai2sW
— Reese Witherspoon (@ReeseW) June 11, 2020
Now this seems worthwhile: replace statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest—former delegate to 1860 Democrat National Convention, vicious slave trader & the founder of the KKK—with the great Dolly Parton. A win-win! https://t.co/PKGiBVXS8Z
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) June 15, 2020
Now that is RIght .. Dolly is a treasure https://t.co/v4AiH6wWQW
— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) June 15, 2020
Parton has yet to publicly comment on the statue idea.