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New law Surfaces South's Racist Beginnings Of Felon Voter Disenfranchisement

New law Surfaces South’s Racist Beginnings Of Felon Voter Disenfranchisement

New law Surfaces South’s Racist Beginnings Of Felon Voter Disenfranchisement

New law Surfaces South’s Racist Beginnings Of Felon Voter Disenfranchisement2020-09-30PopularResistance.Orghttps://popularresistance-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/2020/09/untitled-35-scaled-e1601481733124.jpg200px200px

Above photo: Tennessee Highway Patrol confiscates a sign local activists set up on the Tennessee Capitol grounds. Alex Kent.

Tennessee – In June, large crowds of Black Lives Matter protesters occupied the plaza in front of Tennessee’s State Capitol, where inside, a 44-inch bust of the first Klu Klux Klan Grand Wizard, Nathan Bedford Forrest, has sat still in his bronze bearing for over 40 years.

A line of state troopers stood silently on the other side of the encampment, making arrests and dragging protesters away. Those who remained chained themselves to the property, chanting and playing Kendrick Lamar through loudspeakers, annoying representatives inside the capitol, and making it clear—they were not leaving until the immortalizing bust of the KKK’s first leader was removed or Governor Bill Lee would meet with them.

The group called themselves the “People’s Plaza” and hung a banner declaring the legislative square they occupied as the “Ida B. Wells Plaza” in honor of the Black investigative journalist who published a newspaper at the turn of the 20th century exposing lynchings as barbaric and calling for their end. Protesters had already torn down a statue in the plaza of Wells’ nemesis, Edward Carmack, a racist political figure who incited a white mob to burn down Wells’ newspaper office in 1892.

On tote bags adorned with Wells’ portrait and one of her quotes, protesters carried their mission: “The way to right wrongs is to shine the light of truth on them.” In fixing their light on Forrest’s statue, they hoped to steer Tennessee toward a more truthful examination of its history.



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