Ted Cruz calls out the State of Tennessee for honoring KKK Grand Wizard

A report came out yesterday that revealed Tennessee will be honoring Nathan Bedford Forrest, among others, on specific days of the year. Here’s the portion of the Tennessee code that requires this now:

Each year it is the duty of the governor of this state to proclaim the following as days of special observance: January 19, “Robert E. Lee Day”; February 12, “Abraham Lincoln Day”; March 15, “Andrew Jackson Day”; June 3, “Memorial Day” or “Confederate Decoration Day”; July 13, “Nathan Bedford Forrest Day”; and November 11, “Veterans’ Day.” The governor shall invite the people of this state to observe the days in schools, churches, and other suitable places with appropriate ceremonies expressive of the public sentiment befitting the anniversary of such dates.”

But Ted Cruz says it is WRONG to honor Nathan Bedford Forrest and they should change the law:



Obviously today is July 13 and Cruz sent this out yesterday evening, so it probably stands.

But I think Cruz got the right perspective on this. There’s no reason we should be honoring slave traders and KKK grand wizards just because they were also confederate generals and you want to protect confederate heritage.

It’s already bad enough that people throw around insults and accusations of racism without thinking. This won’t help matters in the slightest.

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83 thoughts on “Ted Cruz calls out the State of Tennessee for honoring KKK Grand Wizard

  1. The Governor who wants to honor Forrest is a REPUBLICAN. Cruz went way around the bend to find a way to attack Democrats. He simply needed to name today’s governor and Republican affiliation.

  2. Why is Ted Cruz making a big deal about this? The past is past. Buying into liberal-progressive socialism does no one any good. I thought more of this man…Disappointed. As a child I thought as a child, as a man we grow the f–k up!

  3. I think Ted Cruz missed a great opportunity to return some sanity from those that would revise history to suit their Leftist agendas. He could start be recounting Forrest’s achievements which then led to the fledgling KKK to nominate and elect Forrest as their leader so they’d have a famous name at the helm. Forrest wasn’t there, didn’t campaign for the position, and never took part in the organization. What he did do, less than two years later, was to publicly denounce the KKK and urge all members to leave the organization.

    Cruz could have contrasted the actions of Forrest with Robert Byrd. Forrest, though an elected official of the KKK, didn’t participate and renounced it though not politically expedient to do so. Byrd, on the other hand not only participated in the KKK, he worked diligently to create a new chapter recruiting at least 150 friends and neighbors to do so.

  4. Forrest was responsible for the Fort Pillow Massacre, where around 200 Union soldiers, many of them freed slaves, were slaughtered after they surrendered. I don’t think that he should be honored in any way, but it’s a state’s rights issue. By the same token, Cruz has every right to condemn it.

      1. Thanks. I thought that he had left the Klan, but my short bit of research yesterday didn’t turn it up. I have read about his activities in the Civil War and knew nothing of blacks serving in his units. By most accounts he was a brilliant leader, but a real POS of a person.

  5. Slightly O/T. Here’s an interview/footage with a man who attended the last Civil War reunion as a young boy. His father filmed video of it. The fact that any veterans survived until 1938 is astounding.
    https://youtu.be/JTcR5TnMnlk

    1. That’s pretty awesome. I love watching those videos. It shows the respect each side had for the other years after that carnage.

      A question though: Wouldn’t that be a good way to show how this issue of honoring both sides is kind of silly when we can watch video like this and seeing veterans of the Blue & the Gray, both white and black veterans showing each other respect & kindness in the 30s? I mean, if they’re good with each other, who are we 80 years later to judge?

      Just a thought of mine…I could be wrong.

  6. Would prefer to hear Senator Cruz call out Al Sharpton, black celebrities, and black Democrat politicians for supporting America’s black genocide. They’re trading the lives of black children for money and power from the murderous abortion industry and the Democrat Party.

  7. Cruz is wrong, for multiple reasons.

    First, it’s really not his business if Tennessee sees reason to honor Nathan Bedford Forrest. We need to quit digging up old offenses from 150 years ago. Forrest was a slave-owner, but so was Washington, Jefferson, and many others during those times. He was a Confederate General, but pretty much everyone in the Southern states was in the Confederate army. We long ago agreed that Confederate veterans and Union veterans should all be recognized as veterans of the United States. It amazes me that some people are determined to undo that agreement that helped unify the nation after a bloody war.

    Second, he’s making broad assumptions about Forrest that are contrary to the truth. It’s true that Forrest at one time thought the KKK was a good organization. It’s also true that he was the one who basically called on everyone in the KKK to leave it.

    It’s not that hard to understand. We know the KKK as a brutally racist organization that persecuted black people, but we have years of history that make that judgement clear. When the KKK began, however, it claimed to exist for the purpose of protecting Confederate veterans, and the widows and orphans they left behind, against Reconstruction-era “carpetbaggers.” The purpose sounded noble. But the KKK soon enough showed they were much more interested in intimidating and persecuting black people, and it was for that very reason that Nathan Bedford Forrest publicly called on everyone in the KKK to leave it.

    So the very reason we regard the KKK as evil is the very reason that Forrest called on people to leave the KKK. It’s simply false to associate Forrest with the KKK’s reign of terror. On the contrary, Forrest appears to have been a voice calling for unity between the races after the War, believing the future would require it.

    In 1875, Forrest gave a speech to an organization that was considered one of the forerunners to the NAACP, the Jubillee of Pole Bearers. He said the following:

    “Ladies and Gentlemen, I accept the flowers as a memento of reconciliation between the white and colored races of the Southern states. I accept it more particularly as it comes from a colored lady,
    for if there is any one on God’s earth who loves the ladies I believe it is myself. I came here with the jeers of some white people, who think that I am doing wrong. I believe I can exert some influence, and do much to assist the people in strengthening fraternal relations, and shall do all in my power to elevate every man,to depress none.

    I want to elevate you to take positions in law offices, in stores, on farms, and wherever you are capable of going. I have not said anything about politics today. I don’t propose to say anything about politics. You have a right to elect whom you please; vote for the man you think best, and I think, when that is done, you and I are freemen. Do as you consider right and honest in electing men for office. I did not come here to make you a long speech, although invited to do so by you. I am not much of a speaker, and my business prevented me from preparing myself. I came to meet you as friends, and welcome you to the white people. I want you to come nearer to us. When I can serve you I will do so. We have but one flag, one country; let us stand together. We may differ in color, but not in sentiment. Many things have been said about me which are wrong, and which white and black persons here, who stood by me through the war, can contradict. Go to work, be industrious, live honestly and act truly, and when you are oppressed I’ll come to your relief. I thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for this opportunity you have afforded me to be with you, and to assure you that I am with you in heart and in hand.

    Forrest was quite a character. In his youth, he was a fierce brawler, and seems to have been a hard man. But he was ambitious, and went into business, and became quite wealthy. When the War Between the States started, he enlisted as a private, and rose to the rank of general during the War. He invented many of the tactics later used by various Special Operations forces in the military.

    He was accused of a massacre, but the investigation by the (Union) army did not find him at fault, and he maintained to his dying day that he had no knowledge of what was happening, and that he put a stop to it the moment he found out.

    He also apparently had a Christian conversion later in life.
    Of course, there are those continue to see him as a villain, including some who are convinced he was guilty of the massacre attributed to him. There are basically two reasons I think he was probably innocent. First, because the Union Army investigated and did not find him guilty. Secondly, it’s a matter of record that all the massacring occurred when he was absent, and that he was the one who stopped it when he arrived.

    I see no gain in Cruz making a big demand of an entire state government to undo an honor. It sounds like virtue signaling.

    1. Thanks for the history lesson. Looks like Cruz didn’t research as deeply as he should have.

    1. Well that smacks of hypocrisy doesn’t it @chowyunfatty:disqus ? Someone should remind him.

    2. I believe that the people have a first amendment right to fly any flag that they want, but the battle flag of a failed rebellion should not be on government property.

  8. Come on Senator Cruz, our Country is invaded by illegals, focus on them and let Tennessee worry about Tennessee.

    1. It’ll simply be another way for the Left to gain ground. They’ll point to this as further proof to paint the GOP as racist, even though Cruz aptly pointed out Forrest’s Democrat past.

      1. Might want to take a look at the article that @ChowYunFatty posted @AIR_FORCE_VET98. Senator Cruz should worry about the plank in his (Texas’) own eye.

        1. Just read the article. I take a little bit of an issue to the part where the author had an issue of changing the name to “Civil War Remberance Day”. I think that would be a fair trade off, as does the author, but then the author immediately qualifies it as “redundant” because of Memorial Day.

          Plus I think it’s a pretty awful stretch to suggest that Cruz would be in favor of honoring a racist group of people when you look at his record & heritage.

          I understand & sympathize with both sides, but I’m a huge opponent of erasing or changing or reinterpreting history through a modern & biased lens, no matter what that history is or which side is doing it.

        2. Just read the article. I take a little bit of an issue to the part where the author had an issue of changing the name to “Civil War Remberance Day”. I think that would be a fair trade off, as does the author, but then the author immediately qualifies it as “redundant” because of Memorial Day.

          Plus I think it’s a pretty awful stretch to suggest that Cruz would be in favor of honoring a racist group of people when you look at his record & heritage.

          I understand & sympathize with both sides, but I’m a huge opponent of erasing or changing or reinterpreting history through a modern & biased lens, no matter what that history is or which side is doing it.

      2. Might want to take a look at the article that @ChowYunFatty posted @AIR_FORCE_VET98. Senator Cruz should worry about the plank in his (Texas’) own eye.

    2. Nana, Ted is focusing on the illegals. That’s his #1 priority. It doesn’t mean that he can’t call out other things as well. Keep it up, Ted!

  9. For all those saying Cruz should shut up and leave Tennessee alone, please keep in mind that much of our politics is national these days. Democrats would love to use this honoring of Forrest as a way to malign Republicans, since the governor of Tennessee is Republican.

    By specifically naming Forrest’s ties to the Democrat party, Cruz is reminding people that the KKK started with the Democrats. I say reminding, but perhaps I should say “informing” since so many people are ignorant of history. Most young people do not know that the Republican party was founded to stop slavery, that the first black Congressmen and Senators were Republican, and that the KKK was formed by Democrats to stop black people from voting.

  10. Very odd, doesnt seem like Ted Cruz’s fight, especially since Texas has a Confederate Heroes Day. I enjoy the time off as a state employee but still .. time to rename that holiday.

    1. If it’s Confederate Heroes Day it should STAY Confederate Heroes Day. If you want to rename it, then choose another day to honor something else or don’t make it a state holiday.

      I am tired of a lot of the history of the civil war being rewritten by the “victors” especially considering how the North treated ex-slaves after the war and the fact that they allowed Maryland, Missouri, Delaware, and Kentucky to stay slave states during the war because they belonged to the Union.

      The vast amount of people in the South didn’t own slaves. They fought for state’s rights to make their own laws and the federal government to be limited as it was in the founding. Slavery was the political tool used to garner support for the North.

    2. If it’s Confederate Heroes Day it should STAY Confederate Heroes Day. If you want to rename it, then choose another day to honor something else or don’t make it a state holiday.

      I am tired of a lot of the history of the civil war being rewritten by the “victors” especially considering how the North treated ex-slaves after the war and the fact that they allowed Maryland, Missouri, Delaware, and Kentucky to stay slave states during the war because they belonged to the Union.

      The vast amount of people in the South didn’t own slaves. They fought for state’s rights to make their own laws and the federal government to be limited as it was in the founding. Slavery was the political tool used to garner support for the North.

      1. Many of the southern states declared in documents that the reason for leaving the US was to preserve the institution of slavery. I fell for the “States Rights” line for many years. But have come to believe that this was again an example of the masterful use of language by the democrats.

        From Wallbuilders.com:

        1. On December 20, 1860, South Carolina became the first state to decide in the affirmative, and its secession document repeatedly declared that it was leaving the Union to preserve slavery

        2. On January 9, 1861, Mississippi became the second state to secede, announcing:
        Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery – the greatest material interest of the world. . . .

        And there is much more at:

        https://wallbuilders.com/confronting-civil-war-revisionism-south-went-war/

  11. Though I don’t agree with Tennessee, at the same time, once again this is a case of state’s rights. Cruz has a right to his own opinion, but we wouldn’t want Tennessee telling Texas what to do either.

    Stick to fixing our border problem, Ted.

  12. Though I don’t agree with Tennessee, at the same time, once again this is a case of state’s rights. Cruz has a right to his own opinion, but we wouldn’t want Tennessee telling Texas what to do either.

    Stick to fixing our border problem, Ted.

    1. Stupid statement….read what he said… your answer to the smart a— – comment is there!

        1. See the difference is that Ted Cruz has more smarts than you do and his brain is in his head not up his butt!

  13. Give the Left an inch, they’ll take every ounce and inch of freedom you have. Senator Cruz — MAKE NOTE.

  14. I could not care less we will still move to TN when we are able to better than this FL cesspool with Sens. Rubio and Scott.

  15. It’s Tennissee (corrected from voice-to-text). This isn’t something any rational person should be surprised by. Hell, some people probably want to move to that state, seeing as to how they still honor one of the founding fathers of the Ku Klux Klan, and the racist, domestic terrorist movement in the United States.

    1. It’s TN not KY and don’t assume you know why someone would want to move there every state has it’s share of hate.

      1. I’m using voice to text, but please. Instead of the subject, continue the strawman argument of attacking every other state.

        1. Oh now I remember you @Isaac Bishop Junior you do love to throw around that ” strawman argument ” phrase. Don’t see how voice to text could mix up TN and KY but you have a great day

  16. While I don’t disagree with Cruz, it’s Tennessee’s right to do this. Since Cruz is not a Senator from TN, I think he needs to leave that state to its own. If the people of TN want it ended then okay.

    1. I agree there are plenty more important things he should be occupying his time with.

      1. If Ted decides to run again,one of the states he will be looking for support from will be Tennessee.Two mistakes Ted.Co-Signing a bill with AOC and this.I don’t know Ruthie,politics is making me so tired.

        1. @bigsir74:disqus we will continue to have to disagree about his future I think his time has come and gone he won’t be president. I think more hate him since he ran & dropped out.

      2. For sure. There is plenty else for a U.S. Senator from Texas to be doing instead of harping on a day of observance in a state that has nothing to do with him. I’m surprised a man with such great knowledge of the Constitution and the founding would stick his nose in this.

  17. So just invert it.

    We’ll keep the holiday, but turn it into We Hate the KKK They Can F-Off And Die In a Fire Day.

    1. I’m still stuck up there on HOLYCRAPHOLY and you are already down here Fing around in a fire.Just having some fun AT.

  18. I never understood the desire to honor Confederate Democrat generals let alone known clansmen. It’s not like we have shortage of people to honor.

  19. HOLYCRAPHOLYCRAPHOLYCRAP I JUST FIGURED IT OUT.

    Ralph Northam was just celebrating Nathan Bedford Forrest Day.

  20. I am curious just how many of you know anything about Nathan Bedford Forrest other then what the media tells you? I am not jusifying slavery, the KKK or being a civil war general but rarely are people all evil or for that matter all good. The fact that Forrest was a slave trader is a non starter since at that time it was a legal occupation. Do you think gun sellers should be removed from society just because they sell a legal product? I am so tired of all the virtue signalling by “conservatives” including Ted Cruz. We mock the left when they do it yet we seem quick to jump on the bandwagon when it suits us. The reality is history is complex and not simple black and white. The law that requires the Gov. to proclaim Nathan Bedford Forrest Day also requires Abraham Lincoln Day be proclaimed by the same Gov. If you just blanket do away with the law none of those days will be proclaimed. I like Ted Cruz but even the history of the KKK is complicated. You can partially blame its creation on the North and the carpetbaggers during the post civil war Reconstruction period.

  21. There is a TON of false information out there about General Nathan Bedford Forrest.

    Cruz is so wrong……

    1. Forrest was a slave trader…Forrest was a plantation owner…Forrest ordered the massacre of black soldiers at Ft. Pillow because they were black…Forrest was a member & the first Grand Wizard of the KKK & its efforts suppress & terrorize newly enfranchised former slaves…that’s all in the historical record.

      Could you please elaborate on the false information you referred to? Because everything Cruz said is historically true..

      1. Forrest did not order the massacre of black soldiers at Fort Pillow. There was an investigation, and he was not found guilty. There is to this day no evidence that he was ever part of the KKK. He does seem to have been favorable to the idea of it at first, when it claimed to be protecting Confederate veterans and the widows of Confederate veterans, but it’s a matter of record that he called for people to leave the KKK exactly because it was instead attacking and persecuting former slaves. In short, he called for people to leave the KKK for the same reason that we regard the KKK today as an evil organization.

        There really seems to be no convincing evidence of hostility by Forrest against blacks.

        That said, there are people to this day who blame him for the Fort Pillow massacre, But it is not “in the historical record” that he was guilty.

  22. America shouldn’t honor any KKK members past or present, but TN can do as they please. So Sen Cruz is right we shouldn’t, any yet each state can do what they want as far as honoring people.

  23. Ted is this the time to really be picking a fight with Tennessee,over states rights and who they want to honor

  24. Ted is this the time to really be picking a fight with Tennessee,over states rights and who they want to honor

  25. As much as I respect Senator Ted Cruz and agree with him on not having a holiday honoring a grand wizard of the KKK, this is a matter for Tennessee not Texas.

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