A new petition is making the rounds to replace Confederate monuments with a Dolly Parton statue.
The issue first surfaced in December of 2019, when a petition asked Tennessee to replace Nathan Bedford Forrest, the founder of the KKK, with a Dolly Parton statue. The Forrest statue lies in Tennessee’s state capitol building.
Petitioners argue that Mrs. Parton has done more for the state of Tennessee than the racist founder of the KKK. The new petition to Tennessee Governor Bill Lee says much the same thing.
“Tennessee is littered with statues memorializing Confederate officers,” the petition begins. “History should not be forgotten, but we need not glamorize those who do not deserve our praise. Instead, let us honor a true Tennessee hero, Dolly Parton.”
The Dolly Parton statue petition has garnered over 6,000 signatures at the time of writing.
The petition is also open to other suggestions beyond Dolly Parton, with the main goal to replace the older memorials. “The tyranny memorialized in those statues can no longer be allowed to stand. Be it removed or replaced by someone worthy of praise, such as Dolly Parton, or other deserving groups and individuals,” the petitioner writes.
Dolly Parton herself has not commented on either petition effort to see her memorialized.
Tennessee’s politicians have made their stance abundantly clear, however. Lawmakers in Tennessee just voted 11-5 to keep a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest. Forrest was a Confederate army general and served as the Ku Klux Klan’s first “Grand Wizard.”
“It was not against the law to own slaves back then,” Tennessee Republican state representative Jerry Sexton says. “Who knows, maybe some of us will be slaves one of these days. Laws change.”
Taylor Swift weighed in on that vote, saying it makes her sick “that there are monuments standing in our state that celebrate racist historical figures who did evil things.” Taylor Swift added that the statues in the Tennessee Statehouse should honor heroes and not villains.