Malika Fortier, a community organizer with Grassroots Democracy, is gathering signatures for a petition at Change.org, asking the Selma City Council in Alabama to stop plans to expand a monument that celebrates Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, who massacred black men, women and children at Fort Pillow in 1864 and became the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Fortier writes:
People know Selma, Alabama as a city where Dr. King fought for civil rights. Selma was the launching point for pivotal protests that hurtled the voting rights movement into the national spotlight. It is also a city of tragedy: thousands of students, religious leaders, and families fighting for civil rights in Selma were arrested, injured, or brutally killed.
I grew up in Selma. Now, as a community organizer, I think often about the sacrifices of the people who lived here before me. I was outraged and ashamed to learn that Selma's city council is sitting idly by as a local neo-Confederate group expands a public monument to a founder of the Ku Klux Klan, Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Monuments celebrating violent racism and intolerance have no place in this country, let alone in a city like Selma, where the families of those attacked by the Klan still live.
Nathan Bedford Forrest was a Confederate military leader, a founding member of the KKK, and the first Grand Wizard of the KKK. He wasn't even from Selma — why should Selma be honoring his shameful legacy of racial segregation and terrorism?
Read more at Change.org.