Former Texan political rivals Ted Cruz and Beto O & # 39; Rourke found common ground on Friday when they both condemned the long-lasting law in Tennessee celebrating Nathan Bedford Forrest, an army general of general and grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. 19659002] Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a proclamation on Friday marking this Saturday as Nathan Bedford Forrest Day over the state. The proclamation marks six days of special agreement that the governor of Tennessee is required by law to sign annually. Other holidays protected by the Tennessee State Code are Confederate Decoration Day, Robert E. Lee Day, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Abraham Lincoln Day and Andrew Jackson Day.
Cruz expressed his contradiction that such a holiday to honor Forrest should continue to be observed. He tweeted: "This is wrong. Nathan Bedford Forrest was a confederate general and a delegate to the 1
A short time later, the Democratic presidential candidate and former Senate rival came to Cruz, Beto O & # 39; Rourke. Sharing Cruz's original tweet, Rourke simply said, "I agree. Change the law."
Forrest, who served as General of the Confederation during the Civil War, has long been a controversial historical figure. He has been credited for ordering the infamous massacre that followed the Battle of Fort Pillow, where the Confederate soldiers killed Union forces most black and had already surrendered. After the war, he became known for his leadership in the early days of the Ku Klux Klan and eventually became the organization's first grand wizard.
The governor does not have the unilateral power to reject the holiday, but many demanded that Lee condemn the holiday yesterday by not signing the proclamation. Many Tennesseans also have lobbied to have a bust of Forrest away from the state building.
In response to the backlash of Friday's proclamation, the governor's office said in a statement "To fulfill our legal obligation, Gov. Lee signed the same proclamation that was written in years past," said the representative. "To be clear, a new law has not been signed – it is a proclamation in accordance with existing law that the governor must follow."