Saturday, March 30, 2013


Last month the city council of Memphis, Tennessee voted to rename three city parks that commemorated the Confederate side of the Civil War. Signs for the ‘Confederate Park’ and the ‘Jefferson Davis Park’ were ordered removed along with the ‘Nathan Bedford Forrest Park’ sign. Jefferson Davis, as everyone should know, was president of the Confederacy. Nathan Bedford Forrest was a Confederate general and the first grand wizard of the KKK.

According to The New York Times, the council decided to rename the three parks because the names evoked a racist past and were no longer welcome in a city where most of the population is black. What the council did by its action was to erase a part of American history.

Tennessee was a part of the Confederacy and renaming the parks does not change the fact that it was one of the states that relied on black slaves as a source of cheap labor. And while the KKK is best known for its virulent hatred of blacks and other minorities, General Forrest was a hero on the Southern side during the war between the states.

Instead of trying to erase history and past racism, the city council members of Memphis, and those of any other cities for that matter, should be trying to erase present-day racism – whites against blacks and Latinos, blacks against whites, Latinos and Jews, Latinos against whites and blacks, etc. – which I am sure is not hard to find within the city limits.

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