The Past Ain't Even the Past

More

The SCV wants Mississippi to issue license plates honoring Forrest. I have a better idea:


5434997722_1f71d196e9_z.jpg
Nathan Forrest was not born to money. But like many other white men in the 1840s and 1850s, he built a fortune by throwing himself into the booming business of buying and selling people. Forrest went on to participate a war against the Union, massacre black troops at Fort Pillow, and then join the Ku Klux Klan. His defenders point to a last minute confession, which they suggest should wipe the slate clean.

I am not here to make up people's minds. But in this world of beautiful things, and incredible human life, its worth asking what would compel someone to elevate an ex-Klansman and proud proprietor of a "Negro Mart" into the heights of their personal Valhalla. This a state where people are struggling to get a statue for Fannie Lou Hamer.

H/T to Balloon Juice for the image.

UPDATE: Thread closed for cleaning. Be back up in a sec.

UPDATE: Back open.
Jump to comments
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in National

From This Author

Just In