People know Selma, Alabama as a city where Dr. King fought for civil rights. Selma was the launching point for pivotal protests that hurtled the voting rights movement into the national spotlight. It is also a city of tragedy: thousands of students, religious leaders, and families fighting for civil rights in Selma were arrested, injured, or brutally killed.
I grew up in Selma. Now, as a community organizer, I think often about the sacrifices of the people who lived here before me. I was outraged and ashamed to learn that Selma's city council is sitting idly by as a local neo-Confederate group expands a public monument to a founder of the Ku Klux Klan, Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Monuments celebrating violent racism and intolerance have no place in this country, let alone in a city like Selma, where the families of those attacked by the Klan still live.
Nathan Bedford Forrest was a Confederate military leader, a founding member of the KKK, and the first Grand Wizard of the KKK. He wasn't even from Selma -- why should Selma be honoring his shameful legacy of racial segregation and terrorism?
If Selma wants be viewed by the rest of the country as forward-thinking, we cannot give in to those who pine for the "good ole days" of the 1860s. This monument has blighted our town for far too long. Please join me in calling on the Selma city council to remove the monument celebrating Ku Klux Klan founder Nathan Bedford Forrest.
- Selma City Council
- President, Selma City Council
- Susan Keith
- Corey Bowie
- Samuel Randolph
- Mayor, City of Selma
- Angela Benjamin
I am writing to strongly urge you to stop the current plans to expand a monument celebrating Nathan Bedford Forrest.
People know Selma, Alabama as the city where Dr. King fought for civil rights. Selma was the launching point for historical protests that hurtled the civil rights movement into the national spotlight. It is also a city of tragedy: thousands of students, religious leaders, and families fighting for civil rights in Selma were arrested, injured, or brutally killed.
It was shocking to learn that Selma would ever choose to celebrate the legacy of a Ku Klux Klan founder and Grand Wizard by allowing a monument to Nathan Bedford Forrest to stand on city property. For the council to allow this monument to be expanded would simply be beyond the pale.
If Selma wants be viewed by the rest of the country as forward-thinking, we cannot give in to those who pine for the "good ole days" of the 1860s. The Selma city council has no business allowing the the city's history and the memory of those who fought for civil rights to be smeared in this way. I demand that you stop the expansion of the Nathan Bedford Forrest monument and remove it from public property.
Malika Fortier with GrassrootsDemocracy.net started this petition with a single signature, and now has 333,277 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.