Miss. Confederate Group Pushes For KKK Grand Wizard License Plate
February 11, 2011
(ChattahBox US News)—Imagine driving along the dusty roads of Mississippi in your pickup truck donned with a confederate flag and a gun rack. Rebel Yell nirvana! The only thing missing for a true son of the confederacy would be a specialty license plate honoring the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, an organization formed by white veterans of the Confederate Army, whose sole purpose was to abuse, terrorize and murder former slaves. Well, Southern racists will have to wait no more. The Mississippi branch of the group Sons of Confederate Veterans is campaigning for a license plate to honor Nathan Bedford Forrest, a former slave trader and a lieutenant general in the Confederate Army, who was responsible for the massacre of black Union Army soldiers at the Battle of Fort Pillow. After the Civil War, Forrest continued his war against black Americans by becoming the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Now that’s a brutal racist legacy the deserves to be enshrined on a state license plate, right?
The Mississippi chapter of the NAACP is up in arms over the possibility of a license plate honoring a racist butcher, who spent his life terrorizing black people.
“He should be viewed in the same light that we view Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden,” Derrick Johnson, the president of the NAACP in Mississippi, told The Associated Press, adding that the Klan was a “terrorist group.”
“The state of Mississippi should deny any vanity tags which would highlight racial hatred in this state,” he said.
Mississippi already has already had a license plate emblazoned with a confederate flag. But the Sons of Confederate Veterans are proposing a series of state tags paying homage to confederate battles and heroes. Nathan Bedford Forrest would appear on a vanity plate in 2014.
The NAACP isn’t the only group who is outraged at the idea of glorifying racial hatred and violence on a state license plate.
A Facebook group has cropped up to oppose the proposed Nathan Bedford Forrest KKK vanity plate, called “Mississippians Against The Commemoration Of Grand Wizard Nathan Forrest.” The Facebook group, featuring an image of a Mississippi license plate emblazoned with a hooded Klansman, already has 1,393 members. The stated goal of the Facebook group is to demand that state officials refuse to issue a license plate glorifying the KKK.
“We are united in sending a message to the state government of Mississippi that WE WILL NOT STAND for the public glorification of one of the original leaders of the Ku Klux Klan,” reads the group’s message.
It’s not surprising that the state of Mississippi is considering a license plate honoring a KKK founder. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R), aka, “Boss Hog,” caused an uproar when he recently waxed nostalgic about the segregated Jim Crow South of his youth, as not “being that bad.” He also described the segregationist White Citizens’ Councils were begin “town leaders.” Barbour, who has 2012 presidential aspirations, later walked back his remarks.
Welcome to Mississippi.