Sen. Ted Cruz is blasting a decision by Tennesee's governor that will declare a "day of special observance" for Nathan Bedford Forrest Day, a Confederate general and early leader of the Klu Klux Klan.
For his part, Gov. Bill Lee said he had little choice. He had to follow the law.
"I signed the bill because the law requires that I do that and I haven’t looked at changing that law," Lee told the Tennessean.
But Cruz, a Texas Republican, was having none of it. Posting on Twitter, he demanded that the state change the law.
"This is WRONG. Nathan Bedford Forrest was a Confederate general & a delegate to the 1868 Democratic Convention. He was also a slave trader & the 1st Grand Wizard of the KKK. Tennessee should not have an official day (tomorrow) honoring him," Cruz said.
But this was no news to Tennesee lawmakers, who have tried repeatedly to repeal the law.
"This a reminder of the painful and hurtful of the crimes that were committed against black people," Democratic Tennessee Rep. Vincent Dixie told WTVF. "Now you're signing a proclamation honoring the same people that fought to keep people that look like me, African Americans in slavery."
"I plan on working with legislators to correct this issue," Dixie said. "If the governor is sincere about really being the governor for all Tennesseans and not some Tennesseans then he would get behind me, and do the right thing."
For his part, Cruz made clear he did not back the destruction of monuments commemorating Confederate war heroes and others controversial historical figures. This was a special case, he insisted.
"American history is complicated," he wrote on Twitter. "As a general matter, we shouldn’t be tearing down historical statues or erasing our Founders, even though they were imperfect men. But we should also provide context where we can. And, we shouldn’t be issuing proclamations today honoring Klansmen."
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.