Shame On You, Memphis
Memphis city council members managed to change the names of three historic parks today. One of them is Forrest Park, named after the famous Civil War Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest. Although Nashville lawmakers tried to intervene, Memphis city council members thumbed their noses at them, went ahead, and changed the names by a resolution, not an ordinance. City council members feared state legislators might pass legislation stopping any efforts to rename Forrest Park to Forrest Wells Park in honor of anti-lynching crusader Ida B. Wells.
“Republicans in Nashville have no control over what we do,” council member Janis Fullilove snidely remarked.
According to Channel 5 news, Forrest Park was “named after a one time wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.” It is no wonder there is controversy involved when the media doesn’t get the facts right and publicizes false information. Shame on you, Memphis.
Now Forrest Park will be known as Health Sciences Park. Confederate Park downtown will hence be called Memphis Park, and Jefferson Davis Park, named after the president of the Confederacy, will be the Mississippi River Park.
“It’s a bad idea to rename historic parks,” said Sons of Confederate Veterans member Lee Millar. “Memphis has got a great history, and these parks are over 100 years old.”
Shameful. To change names that are historically relevant is to attempt to change the course of history. What’s next? Changing the names of everything named after Abraham Lincoln? Because he was not the “Great Emancipator,” like he has been portrayed to be. News flash, kids! It is truly sad to see political correctness take precedence over historic significance.
There is a chance that the parks can be renamed again, but according to city council members, the likelihood that the parks’ names will revert back to their originals isn’t very good because of the “controversy” surrounding them. Shame on you, Memphis. There is nothing controversial about it. You are banishing from public awareness the fact that many thousands of men and women died for a cause they believed in. It was a different time then, and people had different mindsets. To bury the past by pretending it didn’t exist is a horrendous exploitation of power. Shame on you, Memphis.
And speaking of being buried, the remains of the great General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife are buried beneath a statue of Forrest on his steed in the park. According to the city council, they don’t care if the statue remains in Forrest, I mean, Health Sciences Park. Yeah, right. At least, not for now. No resolution about that topic has been discussed yet. Shame on you, Memphis. Your disrespect is appalling.