Trump KKK sign found near Nashville's Forrest statue
The Tennessee Department of Transportation plans to remove a sign that reads "Trump 2016, Make AmeriKKKa Great Again" from state-owned property near a Nathan Bedford Forrest statue on Interstate 65 in Nashville on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016.
NASHVILLE — Tennessee officials and the owner of private property off Interstate 65 in Nashville, where a long-debated Nathan Bedford Forrest statue stands, say they intend to remove a sign from the premises that appeared overnight Monday that reads, “Trump 2016, Make AMERIKKKA Great Again.”
It is unclear who is behind the sign, which was placed on a fence on state right-of-way property near the statue that sits on private property. The sign is a take off of the Republican candidate's slogan, "Make America Great Again."
A spokeswoman for the Tennessee Department of Transportation said they planned to remove the sign Monday.
Bill Dorris, who owns the property where the Forrest statue is located said he is not responsible for the sign and that he intended to take it down Monday morning. He said he believes someone must have put the sign up overnight.
“I don’t stand for that,” he said. “I don’t have any idea who put it up, but we’re leaving right now to go get it down. I’ll have it down before you can say scat.”
Forrest, a lieutenant general for the Confederate army during the Civil War, was the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
The 80-year-old Dorris said that Forrest later disbanded the Ku Klux Klan.
“But they never give you credit for disbanding it,” Dorris said.
Dorris declined to say who he is supporting in the presidential race, but predicted Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton would tie in the electoral college, forcing the House of Representatives to decide the outcome.
The I-65 statue, designed by late sculptor and artist Jack Kershaw, has been a source of controversy in Nashville and occasional vandalism since it was built in 1998. The statue is surrounded by flags of the Confederate states.
The Forrest statute gained attention during last year’s mayoral race won by Megan Barry when Barry called on the state to plant shrubs and trees on the state-right-of-way to block the Forrest statute from sight on the interstate. Tennessee Department of Transportation opted against planting new trees.
In 1998, former state Sen. Douglas Henry, D-Nashville, had helped lead an effort to get the state to clear trees so that commuters on the interstate could view the statue.
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