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. More

Born in 1975, the product of two beautiful parents. Raised in West Baltimore -- not quite The Wire, but sometimes ill all the same. Studied at the Mecca for some years in the mid-'90s. Emerged with a purpose, if not a degree. Slowly migrated up the East Coast with a baby and my beloved, until I reached the shores of Harlem. Wrote some stuff along the way.

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

Why Do Men Assume They're So Great?

Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, authors of this month's Atlantic cover story, sit down with Hanna Rosin to discuss the power of confidence and how self doubt holds women back. 


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

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in National

From This Author

Just In