First Middle Tennessee State University And Now A Florida High School
Now is not a good time to invest in N.B. Forrest stock. A recent controversy erupted at Middle Tennessee State University involving a petition to change the name of a building named after Forrest and now students at a Florida high school are requesting that the Board change the name of Nathan B. Forrest High School. According to this article, "The students claim Forrest’s ties to the Ku Klux Klan, which Forrest later broke off, is the reason the Westside high school should be given a new name."
Here is what one "historian" by the name of Al Wadsin had to say: "He was a southern patriot and he deserves to have something named after him, like Lee or Jackson — they are all patriots. They are all good Americans, and I think they all got a bum rap on the slavery issue." Thanks Al for that shot of reconciliationist history and for the analytical rigor that went into your reference to a "bum rap." Perhaps my friend and fellow historian Aaron Sheehan-Dean who was also interviewed for this article can help us out here. "He was a slave trader before the Civil War. He was a very effective Calvary leader for the Confederacy during the Civil War. And then after the Civil War, he was involved in the early stages of the Ku Klux Klan" writes Sheehan-Dean. Why he left the Klan, according to Sheehan-Dean is irrelevant since "The whole purpose of the Klan was designed to protect the old order the Civil War had overturned."
I know there are some people out there who prefer to see Forrest as some kind of Christian Warrior, but in doing so haven’t we left the realm of history in favor of an extreme form of presentism?