NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 22, 2015) – Councilmember at-large and candidate for mayor Megan Barry has issued the following statement regarding the requests by lawmakers to remove the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest from the State Capitol.
“Symbols matter, and I join Congressman Jim Cooper and House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh in asking that the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest be removed from the Tennessee State Capitol.
“We have witnessed the deadly effects of racism in Charleston and throughout our history. In Nashville along I-65, there is a large monument of Nathan Bedford Forrest on private land, which serves as nothing more than a symbol of division. It was created by notorious racist Jack Kershaw, who at the time was reported to have said, ‘somebody needs to say a good word for slavery.’ This is an offensive display of hatred that should not be a symbol for a progressive and welcoming city such as Nashville.
“While we cannot remove this monument from private land, I had a good conversation with Governor Haslam and I look forward to working with him and with TDOT to restore the trees and brush along the stretch of I-65. I am optimistic that we may be able to see action taken on this issue. I will happily work with the Governor to raise the private funds necessary to make this happen in a way that does not detract from other road projects.”
Councilmember At-Large Megan Barry is seeking election to the office of mayor in the August 2015 election. A Nashville resident for 23 years, Megan Barry was twice elected as at-large member of the Metro Council, receiving the most votes in the countywide election in 2011. An MBA graduate of Vanderbilt, she has two decades of senior-level corporate experience in telecommunications and healthcare. She is the mother of a college-age son and has been married to Bruce Barry for 21 years.