Don’t you just love this town?

Now let’s see if I have this right. County Commissioner Walter Bailey wants Confederate Park, Jefferson Davis Park and Nathan Bedford Forrest Park renamed because the names offend African-American Memphians who feel that the names reflect the pre-Civil War condition of slavery. The Sons of Confederate Veterans and others want the park names to remain as they are because they are reflections of the South’s history. Many different solutions have come from Memphis residents. Then the city government gets involved in the dust-up. The Memphis City Council weighs in on the issue. Then the Memphis City Council finds that it does not have the authority to do anything.

Earlier today Mayor Willie (the buck stops here) Herenton holds a press conference to announce that he’s passing two-thirds of the buck on to the Riverfront Development Corporation and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Then Councilman Edmund Ford reminds us all that he is named after a couple of white men. And, it is now official; the Rev. Al Sharpton is inbound, while the Rev. Jesse Jackson is being contacted and is on ramp alert. Yes P.T., we have a circus.

Meanwhile, a local minister (the Rev. L. LaSimba Gray) announced Tuesday that civil rights activist Al Sharpton is planning a trip to Memphis for an Aug. 13 rally and march to protest the names and symbols of the three Downtown parks.

Jesse Jackson also has been invited and Gray will travel to Atlanta this weekend seeking support from civil rights leaders there.

For the complete story on the Mayor’s press conference
For the full Commercial Appeal article


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