Fiery Protest Erupts in Selma Over Monument Tied to Ku Klux Klan


By Tamika Bickham

Members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference are protesting a monument they say incites hatred. It honors Nathan Bedford Forrest, a lieutenant general in the Confederate Army and the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

"Never, ever will I accept this type of behavior. I feel like marching right now!" said Dr. Charles Steele, the CEO of the SCLC.

Words of outrage and fiery protest filled Selma's Old Live Oak Cemetery Friday morning.

"It's the negative imagery that we will not tolerate. It's something that we are not going to compromise in any way because of where we come from. We are willing to die for this," said Steele.

Die defending their history and opposing a monument of Nathan Bedford Forrest, one the SCLC says symbolizes hate in the bedrock of the civil rights movement. Forrest was a lietuenant general in the Confederate Army and the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

"It's almost like they are reliving the Edmund Pettus Bridge episode all over again and thinking if they can do this, can they now suppress our vote?" asked Bishop Tavis Grant with the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.

There is a memorial that already stands honoring Nathan Bedford Forrest. That is not the controversy, but the newer larger monument that's being built is.

"We are not building a new memorial, we are building a platform to secure the existing monument. That's all this is," said Patricia Godwin.

Godwin is a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and is the push behind the project. She says this all started after a bronze bust of Forrest was stolen earlier this year. The group was granted a building permit by the Selma City Council, but Senator Hank Sanders says that is only to rebuild the existing memorial.

"Since they have no legal right to do it, they are not protected by any legal right when we stop them," said Senator Sanders.

"We own Confederate Circle. We have for 134 years, so if you have any legal questions, I'm not going to answer any legal questions," said Godwin.

Those who oppose the monument say you can expect a march and even for them to occupy the cemetery until this monument is removed.

Supporters say they can do that, but say they will continue to move ahead with their building plans.

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Robert said on Friday, Sep 14 at 4:32 PM

We won't be intimidated by these folks. The monument will go up. The left has their monuments and memorials to their leftist heroes. We will have ours.

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Penny said on Friday, Sep 14 at 5:16 PM

You guys are really sick.

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William said on Friday, Sep 14 at 5:28 PM

That's right. The left has monuments to people like Martin Luther King, while you have monuments to people like founding members of the Ku Klux Klan. Just let that sink in for a second, Robert.

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Jack Adkins said on Friday, Sep 14 at 6:11 PM

It appears to me the ONLY hatred that is being incited is that of the protestors who are proving to the world who the real racists are...

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Michael said on Friday, Sep 14 at 6:13 PM

This is more than just the recognition of a great, Southern General. This is about the recognition of all Western heroes (Southern or not) that are and have been systematically replaced by those more pleasing to the "politically correct". Holidays such as George Washington day are replaced with MLK day. Even Columbus day is met with protests by ILLEGALS. Works by the likes of Mark Twain and Jack London are replaced with guilt-ridden pieces such as "The Diary of Anne Frank". Shame is stressed on behalf of our history as Whites are the only ones taught of as having promoted slavery or securing a living space with force. We're told we can't have our own month with which to reflect on the achievements of our ancestors who shared our same blood. We can't have magazines, tv channels, a congressional caucus, college funds, lobbyists or equal opportunity in the job market. Affirmative action gives an advantage to everyone, regardless of qualification, other than the White man.

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Michael said on Friday, Sep 14 at 6:26 PM

Advantages are given to every group other than the posterity of our founding fathers and this is fair? This is justice? General Forrest played a major role in the struggle against a Federalized government (that has become tyrannical) and he, like any other valiant men that proved crucial in Western history, is being forgotten. Our heroes replaced with the new. Our culture replaced with a multitude of cultures. Our behavior and sense of morality is challenged with "new" ideas shunning any adherence to old codes of conduct. I won't forget where I came from or what the Western people are capable of just because of an effort to shroud our past in darkness. This effort however is the very attempt at justice and fairness. As a member of the only group denied social programs merely because of how I look, I can't help but to notice: Anti-racism is code for anti-White.

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Pat Hines said on Friday, Sep 14 at 8:22 PM

We see that comments are being deleted. That won't matter, the memorial will go up, it will remain up.

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Bob Hurst said on Friday, Sep 14 at 11:42 PM

That's right, William, the left has statues to types like Martin Luther King.I presume you're referring to the ML King who was a proven plagiarizer (records on file in Palo Alto), a known womanizer (read the book AND THE WALLS CAME TUMBLING DOWN), and a Communist sympathizer (why do you think his FBI files are sealed until 2027). You can also check the congressional record for verification of his communist activities and connections. But, of course, that's just the type of reprobate that you looney lefties think should have statues and memorials, right? BTW, the Forrest Memorial is on private property and anyone trying to disturb any of the construction should be arrested. Sadly, though, Selma has gone so far to hell that that likely won't happen. Just can't upset Hank and Rose, you know.

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Union African Man said on Saturday, Sep 15 at 9:55 AM

Put old Nathan in a museum where he belongs, not out where he looks like scum kind of hero. These people are whackos like the Westboro Church only they carry a confederate flag and call it "heritage". Isn't it interesting they say heritage not hate, and yet continue to spread their hatred and hold protests using their hate symbol? The war ended 150 years ago, leave the dead buried and stop trying to speak for them.

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Henry Butler said on Saturday, Sep 15 at 10:38 AM

Pity that Sanders and his ilk can't concentrate on the ignorance, addiction, moral decay, and poverty that are destroying the black community, rather than an absurd campaign to prevent white folks from remembering their heritage and history.

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Marvin said on Saturday, Sep 15 at 9:50 PM

The protesters will be relieved to learn that Forrest was NOT connected to the KKK in any way whatsoever. In 1871, there was an exhaustive investigation by a U.S. Congressional Committee into the rumors of Forrest and the klan. When it was completed, Forrest was cleared of all charges. Repeating -- Forrest was cleared of all charges. Forrest may have been "elected" the first leader of the klan, but he was not within 100 miles of the Maxwell Hotel where the election was held. And back then the "klan" was a social club for ex-soldiers, a sort of USO of that era. The only time Forrest associated with that klan was to order it disbanded in 1871. No form of any "klan" existed from 1871 to around 1915, then the infamous racist group was organized, and that organization stole the name of the "klan". Forrest had been dead many years by 1915. Anyone who says Forrest was a "leader" of the KKK is completely ignorant of the documented historical facts. The protesters must apologize.

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Mike said on Sunday, Sep 16 at 8:16 PM

The monument is on private property. That's all you need to know about this whole situation. Get over it.

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