Thousands sign petition to replace Tennessee Confederacy memorials with Dolly Parton statues
TODAY - Picture: Dolly Parton on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - (Photo by: Nathan Congleton / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
While a debate is ongoing in the United States over whether monuments to those associated with the Confederacy should still be there, a petition has been launched to replace such statues in Tennessee with a real icon of the state. Dolly Parton.
Petitioner Alex Parsons believes that Parton, "a true Tennessee hero", should instead be honored for her music and extensive charity work.
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"Tennessee is littered with statues reminiscent of Confederate officers. History should not be forgotten, but we do not need to glorify those who do not deserve our praise," the petition said.
Read more: Dolly Parton: I am probably a feminist
Parsons added: "Dolly Parton has given this country and state more than these Confederate officers could ever have taken away."
A bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest will be exhibited at the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville, Tennessee on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. Tennessee lawmakers continue to be torn between supporting a proposal to remove a controversial bust of the former Confederate General and early leader of the Ku Klux Klan. (AP Photo / Mark Humphrey)
By Tuesday noon, around 13,000 had signed the petition, which has a target of 15,000 signatures.
The global protests against racism have called for the removal of monuments to racist historical figures who were actively involved in the oppression of black people.
In Tennessee, removal of the statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest, a former Ku Klux Klan wizard and Confederate soldier, located in Nashville's Capitol has been requested.
Last year it was reported that Republican state representative Jeremy Faison suggested removing the bust and replacing it with one of the 9 to 5 singers.
A Dolly Parton statue on the lawn of the Sevier County Courthouse. (Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg / Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
"If you want to keep the story, we'll say it right," he said. "How about you bring a lady in there? My daughter is 16 and I would love it if she came to the Capitol and saw a lady up there ... What's wrong with someone like Dolly Parton being brought into this niche? "
Read more: Dolly Parton donates $ 1 million to coronavirus research
Taylor Swift is also one of the voices criticizing the statue's existence in her home state. Last week he wrote in a tweet: "As a Tennessee, it makes me sick that there are monuments in our state that celebrate racist historical figures who have done evil things.
"Edward Carmack and Nathan Bedford Forrest were contemptuous figures in our state history and should be treated as such."
Protesters overturned the statue of Edward Carmack in front of the State Capitol. Sunday, May 31, 2020, in Nashville, Tennessee (AP Photo / Kimberlee Kruesi)
A statue of Edward Carmack, a newspaper editor who wrote Pro Lynch editorial, was toppled in front of the State Capitol in late May.
Debates about statues have proven to be an international topic of conversation, and some demonstrators have taken direct action.
In Bristol, demonstrators demolished the statue of slave trader Edward Colston, while in Belgium, statues of Leopold III, who was responsible for the deaths of millions of Africans, were blurred.
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