Mandated by law, Saturday, July 13 is "Nathan Forrest Bedford Day" Tennessee with an annual proclamation issued by the governor each year. On Friday evening, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas slammed Governor Bill Lee for signing the announcement once again.
This is WRONG. Nathan Bedford Forrest was a Confederate general & a delegate to the 1868 Democratic Convention. He was also a slave trader & the 1st Grand Wizard of the KKK. Tennessee should not have an official day (tomorrow) honoring him. Change the law. https://t.co/XBgoRCBoI0— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 12, 2019
But why did he have to sign the law? Fox News has the details:
Tennessee law stipulates that the governor must declare six days to be "days of special observance" and "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."
Those days include Robert E. Lee Day, honoring the commander of the Confederate Army, on Jan. 19; Abraham Lincoln Day on Feb. 12; Andrew Jackson Day on March 15; Confederate Decoration Day, celebrating the birthday of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, on June 3; and Veterans Day on Nov. 11.
Accordingly, Democratic state Tennessee lawmakers also criticized the law and the day honoring Bedford.
"This a reminder of the painful and hurtful of the crimes that were committed against black people," Democratic Tennessee Rep. Vincent Dixie told WTVF. "Now you're signing a proclamation honoring the same people that fought to keep people that look like me, African Americans in slavery."