In December, Tennessee state senator Jeremy Faison made a proposal to replace a statue of former Ku Klux Klan (KKK) leader Nathan Bedford Forrest. He proposed that the state replaces the bust with one of Dolly Parton. Now, during protests, a petition is going around in hopes of making this proposal a reality. The statue is currently on display at the state’s capitol building.
Dolly is a beloved Tennessee resident and musician. Dolly owns a Tennessee theme park called Dollywood and is actively involved in many charities. In addition, she started the Imagination Library, which provides free books and scholarships. Recently, she donated to help find a cure for COVID-19.
Tennessee hopes to remove statue of KKK leader and replace with Dolly Parton
The petition states, “History should not be forgotten, but we need not glamorize those who do not deserve our praise. Instead, let us honor a true Tennessee hero, Dolly Parton. Aside from her beautiful music, which has touched the hearts and lives of millions of Americans, Dolly Parton’s philanthropic heart has unquestionably changed the world for the better.
The petition continues, “From the Dollywood foundation that has provided books and scholarships to millions of American children, to the millions of dollars she has donated to dozens of organizations such as the Red Cross and COVID-19 research centers, Dolly Parton has given more to this country and this state than those confederate officers could ever have hoped to take away. Let’s replace the statues of men who sought to tear this country apart with a monument to the woman who has worked her entire life to bring us closer together.”
Learn more about the original proposal to replace the statue
In State Senator Faison’s proposal, he said, “If we want to preserve history, then let’s tell it the right way. Right now there are eight alcoves [in the Capitol]. Seven are filled with white men. 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 Anne Dallas Dudley getting in that alcove? What’s wrong with someone like Dolly Parton being put in that alcove?”
So far, Tennessee state lawmakers have voted against the removal of the KKK leader statue. Perhaps things will change with this petition, which has over 5,000 signatures at the time of posting. In conclusion, what’s your take on this hot issue?