Letters to the Editor

Forrest Park, the NRA, the GOP, and Tim Sampson

| February 28, 2013

Forrest Park
Chris Herrington recently wrote one of the best pieces I have ever read — "Liberating Forrest Park" (Viewpoint, February 14th issue). It goes well beyond the sometimes comical conversation we are having regarding the Forrest and Confederate parks and articulates some of the complexity of our region better than anything I have seen in a long time.

I'm currently reading Battle Cry of Freedom (one of the great books on the Civil War), and as a native Memphian, I am very glad Lincoln succeeded in restoring the Union (aka Jefferson Davis' team lost). And, although I respect Forrest as the military genius he was, I agree with many of my Memphis brethren that he isn't someone we need to name a park after either.

Renaming the parks isn't an attempt to eliminate Forrest, Jefferson Davis, and the Confederacy from the history books. But acknowledging that those park names weren't ever the best idea for a progressive city is a good thing.  

Andy Cates

Michael Jones is exactly correct in his letter (February 21st issue) pointing out that the NRA is nothing more than a lobbying bunch for Smith & Wesson et al. What continues to amaze me is that by repeating all that NRA Second Amendment defense nonsense, the rank-and-file members of the organization and other hunters and target-shooting hobbyists are allowing themselves to be played as complete dupes by the NRA. 

You would think that any thinking adult would know they are just being used to enhance the bottom line for the merchants of death arms industry. 

Harry Freeman

Hope for America?
There is hope for our country yet. A recent survey shows that at this time only 22 percent of Americans consider themselves Republicans. Granted, that's 22 percent too many, but it shows that the "Party of No" is fading away. The GOP is rapidly becoming the GONE.

It couldn't happen to a nicer group of folks. During the presidential primaries, I listened to these people chanting "Let them die!" with regard to our uninsured and "Let them starve!" with regard to our poor. I listened to their demented candidates telling us that it was "God's will" if a woman got raped and that "the body has a way of shutting that down" regarding pregnancy resulting from rape.

Thank God, sanity is prevailing in our country. Our sick will not be tossed into the streets to die, and our elderly and poor will not be cast aside to starve to death.

Americans are not nearly as cruel or heartless as the party of the rich wishes us to be. Trying to destroy our poor and elderly doesn't play as well as some thought it would.

Jim Brasfield

Tim Sampson
Could you find a worse way to end your paper? Tim Sampson is a moron. I find him more annoying than Michael Moore. What's the problem with the parks' names? Nobody cared for 100 years. Why now?

Better to have kept those names with the parks, because history is being omitted in our city school system. Seems that history starts with April 4, 1968, and what is mentioned about slavery is the white man's fault. Funny how Africans sold their own into slavery is omitted. Is there a reason these teachers want to impress upon our children guilt?

As for Steve Cohen, let's name a park after him. "Wedlock Park" has a nice ring to it. Our fine city council at its best, finding something to stir the race issue. That's the real black eye, but then that is why this city will never be great. How about Loeb Park or Chandler Park? Why name parks geared toward a particular culture? As for the KKK, they are ridiculous, but they do have a right to protest. Then again, this is Memphis, and we only see one side. I guess we feel guilty.

Scott Blankenship


Comments (3)

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Jim Brasfield,

:,,,22% of Americans are Republican…”

False. During August, 37.6% of Americans considered themselves
Republicans. That’s up from 34.9% in July and 35.4% in June. It’s
also the largest number of Republicans ever recorded by Rasmussen
Report since monthly tracking began in November 2002. The previous
peak for the GOP was 37.3% in September 2004.


“…during the presidential primaries, people chanted “let them die!”
with regard to our uninsured…”

Who said these things and did all Republicans and those opposed to
Obamacare shout these things out? You’re an idiot! Where do you get
your omniscient information from? Logically, you would have to have
been standing near every single person during the primaries at all
locations and all times throughout the entire nation to know this as a
universal truth. To know that “all” (and your article presupposes
‘all’ these opponents stated this). This is called an inductive
fallacy in logic. Read logic 101 my friend. Why not study the
millions that Churches, charities, and families provide for the poor
and destitute. It is not a perfect world and there will always be
poor people. No utopian mysticism will make it perfect. How much
money does Mr. Jim Brasfield contribute to the poor and charities…or
does he just sit back and criticize others for not doing what he ought
to be doing?

“…candidates said that it is god’s will that a woman gets raped…”

Which ones said this? If they did, there is a ring of Theological
truth to it. God has a sovereign will that is composed of what He
ultimately desires and what He will permit. So, to some extent, some
are right….God does allow freedom of action and ‘permits’ certain
actions. Rest assured, consequences and judgment will befall the
offender. The child born from the crime of rape can fulfill the dream
of millions waiting to adopt a child. Why should the child suffer for
the crime of the rapist by being killed or murdered in the abortion
factories? At conception, a zygote if formed that is a human with all
the DNA for growth potential.

“..thank God sanity is prevailing in our country…”

Yeah right! “The government has grown exponentially, taxes remain
excessive as a prolific increase of incomprehensible regulations
continues. Wars are constant and pursued without a congressional
declaration. Deficits rise to the sky, poverty is ramping and
dependency on the federal government is now worse than any time in our
history. All this with minimal concerns for the deficits and unfunded
liabilities, that common sense tells us: it cannot go on much longer.
The spending continues, as the economy weakens and the downward spiral
continues. As the government continues fiddling around, our liberties
and our wealth burn in the flames of a foreign policy, that makes us
less safe. The major stumbling block to real change in Washington is
the total resistance to admitting that the country is broke. We can
expect the continuous and dangerous march to a corporatism and even
fascism with even more loss of our liberties. Prosperity for our large
middle class though will become an abstract dream.” (Congressman Ron

Posted by CHG on 03/01/2013 at 9:13 PM

Jim Brasfield

You're right. Let's just have one party. There's no need for two. The Democrat party is enough. Let's go ahead and get rid of the legislative part of the government while we are at it. They are just a waste of air anyway. Lets just have the president and let him rule the country the way he wants for the betterment of all us sheeple. We'll all be democrats so there will be no arguments about anything. Shangri La at last. Jim, keep those good ideas coming.

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Posted by clarion on 03/02/2013 at 8:25 AM


I thought you might find the following article interesting:

Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest—A Different View

Union Gen. William T. Sherman said of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest,

"After all, I think Forrest as the most remarkable man our 'Civil War' produced on either side."

This came from a man who was once a foe of Forrest on the field of battle.

Why do some folks attack the heritage of the South that is part of the history of America ?

Several years ago attempts were made to change the name of Forrest Park in Memphis , Tennessee and the name of Nathan Bedford Forrest High school in Jacksonville , Florida .

Was Gen. Forrest an early advocate for Civil Rights?

Forrest's speech during a meeting of the "Jubilee of Pole Bearers" is a story that needs to be told. Gen. Forrest was the first white man to be invited by this group which was a forerunner of today's Civil Right's group. A reporter of the Memphis Avalanche newspaper was sent to cover the event that included a Southern barbeque supper.

Miss Lou Lewis, daughter of a Pole Bearer member, was introduced to Forrest and she presented the former general a bouquet of flowers as a token of reconciliation, peace and good will. On July 5, 1875, Nathan Bedford Forrest delivered this speech:

"Ladies and Gentlemen, I accept the flowers as a momento of reconciliation between the white and colored races of the Southern states. I accept it more particularly as it comes from a colored lady, for if there is any one on God's earth who loves the ladies I believe it is myself.

I came here with the jeers of some white people, who think that I am doing wrong. I believe I can exert some influence, and do much to assist the people in strengthening fraternal relations, and shall do all in my power to elevate every man, to depress none.

I want to elevate you to take positions in law offices, in stores, on farms, and wherever you are capable of going. I have not said anything about politics today. I don't propose to say anything about politics. You have a right to elect whom you please; vote for the man you think best, and I think, when that is done, you and I are freemen. Do as you consider right and honest in electing men for office. I did not come here to make you a long speech, although invited to do so by you. I am not much of a speaker, and my business prevented me from preparing myself. I came to meet you as friends, and welcome you to the white people. I want you to come nearer to us. When I can serve you I will do so. We have but one flag, one country; let us stand together. We may differ in color, but not in sentiment. Many things have been said about me which are wrong, and which white and black persons here, who stood by me through the war, can contradict. Go to work, be industrious, live honestly and act truly, and when you are oppressed I'll come to your relief. I thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for this opportunity you have afforded me to be with you, and to assure you that I am with you in heart and in hand."

Nathan Bedford Forrest again thanked Miss Lewis for the bouquet and then gave her a kiss on the cheek. Such a kiss was unheard of in the society of those days, in 1875, but it showed a token of respect and friendship between the general and the black community and did much to promote harmony among the citizens of Memphis.

Let’s not forget!!

A native of Georgia, Calvin Johnson lives near the historic town of Kennesaw, home of the locomotive "The General" from the War Between the States. He is Chairman of the Confederate History and Heritage Month for the Georgia Division Sons of Confederate Veterans and he's the author of the book When America Stood for God, Family and Country.

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Posted by CHG on 03/02/2013 at 4:20 PM
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