Mississippi Sons of Confederate Veterans Propose License Plate to Honor Civil War General Who Was Once a Member of the Ku Klux Klan

Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger

The Mississippi Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans has come up with an idea for celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War—known to some as the “War between the States.” The veterans group has proposed that the state of Mississippi issue a series of specialty license plates commemorating the war. These specialty plates, planned for the years 2011 through 2015, would each have a different design.

What has some people upset is the specialty license plate slated for the year 2014, which would honor General Nathan Bedford Forrest.  Forrest, a native of Tennessee, is considered by some to have been a military genius. Others feel differently about Forrest who is “reviled” by some for allegedly having lead a massacre of Black Union troops at Fort Pillow in his home state in 1864. It should be noted that Forrest also served as the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

According to ABC News, the NAACP is planning to send a letter to Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour requesting “that he publicly denounce the license plate and use his office to prevent it from being issued.” Derrick Jackson, president of the Mississippi state NAACP, said of Forrest: “He should be viewed in the same light that we view Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. The state of Mississippi should deny any vanity tags which would highlight racial hatred in this state.”

Although many historians agree that Nathan Bedford Forrest distanced himself from the KKK later in his life, some believe “it was too little too late because the Klan had already turned violent before Forrest left.”




ABC News


Think Progress

631 thoughts on “Mississippi Sons of Confederate Veterans Propose License Plate to Honor Civil War General Who Was Once a Member of the Ku Klux Klan”

  1. The southern Democrats were Democrats because Lincoln was a Republican. When the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, LBJ is reported to have told an aide, “We have lost the South for a generation.” LBJ knew there would be a backlash from southern whites against Johnson’s Democratic Party. Many, or most, southern Democrats switched to the Republican party. After the late 1960s the GOP no longer was recognizable as the party of Eisenhower, but came to represent, among other things, the party of intolerance and thinly veiled racism.

    Sumner was a liberal and railed against slavery. He had been warned that some southerner was going to shoot him if he did not tone it down. After making an impassioned speech comparing the institution of slavery to an ugly mistress, Brooks was going to challenge Sumner to a duel, but was talked out of it. Instead, he beat Sumner with a heavy cane. The assault was so savage that Sumner’s Senate desk, which was bolted to the floor, was ripped loose. Brook’s friends, including Laurence Keitt who accompanied him to the Senate Chamber that day, blocked those who tried to attend to Sumner’s wounds. It took Sumner three years to recover from his injuries.

    So much for being southern gentlemen. The beating was about slavery and Sumner’s fiery opposition to it that caused the South Carolinian to beat a fellow Senator nearly to death on the Senate floor.

  2. Jeb the Reb
    1, May 22, 2011 at 11:08 am

    “Brooks survived an expulsion vote in the House but resigned his seat, claiming both that he “meant no disrespect to the Senate of the United States”…..

    Seems democrats/liberals never change. Cowardly then, cowardly now.

    My, my you take on history is probably only shorter than your manhood…..

    The Party’s have basically switched positions…..Lincoln was a Republican….They were Liberal/Free thinking….. The Democrats…well they were conservative/ and wanted to maintain the status quo….You probably have no concept….

    But then again….not everyone has 6 toes on one foot…..I have heard of cases where they only have two….but then again thats a Zimbabwe…night….


  3. Unlike the cowards who gun down surrendered soldiers.

    Uh huh.

  4. frank:

    “Brooks survived an expulsion vote in the House but resigned his seat, claiming both that he “meant no disrespect to the Senate of the United States” by attacking Sumner and that he did not intend to kill him, for he would have used a different weapon if he had. His constituents returned him to Congress. However, Brooks’ attack on Sumner was regarded in the North as the act of a cowardly barbarian. One of the bitterest critics of the attack was Sumner’s fellow New Englander, Congressman Anson Burlingame. When Burlingame denounced Brooks as a coward on the floor of the House, Brooks challenged him to a duel, and Burlingame accepted the challenge. Burlingame, as the challenged party, specified rifles as the weapons, and to get around American anti-dueling laws he named the Navy Yard on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls as the site. Brooks, reportedly dismayed by both Burlingame’s unexpectedly enthusiastic acceptance and his reputation as a crack shot, neglected to show up, instead citing unspecified risks to his safety if he was to cross “hostile country” (the Northern states) in order to reach Canada.[3] Brooks remained in office until his death from the croup in 1857. He was buried in Edgefield, South Carolina.”

    Seems democrats/liberals never change. Cowardly then, cowardly now.

  5. observer:

    No I am not. I have seen Herman Caine speak and I have followed Allen West with interest since he discharged his weapon near an enemy Iraqi’s head in an attempt to save the lives of his men. He lost his commission over that.

    Mr. Caine is the chairman of Godfathers Pizza, I believe he started it in the 80’s. Allen West appears to be a fine individual with a good deal of integrity and honor. As does Mr. Caine.

    But no I am not a paid shill for Andrew Breitbart. Just a person concerned with the way things are going in America under Obama and the way they went under Bush. I also don’t trust any of the other republican candidates to do the right thing. I believe Caine and West would.

    Why is it that you would think I am paid? I have been on Breitbart’s web site once. In fact I don’t particularly care much for him and am a little disappointed he is so enthusiastic about them. I will need to do some more research on both of them.

    Thanks for the heads up.

  6. My Dear, Dear Fellow Members of the South. Lend me your ear for a moment.

    Forrest, was a drunkard, but not as much as Simpson. If not for my relatives leadership, the South would not have won any major campaigns. Do not rely upon the lies. The ones that know everything generally know nothing. We do have rare exceptions where knowledge and wisdom interact, apparently we have a few here that know the real intent of our founders. I will not dispute what they claim to know. I will dispute what they claim to know.

    For the ones still feeling displaced, the war is over. Live in peace and harmony, for as Lincoln said and I do believe he parroted William Lloyd Garrisons’

    “I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or to speak, or write, with moderation. No! No! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; – but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest – I will not equivocate – I will not excuse – I will not retreat a single inch – AND I WILL BE HEARD. The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal, and to hasten the resurrection of the dead.”

    Although this was written in the Liberator,


    the words have many vices.

  7. Herman Caine. If anyone wants to contribute, I am starting a PAC for Mr. Caine – Rascists Raising for Caine.

    Caine/West 2012 we want the best.

  8. who said “when I am elected we can finally say free at last, free at last thank God almight, free at last.”?

  9. Frank:

    Brooks was a democrat, which makes all the difference. It wasn’t the southern in him it was the progressive in him. Seems violence and ill manners are in your [pl] blood.

    Learn ur hystorie dumb ass.

  10. Jebthemoron, Yes my upbringing (being educated and bothering to learn my nations history) is showing. As is your lack of same.

    Also, it appears as if you either didn’t read or didn’t understand why your little fairy tale was so easy to spot.

    You also are blessedly ignorant of another fine Southern man such as yourself, a congressman, who did indeed beat an old, infirm congressman, trapped in his desk on the floor of the House, with his cane. It was a sneak attack, of course, and he claimed he was defending his honor.


  11. I am done administering the beatings. 😉 You want to call or chat?

  12. Hi Buddha….
    In here or in general???
    HS reunion this weekend, I was out with a large group of old ( as in long time ) friends indulging in various acts in which I normally don’t partake. Could chat about it if you’re done laying a beating here 😉

  13. lol

    He can read and tell time?

    My opinion of him grows by the minute.

  14. Well, ol’ Hayley is not always wrong. I did agree with him one afternoon down at the Lemuria Bookstore when he looked at his watch and mentioned what time it was. He was right about that.

  15. OS,

    “The Nathan Bedford Forrest tag is not going to happen.”


    And here I thought I’d never like a word coming out of Barbour’s mouth!


  16. Has anyone seen this segment of a news conference by Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi?

  17. If it isn’t my favorite Canadian. 😉

    You’ve been keeping a low profile, stranger.

  18. Well then Mr. Waller,
    Here is an observation and a comment from just 1 member from another country in the rest of the world….Canada FYI….
    I have followed the writings of regular posters, as well as ‘visitors ‘ on this site for more than the past year. The commentary from the regulars is typically thought provoking, intelligent, evidence based,compassionate, empathetic, and very honest. I have enjoyed a debate or two on topics that I have find to be close to my heart, and have done so in a manner that has been mutually respectful. In short, it seems as though coming to the forum with your own thought provoking, intelligent, evidenced based compassionate, empathetic, and honest you will also enjoy a mututally respectful debate.

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