An allegory of the American South: In 1998, a fierce racist (who also happened to be the former attorney of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassin) named Jack Kershaw created a monument for another bad man, Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest. The resulting statue is so hilariously stupid that we should keep it forever.
Only a century or so too late, Americans have begun to form a consensus that the Confederate Flag—the war banner of loser secessionists— is a hideous symbol of slavery. Not only should the flag be taken down from wherever it flies, so too should all “monuments” to the Confederate military be razed, because we don’t need public artistic celebrations of those who tried to destroy the Union in the name of human chattel. Southern “culture,” “pride,” and “heritage” are more often than not codewords for the bygone era of white supremacy. The South has a lot of things to be proud of: hot jazz, warm weather, beautiful native flora. Its population’s failed attempt to form The Confederate States of America is not one of them, and so does not deserve to be memorialized in our nation’s parks and pedestrian walkways.
With one exception. The Nathan Bedford Forrest monument, poignantly located next to a barren strip of land by I-65 in Nashville, is the dumbest looking statue I’ve ever seen in my life, including statues of cartoon characters located inside cartoon shows:
Look at his face! That’s supposed to be a human being. For reference, Forrest was not some sort of puppet gremlin, but a normal-looking man:
It is extremely unlikely that Forrest—who was also, as a hate-bonus, the first Grand Wizard of the KKK—ever screamed out the phrase “Snap into a Slim Jim!” and yet, somehow, it’s impossible to imagine the bar-toothed, wild-eyed man depicted in this alarming effigy uttering any other series of words.
Even the steed looks like it was crafted out of chocolate by the hand of a dumb child:
Between post-Charleston Confederate backlash (Kershaw’s statue is, after all, a 25-foot fiberglass monument to American racism) and the thing generally being an eyesore, residents want this thing outta here.
Tough shit. Tear down every statue of every other general, father, son, and daughter of the Confederacy, but leave up the insane goofy hell-rictus of Nathan Bedford Forrest, the most fitting monument to the ugly idiocy of southern history.
PGP fingerprint: E93A 40D1 FA38 4B2B 1477 C855 3DEA F030 F340 E2C7