State hits Memphis for removing Confederate monuments

Months after the city of Memphis circumvented state law to take down two statues honoring the Confederacy, Tennessee’s Republican-led legislature is punishing the city by stripping funding for its planned bicentennial celebration.

The Tennessee House voted Tuesday to remove $250,000 that had been earmarked for festivities to commemorate the city’s founding in 1819. Legislators who supported the moved explicitly linked it to the removal of the Confederate monuments, which took place after dark, with no official announcement, on Dec. 20.

“What this amendment does is it removes $250,000 from the budget that is designated to go to the city of Memphis for their bicentennial celebration,” said state Rep. Steve McDaniel, a Republican who sponsored the bill, on the House floor. “If you recall, back in December, Memphis did something that removed historical markers in the city. It was the city of Memphis that did this, and it was full knowing it was not the will of the legislature.”

“Today is a demonstration that bad actions have bad consequences, and my only regret about this is it’s not in the tune of millions of dollars,” added GOP Rep. Andy Holt. He compared Memphis’s move to ISIS’s attempts to “erase history” and said cities shouldn’t be allowed to skirt state laws if they don’t like them.

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Controversy surrounding Confederate memorials
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Controversy surrounding Confederate memorials
A monument to former U.S. Vice President and Confederate General John Cabell Breckinridge stands outside the Old Courthouse in Lexington, Ky., U.S., August 15, 2017. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston
A monument to Confederate General John Hunt Morgan stands encased in a protective scaffolding because of local construction, outside the Historic Lexington Courthouse in Lexington, Ky., U.S., August 15, 2017. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston
A municipal worker attempts to remove paint from a monument dedicated to Confederate soldier John B. Castleman that was vandalized late Saturday night in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., August 14, 2017. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Municipal workers attempt to remove paint from a monument dedicated to Confederate soldier John B. Castleman that was vandalized late Saturday night in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., August 14, 2017. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Protesters gather below a monument dedicated to Confederate Major John B. Castleman while demanding that it be removed from the public square in Louisville, Ky., US, August 14, 2017. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston
A plaque dedicated to Confederate soldier John B. Castleman is seen after it was vandalized late Saturday night in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., August 14, 2017. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston
Municipal workers attempt to remove paint from a monument dedicated to Confederate soldier John B. Castleman that was vandalized late Saturday night in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., August 14, 2017. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston
White supremacists carry a shield and Confederate flag as they arrive at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
A member of a white supremacists militia stands near a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - AUGUST 13: Police stand watch near the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in the center of Emancipation Park the day after the Unite the Right rally devolved into violence August 13, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Charlottesville City Council voted to remove the statue and change the name of the space from Lee Park to Emancipation Park, sparking protests from white nationalists, neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and members of the 'alt-right.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - AUGUST 13: Police stand watch near the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in the center of Emancipation Park the day after the Unite the Right rally devolved into violence August 13, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Charlottesville City Council voted to remove the statue and change the name of the space from Lee Park to Emancipation Park, sparking protests from white nationalists, neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and members of the 'alt-right.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - AUGUST 12: White nationalists, neo-Nazis, the KKK and members of the 'alt-right' attempt to organize inside Emancipation Park during the Unite the Right rally August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. After clashes with anti-facist protesters and police the rally was declared an unlawful gathering and people were forced out of Lee Park, where a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is slated to be removed. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
ANNAPOLIS, MD - AUGUST 16: Two women take pictures in front of the statue of US Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney that sits in front of the Maryland State House, on August 16, 2017 in Annapolis, Maryland. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has called for the removal of the statue. Taney was the author of the Dred Scott decision. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
LEXINGTON, KY-AUGUST 14: A monument to John Hunt Morgan, a Confederate General during the Civil War, stands near the old Historic Lexington Courthouse August 14, 2017 in Lexington, Kentucky. The Mayor of Lexington, Jim Gray, announced he has vowed to remove the statue, along with a statue of John C. Breckinridge which also stands at the courthouse, following the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia. Gray tweeted, 'We cannot let them define our future.' (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
DEMOPOLIS, AL - JUNE 14: The marble statue of a Rebel soldier was unceremoniously toppled from the granite pedestal where he had presided since 1910, on Wednesday, June 14, 2017, in Demopolis, AL. About 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 16, 2016, an on-duty patrol car with the Demopolis, Ala., Police Department proceeded north on North Main Avenue to the intersection of West Capitol Street, where it crashed into the citys Confederate memorial. The impact of the Dodge Charger broke the statue off at the shins. Undamaged was the inscription on the base: Our Confederate Dead. (photo by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, UNITED STATES - APRIL 3. The Jefferson Davis statue stands across the street from First Grace United Methodist Church in New Orleans, on April 3, 2016. It is one of several confederate statues in the city. (Photo by Ben Depp for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - MAY 04: New Orleans police officers stand guard at the Jefferson Davis monument on May 4, 2017 in New Orleans, Loiusiana. The Louisiana House committee on Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs voted Wednesday to advance House Bill 71 that would forbid the removal of Confederate monuments in Louisiana as the City Council in New Orleans tries to move three statues of Confederate luminaries from public spaces and into museums. Protests that have at times turned violent have erupted at the site of the Jefferson Davis Monument after the Battle at Liberty Place monument was taken down in the middle of the night on April 24. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
A 1933 statue of Confederate leader Jefferson Davis is removed from University of Texas' South Mall Sunday after UT President Gregory Fenves cleared it to be placed in a campus museum along with a companion statue of President Woodrow Wilson. Recent racially-motivated shootings in the U.S. have called for reexamining some cultural icons of the Confederate South. (Photo by Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images)
Attorney Kirk Lyons disagrees as a 1933 statue of Confederate leader Jefferson Davis is removed from University of Texas' South Mall Sunday after UT President Gregory Fenves cleared it to be placed in a campus museum along with a companion statue of President Woodrow Wilson. Recent racially-motivated shootings in the U.S. have called for reexamining some cultural icons of the Confederate South. (Photo by Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images)
ROCKVILLE, MD -May 5, 2016: A life-size bronze statue of a Confederate soldier stands in a grove outside the courthouse on May 5, 2016 in Rockville, MD.(Photo by Eric Kruszewski/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
A 1933 statue of Confederate leader Jefferson Davis is removed from University of Texas' South Mall Sunday after UT President Gregory Fenves cleared it to be placed in a campus museum along with a companion statue of President Woodrow Wilson. Recent racially-motivated shootings in the U.S. have called for reexamining some cultural icons of the Confederate South. (Photo by Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images)
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The alleged “bad actions” by the Memphis mayor and city council used some creative legal maneuvers to get around a 2013 state law, the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act, which required local governments to get approval from the state historical commission to remove statues from public property. Unable to get permission to take down monuments to Confederate Gen. Nathaniel Bedford Forrest and Confederate President Jefferson Davis, the city sold the land on which the statues stood to a nonprofit, which then took the statues down.

While the Memphis nonprofit moved the statues to an undisclosed location with the intent of transferring them to a historical society or Confederate memorial site, Holt said he stuck by the reference to the Islamic State as he felt both groups were trying to “eliminate” history.

“My comparison to ISIS is not to say that these folks are terrorists or extremists or whatever else,” said Holt in an interview with Yahoo News, “it’s simply to say the removal of historical documents, the removal of historical markers is characteristic of what ISIS has done.”

“It’s racist, it’s vindictive, it’s mean-spirited, it’s embarrassing,” said Rep. Antonio Parkinson, a Democrat who represents Memphis, of the amendment. Parkinson was booed on the floor Tuesday for calling the amendment racist, an action he told Yahoo News he considers to be a “badge of honor.”

The vote wasn’t the first attempt by the state legislature to punish Memphis for its actions. Earlier this year a bill was proposed that would have made it a felony for local officials to vote to remove statues using the same legal maneuver. Last month the Republican supermajority recalled a resolution that had honored Tami Sawyer, the leading activist for the anti-Confederate statue movement. There have also been attempts to strengthen the Protection Act and to make it legal for the state to take possession of monuments “in jeopardy of loss, destruction or exploitation.”

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Confederate monuments that still remain across the country
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Confederate monuments that still remain across the country
A bronze statue, titled the Confederate SoldieR is viewed in downtown Alexandria, Virginia, on August 14, 2017. He stands in the middle of the street, his back to the nation's capital as he gazes southwards towards the bloody battlefields of the Civil War. Erected nearly 130 years ago, the bronze statue of an unarmed Confederate soldier sits at a busy intersection in Alexandria, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington,DC.The Alexandria statue, known as 'Appomattox,' is one of hundreds of similar monuments across the American South honoring the Confederate dead.Debate over what to do with these controversial symbols of the Confederacy has been simmering for years and is likely to intensify after boiling over into bloodshed at the weekend. / AFP PHOTO / Paul J. Richards / TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY CHRIS LEFKOW- 'Pressure builds to remove Confederate statues following clashes over plans to pull down a monument to rebel commander Robert E. Lee in a Virginia city' (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
A monument to former U.S. Vice President and Confederate General John Cabell Breckinridge stands outside the Old Courthouse in Lexington, Ky., U.S., August 15, 2017. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston
NEW ORLEANS, LA - MAY 04: A view of the Jefferson Davis monument on May 4, 2017 in New Orleans, Loiusiana. The Louisiana House committee on Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs voted Wednesday to advance House Bill 71 that would forbid the removal of Confederate monuments in Louisiana as the City Council in New Orleans tries to move three statues of Confederate luminaries from public spaces and into museums. Protests that have at times turned violent have erupted at the site of the Jefferson Davis Monument after the Battle at Liberty Place monument was taken down in the middle of the night on April 24. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
A general view of the Confederate monument in Forsyth Park, Savannah, Georgia - completed in 1879 the monument is dedicated to those who fought for the Confederacy during the American Civil War. (Photo by Epics/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, USA - MAY 7, 2017: A person in opposition to the removal of monuments to the Confederacy holds confederate flags against the Robert E. Lee statue in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Annie Flanagan for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
NASHVILLE - DECEMBER 31: Belle Kinney's Confederate Women's Monument in War Memorial Plaza on December 31, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)
Farmville, VA - January 12 : A confederate monument stands across the street from Ruffner Hall at Longwood University. University President, W. Taylor Reveley IV is fond of saying the civil war ended at one end of Longwood's campus, and the modern civil rights era begin at the other end of campus. (Photo by Norm Shafer/ For The Washington Post via Getty Images).
A memorial to Confederate soldiers stands on the banks of the Ohio River in Brandenburg, Kentucky, U.S. May 29, 2017. The memorial was recently removed from the campus of the University of Louisville. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston
A monument of Robert E. Lee, who was a general in the Confederate Army, is removed in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S., May 19, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman
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The main target in Memphis was the century-old Forrest statue overlooking one of the city’s main thoroughfares. Forrest was a swashbuckling Confederate cavalryman who became a Southern icon — the namesake of the fictional Forrest Gump — but a statue honoring him was deemed offensive by Memphis, whose population is mostly African-American. Before the Civil War Forrest was a slave trader, running the Negro Mart downtown. During it he was questioned for war crimes after troops under his command allegedly massacred black Union troops who were attempting to surrender at Fort Pillow. After the war, he was the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

“I never understood as a kid growing up these are public parks yet they display a monument of someone that was brutal to my ancestors,” said City Council Chairman Berlin Boyd. “He sold them, and he was not the type of image or man we should be portraying, especially in a city like Memphis that is predominantly African-American.”

The Forrest statue was dedicated in 1905 at the height of Jim Crow, while the monument to Davis that was also removed in December went up in 1964, as part of the backlash to the Civil Rights movement. (The parks where the statues stood were themselves segregated until a Supreme Court ruling in 1963.) Opposition to the statues gathered momentum after white supremacists held a violent rally in Charlottesville, Va., last September to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. The local Chamber of Commerce and over 150 religious leaders backed the movement. The city was determined to act before the ceremonies earlier this month commemorating the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis 50 years ago. The city council vote to sell the parks and bring the statues down was unanimous.

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Memphis 50 years after Martin Luther King's death
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Memphis 50 years after Martin Luther King's death
A statue of Rosa Parks sits at the front of a bus in the National Civil Rights Museum, on the site of the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed in 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S., March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst SEARCH "MLK ERNST" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
People visit the reconstructed hotel room where Martin Luther King stayed before he was shot and killed at the in 1968 at the Lorraine Motel, now the National Civil Rights Museum, in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S. March 25, 2018. Picture taken March 25, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst SEARCH "MLK ERNST" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A mural heralds the Soulsville neighbourhood, home to the legendary Stax recording studio, in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S., March 29, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst SEARCH "MLK ERNST" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A street sign marks Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S. March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst SEARCH "MLK ERNST" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Archie Hurt, who regards Martin Luther King Jr. as a prophet, stands in front of his house in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S., March 29, 2018. Hurt, has been painting parts of Biblical scripture interspersed with his thoughts on religion, politics and current events on the front of his house for ten years and twenty years before that when it was his brother's house. His hat reads "Cry to the Lord". REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst SEARCH "MLK ERNST" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
The U.S. flag decorates a building in downtown Memphis, Tennessee, U.S., March 27, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst SEARCH "MLK ERNST" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Activist Sweet Willie Wine looks through papers near his framed "Memphis Invaders" (a black power group) jacket in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S., March 29, 2018. After spending time in prison as a young man, the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. inspired Wine to dedicate his life to the Civil Rights movement. He was three blocks away from the Lorraine Motel when King was killed on April 4, 1968. "On Friday, April the 5th, his body was at Lewis' Funeral Home. Something said to me, "Get up and go down to Lewis's Funeral Home," said Wine. "I went in and over him I said, 'Dr. King, I'm gonna make them pay.' That's when I made my commitment. That was fifty years ago, and I've not turned around since." REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst SEARCH "MLK ERNST" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
The base of a statue to Nathan Bedford Forrest, a founder of the Ku Klux Klan, stands in a park in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S., March 27, 2018. In December 2017 activists forced a removal of the statue from his gravesite. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst SEARCH "MLK ERNST" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Tami Sawyer, a Black Lives Matter organiser, who is running for election to sit on city council, meets potential voters at a bar room event called Nerdnite where she talks about her experience removing a statue of KKK founder Nathan Bedford Forrest (pictured), in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S., March 29, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst SEARCH "MLK ERNST" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Knowledge Quest community program founder Marlon Foster (L) gives a tour to visitors from Tennessee agriculture agencies of Knowledge Quest's community microfarm on razed home lots in the Soulsville neighbourhood in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S., March 29, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst SEARCH "MLK ERNST" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A car drives by the house, slated to be moved to a new location, where singer Aretha Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S., March 29, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst SEARCH "MLK ERNST" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Sanitation workers collect refuse from a truck decorated with images honoring civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., who was shot and killed in Memphis in 1968 while championing their cause as workers, in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S. March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
A stained glass portrait of Bishop W.F. Ball, which hearkens back to the historic roots of Clayborn Temple, hangs in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S. March 25, 2018. The church is the building where the striking workers met 50 years ago at the time of Martin Luther King Jr. assassination. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst SEARCH "MLK ERNST" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Sanitation worker Walter Coleman works a route on a truck decorated to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S., March 28, 2018. King Jr. was shot and killed while rallying with striking sanitation workers in 1968. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst SEARCH "MLK ERNST" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
People visit the reconstructed hotel room where Martin Luther King Jr. stayed before he was shot and killed in 1968 at the Lorraine Motel, now the National Civil Rights Museum, in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S., March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst SEARCH "MLK ERNST" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Side dishes including (clockwise from top right) cabbage, sweet potatoes, collard greens, rice, beans and macaroni-and-cheese are ready to be served at Ms. Girlee's Soul Food Restaurant in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S., March 29, 2018. The restaurant is owned by Henry Leach and his family.�Leach, who participated in the strike 50 years ago, said Martin Luther King came to the city for justice, not violence. "He came to help us get what we wanted. Like I tell you, he became like a father to us,"�the former sanitation worker said recently. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst SEARCH "MLK ERNST" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Shahidah Jones (L) and Rev. Earle Fisher, Black Lives Matter organisers, light themselves using a phone, as they pose for a photo near the De Soto Bridge in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S., March 28, 2018. One thousand Black Lives Matter activists occupied and shut down the De Soto Bridge for four hours in a July 2016 protest. Rev. Earle Fisher: "I didn't have anything to do with (the protest) in terms of starting it but I was definitely there in solidarity with the people." Shahidah Jones: "The vibe of the protest had, then, started to change. It had started out with positive energy, but now you could feel this aggression growing." Helping to resolve the stalemate Fisher got the police to agree to a meeting on community policing and led the protesters off the bridge. Jones: "We get asked a lot as organisers, what does MLK 50 mean to you? It doesn't mean anything different for us than April 5th. Our job is still the same." REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst SEARCH "MLK ERNST" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A stairway leads to an empty lot where a house used to stand in the Soulsville, where some members of the neighborhood struggle with poverty issues 50 years after Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968 while taking up the cause of striking sanitation workers, in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S. March 29, 2018. Picture taken March 29, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst SEARCH "MLK ERNST" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Customers watch, as their orders are prepared, at Ms. Girlee's Soul Food Restaurant in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S., March 29, 2018. The restaurant is owned by Henry Leach and his family.�Leach, who participated in the strike 50 years ago, said King came to the city for justice, not violence. "He came to help us get what we wanted. Like I tell you, he became like a father to us," the former sanitation worker said recently. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst SEARCH "MLK ERNST" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
People visit the reconstructed hotel room where Martin Luther King Jr. was staying before he was shot and killed at the in 1968 at the Lorraine Motel, now the National Civil Rights Museum, in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S., March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst SEARCH "MLK ERNST" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A cotton-themed mural decorates a building in downtown Memphis, Tennessee, U.S., March 27, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst SEARCH "MLK ERNST" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Actor Larry Bates plays Martin Luther King Jr. as he rehearses a scene from the play "The Mountaintop", part of events marking the 50th anniversary of King's murder at the Halloran Centre, in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S., March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst SEARCH "MLK ERNST" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A marker on a street corner in the Soulsville neighbourhood marks the spot of the People's Grocery lynching of African-American proprietors Thomas Moss, Calvin McDowell and Will Stewart in 1892, which spurred Ida B. Wells in her crusade against lynching, in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S. March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst SEARCH "MLK ERNST" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
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The city has other options for funding its bicentennial celebration, including a direct appeal to Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, a Republican leaving office after this year. Rep. Raumesh Akbari, a Democrat who represents Memphis, told Yahoo News that she had also received multiple suggestions to start a GoFundMe page, an action that the Commercial Appeal reports has already been taken by another Memphian.

“While we would have appreciated the additional funding,” wrote Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland on Twitter, “the ongoing planning for the joint city-county bicentennial will continue unchanged.”

McDaniel did not respond to a request for interview, nor did Rep. Matthew Hill, who introduced the bill. Hill represents Jonesborough, Tenn., which is a seven-hour drive from Memphis.

“The Civil War ended in April of 1865,” said Rep. Bo Mitchell, a Democrat who represents Nashville and opposed the amendment. “Get over it.”

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