Tennessee lawmakers unwittingly vote to honor Klan leader

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Members of the Tennessee House of Representatives thought they had defeated a resolution to honor Nathan Bedford Forrest. Days later the chamber unwittingly passed another resolution touting the achievements of the Confederate general and early leader of the Ku Klux Klan.

The first resolution seeking to jointly honor Forrest and the first African-American elected to the Legislature was put off until after the Legislature adjourns, killing it for the year.

But Republican Rep. Mike Sparks filed another resolution to honor Shane Kastler, the author of a book about Forrest that includes much of the same language. The new resolution was passed 94-0 along with other items on the House consent calendar.

Democratic Rep. Johnny Shaw says had he known the content, he “never would have voted” for the resolution.