Wednesday, August 22, 2012
In Selma, Alabama, a monument to the first leader of the Ku Klux Klan is under construction on public land.
PHOTO Malika Sanders Fortier speaking to youth in Selma
The statue of Confederate General Nathan Forrest -- infamous as the first Grand WIzard of the Klan and for massacring black Union soldiers at the Civil War battle of Fort Pillow -- even has the blessing of the Selma City Council.
Selma is home to some of the most important events of the Civil Rights Movement -- including "Bloody Sunday," when 600 activists fighting for African-American voting rights were attacked by state and local police.
Unless the city council stops it, a "bigger and better than ever" monument will be constructed to honor Nathan Bedford Forrest. A group called Friends of Forrest built the original monument, and now the group is planning to lay concrete for a new foundation, add a new bust of the KKK founder, enclose the monument in a wrought iron gate, and add night lighting.
Malika Sanders-Fortier is a community leader in Selma, and when she heard about the plan for the monument she was outraged. Malika is proud of her city's place in history, and she thinks that 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.
Posted by Morgan at 8:40 AM