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Mississippi honoring a Klu Klux Klan member on state issue license plates?

The Associated Press is reporting that the Mississippi Division of Sons of Confederate Veterans wants to sponsor a series of state-issued license plates to mark the anniversary of the Civil War (or "the War Between States," as the group calls it).

If approved, the first design of 15 designs would feature Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was an early leader of the Ku Klux Klan.

Forrest, the AP reports, is revered by some as a military genius and reviled by others for leading the 1864 massacre of black Union troops at Fort Pillow, Tenn. He was a Klan grand wizard in Tennessee after the war. Many say that he distanced himself from the Klan before the end of his life and is therefore not a controversial figure.

State NAACP President Derrick Johnson said that he's not bothered by Civil War commemorative license plates that already exist in abundance in Mississippi. But he said the state shouldn't honor Forrest, who was an early leader of what he calls "a terrorist group."

"He should be viewed in the same light that we view Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden," Johnson said of Forrest. "The state of Mississippi should deny any vanity tags which would highlight racial hatred in this state."

Democratic Rep. Willie Bailey, who handles license-plate requests in the House, said he has no problem with SCV seeking any design it wants. "If they want a tag commemorating veterans of the Confederacy, I don't have a problem with it," said Bailey, who is black. "They have that right. We'll look at it. As long as it's not offensive to anybody, then they have the same rights as anybody else has."

We do you ladies think?


Asked by Anonymous at 9:45 AM on Feb. 16, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

This question is closed.
Answers (38)
  • I wouldn't want a license plate with any KKK members on it and I'm white. While the whole idea of racism makes me sick, it doesn't change the fact that it is a part of our past and present. You would think that people would learn but obviously that's not the case. I do think that people have a right to their own opinions but it's just in bad taste to flaunt something that is hurtful and degrading to others.


    Answer by how_reb at 9:53 AM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • I think they want to honor him b/c of what he did for the Confederates during the war, not for being in the KKK

    Answer by josiesmommy00 at 9:52 AM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • I don't think it's a problem. I can't imagine many people will choose it but if other groups can offer designs they should be able to as well.


    Answer by UpSheRises at 9:49 AM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • I agree with josiesmommy. This isnt about honoring the KKK it is about honoring the man for his achievements. I dont have a problem with it. It isnt like I would run out and get a tag like this if it was available but I know alot of people who reenactments and get pretty involved in the history and might want to honor someone like this.

    Answer by gemgem at 9:54 AM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • My point with OJ is that once upon a time he had lots of achievements....perhaps not the best example but the first that popped into my head. Just because you have at some point achieved something does not necessarily make you worthy of being honored especially if you have at some point participated in something as heinous as the KKK

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:12 AM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • I don't like it, but it sounds like Mississippi is pretty lenient on what they allow on license plates anyway. Doesn't surprise me, since they're often the center of racial tension focus in the news, documentaries, etc. There's a statue of Forrest in the Nashville area (right by the interstate where everyone can see it), and it's just an offensive eye sore in my opinion. I think it's on private property (but I'm not sure), so I don't think people had much say in whether it went up or not. It's definitely tacky.

    Answer by pam19 at 10:02 AM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • That sounds YUCK to me-but you all made very good points about why it should be allowed- just because something is allowed does not mean a lot of people will buy it-

    Answer by soyousay at 10:54 AM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • I hope it is not approved. It will cause heart ache and could result in violencs.

    Answer by tootoobusy at 10:04 AM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • Of course some will take it in the worst way ..what kills me though is that some people have zero ability to control themselves that they would lash out physically on someone with such a plate.

    Answer by tnmomofive at 10:08 AM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • Senator Robert Byrd! is all I have to say Anonymous

    Answer by tnmomofive at 10:13 AM on Feb. 16, 2011

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