DESECRATION: John Lewis Way to be renamed for this guy if two Tennessee lawmakers get their way
A bill sponsored by two Republican lawmakers in Tennessee, State Rep. Paul Sherrell of Sparta and State Senator Frank Niceley of Strawberry Plains, would rename a portion of John Lewis Way — a major street in downtown Nashville — after a certain disgraced Republican president.
“Be more specific,” you may be saying.
No, not Reagan, not George W. Bush, and not Tricky Dicky – each terrible in their own rights, but none of whom tried to actually overthrow the government.
Yes, it’s Donald J. Trump, who has about as much to do with Tennessee as the three mentioned above – essentially nothing.
Other than once delivering a rally speech in Nashville, the former guy has no known roots there.
The section recommended for renaming would include the Cordell Hull State Office Building, where lawmaker offices are — meaning that legislators would have to list their addresses along with Trump’s name when reaching out to constituents by mail.
The Metro Council of Tennessee honored Lewis, a long-time Georgia representative who spent his college years in the state and died in 2020, with a dedication ceremony in July of 2021.
This bill would rededicate a quarter-mile of the road that runs from Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard and the James Robertson Parkway.
Instead of honoring a black man who fought for civil rights, it would pay homage to an orange man who tried to install himself as a dictator.
The effort has been met with predictable outrage.
“It’s all uncalled for – all because some of them don’t want a street named after a black man on their business address. Is this where we are?” Metro Councilwoman Zulfat Suara told Chris Davis of News Channel 5 in Tennessee,
The councilwoman noted the courage that Lewis showed with his marches and sit-ins, and promised to lead marches herself against the proposed bill.
BREAKING: Tennessee Republicans introduce a bill to rename a part of the street "Rep. John Lewis Way" to "President Donald Trump Boulevard" in an effort to replace a civil rights icon with one of the most racist presidents in American history. RT TO SHOW YOU OPPOSE THIS IDEA!
— Occupy Democrats (@OccupyDemocrats) February 3, 2023
Tennessee has a rough history with naming things.
There are still streets and monuments dedicated to Confederate leaders, including Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis.
The Tennessee Heritage Protection Act makes it extremely difficult for local governments to remove such names.
One bit of good news is that Niceley and Sherrell have proposed removing this barrier.
It’s unfortunate that their sycophancy to Donald Trump may be a poison pill, though, making it difficult for this more reasonable effort to pass.
Speaking of the Civil War, two other Republican lawmakers, Representative Bud Hulsey of Kingsport and Senator Janice Bowling of Tullahoma, literally introduced legislation to allow Tennessee to nullify federal court decisions and executive orders from the president.
So maybe Sherrell and Niceley don’t look so bad after all — at least in comparison to the legislators proposing that clearly unconstitutional idea.
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