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posted by Farmer GA

In reply to: Confederate past: Uproar over changing park names »

February 7, 2013

Why hide from history? Why hide from slavery? The war happened. Forrest was one of the most sucessful Generals in the war, from either side. Some need to learn the full history of some of these "evil" Confederates instead of trying to erase them from history.

For example, Forrest voted against leaving the union. Forrest, did NOT start the KKK, but, was asked to lead it after it was orginized. It was a political group to fight against the power structure of the Reconstruction era. He disbanded it after Reconstruction. The "new" KKK, the racist orginization, had nothing to do with Forrest.

In fact, Forrest was among the first White Southern person to call for Black civil rights. He was invited to speak at the precurser of the NAACP. Here is what he said:

"I came here with the jeers of some white people, who think that I am doing wrong. I believe I can exert some influence, and do much to assist the people in strengthening fraternal relations, and shall do all in my power to elevate every man - to depress none. (Applause.) I want to elevate you to take positions in law offices, in stores, on farms, and wherever you are capable of going." Forrest went on to say, "I came to meet you as friends, and welcome you to the white people. I want you to come nearer to us. When I can serve you I will do so. We have but one flag, one country; let us stand together. We may differ in color, but not in sentiment. Many things have been said about me which are wrong, and which white and black persons here, who stood by me through the war, can contradict. Go to work, be industrious, live honestly and act truly, and when you are oppressed I'll come to your relief."

Whereupon N. B. Forrest thanked Miss Lewis for the bouquet of flowers and then gave her a kiss on the cheek. Such a kiss was unheard of in the society of those days, in 1875, but it showed a token of respect and friendship between the general and the black community and did much to promote racial harmony among the citizens of Memphis.

It is time that we really TEACH history and stop with this sweeping under the rug of our past. We may find something of virture in some of these "evil" Confederates.

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