Stupid-Looking Statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest Boils Down in Nashville
news that the incredibly stupid-looking Nathan Bedford Forrest statue in Nashville, Tennessee, was lastly taken down after two decades, I reflected to a minute in the John le Carré novel Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, when the Communist mole (name withheld) states that his decision to problem to the Soviets was “an aesthetic choice as much as a moral one.” I had this idea because removing this statue was an excellent aesthetic choice as much as it was a good moral one. In addition to portraying a white supremacist mass killer, the statue was objectively hideous.
The fiberglass abomination was sculpted in 1998 by Jack Kershaw, the previous lawyer for Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassin and the founder of the white nationalist company the League of the South, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has actually designated a hate group. Kershaw was relatively uninformed of how dumb the statue looked. When faced with complaints about his production, he informed the Times-Picayune that “somebody (required) to state an excellent word for slavery.”
Standing 25-feet-tall in plain view of the highway, the statue was a properly deranged monolith to American racism. It depicted Forrest, a Confederate general who directed the massacre of mainly Black Union soldiers throughout the Civil War after they had actually surrendered. Forrest later led the Ku Klux Klan while it waged a domestic fear campaign throughout Restoration. But the statue, which appeared to be screaming in discomfort or rage, bore just a passing resemblance to Forrest.
With its maniacal eyes, disproportionate head, and strongly contorted posture, it consistently acted as fodder for late-night hosts and an embarrassment to the city of Nashville, which passed a resolution to obscure it with greenery. In 2015, Gawker considered it “the most fitting monolith to the ugly idiocy of southern history” and argued that it needs to be kept permanently since it is “so hilariously silly.”
I have some sympathy for this viewpoint, however it’s also worth congratulating Tennessean drivers, who are no longer cursed with a highway view of among the ugliest statues in the United States. So, congrats, Tennessee! You’ve rid yourselves of a bad one.
Published at Tue, 07 Dec 2021 18:58:31 +0000