Memphis: In the Footsteps of Lexington?

Seems that some Confederate heritage advocates have decided that Memphis should suffer the same fate as Lexington, Virginia, in the wake of a controversy about the naming of various city parks. Once again, it seems that the very people who once cried that all the Confederacy wanted was to be left alone can’t leave alone localities that do not share their perspective … which suggests that they have no right to complain when various organizations chose to boycott South Carolina in the wake of a continuing controversy about the display of the Confederate flag on the grounds of the state capital.

The whole controversy offers ripe grounds for a Flagger road trip.

As I read it, the Memphis City Council was holding a hearing about what to name (or rename) a certain park once named for Nathan Bedford Forrest when work came that the Tennessee state legislature might pass a bill forbidding the changing of the name of any park named after a military figure. In order to maintain their freedom of action, city officials quickly chose rather non-descript names to avoid having their hands tied by the state.

As you might imagine, lots of people want to chime in on this matter, as you can see here, here, and here. And for a perspective on the civil rights movement generated by this controversy, well, don’t say you didn’t expect this.

Boycotts are a time-honored response to such actions, and I don’t see why anyone should complain if folks choose to employ that response. It will be more interesting to see if anyone cares.  But I observe that in the city where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., lost his life, some people in calling for a boycott of a decision they don’t like are simply emulating what King and his followers decided to do in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955, after Rosa Parks was denied her choice of seats on a bus. What a way to observe Black History Month.


5 thoughts on “Memphis: In the Footsteps of Lexington?

  1. Patrick Young February 8, 2013 / 4:42 am

    The only difference between the Memphis boycotters and Dr. King is that they seek to honor a leading light in the white supremacist pantheon, while he wanted black people not to be arrested for sitting next to whites.

  2. R E Watson February 8, 2013 / 8:08 am

    A classic Connie quote:

    “I dunno, Corey. I don’t know any Southern heritage nuts.”

    Quite a statement coming from the head pecan !

  3. rcocean February 8, 2013 / 7:32 pm

    So after a 100 years they’re going to change the name of the part because, why? I’d protest because I dislike politicians wasting their time on silliness. Plus it will probably cost the city some money better spend elsewhere. BUT ITS THEIR PARK!!, Yeah right. Tell that to South Carolina. Second, the park is named after N.B. Forest because he’s one the greatest 19th century Generals in American History. I think Shelby Foote, (who admired NBF) called him, Grant and Lee the 3 military geniuses of the civil war.

    Maybe If we’re going to erase slaveholders from our public consciousness we’d better start with Washington DC – why not rename it “Spendthrift DC”.

  4. Chris Evans February 8, 2013 / 8:00 pm

    Tony Horwitz needs to come back with a ‘Confederates in the Attic 2’. The Civil War is truly a story with no end.


  5. Al Mackey February 8, 2013 / 9:07 pm

    I guess I should feel honored to get a by-name reference in the comments. LOL

    So the Civil Rights Movement was nothing more than a communist plot to divide America. Gee, thanks for letting us know, Connie. I think we have a location on a couple of southern heritage nuts. 🙂

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