In his rush to show he’s not a raaaccist and in a move to secure the black vote for his next election, Mayor Strickland got 150 clergy from Memphis to sign a letter backing the removal of Nathan Bedford Forrest’s statue. You can read the letter and the signatures here: https://medium.com/@MayorMemphis/clergyletter-b1e5ae3513aa.
Strickland put it on his facebook page and got a lot of comments. From my sampling, I saw 22 supporting him and 57 against. Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/mayormemphis/
I gather from some of the comments in favor of him were made by Strickland people. I can’t validate that, but I believe there is some truth in it.
It was interesting to see the names of the clergy. I noted only one Catholic, Father Val Handwerker. It’s not surprising. He is a social justice warrior and remnant of that 60s group think. He identifies himself as pastor at St. Patrick’s. However, shortly after being moved there he went on sabbatical. He may retire after that. So much for getting in the trenches and practicing his social justice.
Noticeably absent was the Catholic bishop of the diocese, Rev. Martin Holley. Strickland, a Catholic and parishioner at St. Louis, must be disappointed in that, especially since Holley is black. In my opinion the Bishop is correct to keep out of matters of the state.
Liberals don’t like that, but they are always eager to suggest the separation of Church and State when it comes to the matter of abortion. In that issue, they don’t believe Church has any say. The hypocrisy is not surprising.
Here are some of the comments on Strickland’s post, both pro and con:
“I’m very disappointed to my pastors names on this list.”
“Moving a monument is the same as re-writing history.”
“Wish our spiritual leaders more concerned about souls and less concerned about statues. Never heard of a statue killing anyone, making someone addicted to drugs, molesting a child, stealing. Lying, driving drunk. This entire statue controversy is political pc bs.”
“Keep going with the removal of Confederate statues and then history will certainly repeat itself.”
“George Orwell said, ‘The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.'”
“Mayor Strickland, It has just been passed that the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest will remain at the State Capitol. Will removing the statue help, in any way, with the crime in Memphis? Will it stop children from skipping school to go out and commit crime?”
“Sorry to be impatient, but those clergy folk and you would gain real leadership credibility by knocking them down yourselves, today.”
“When are we going to see the Martian Luther street signs taken down.handy statue removed they bothered me and are racist.”
“Until the family agrees to remove the statue and bodies, you are wasting your time Strickland and you know it. Get busy with other things like trying to correct the cultural bankruptcy and crime in this city. One of the most DANGEROUS cities in America.”
“Bad decision!!!! Wrong decision!!! This will be remembered come re-election time!!! You will be a one-term mayor!!! Shame on you!!!”
“If you only had this much passion for the real issues in Memphis. Crime, homeless, corrupt school system, lack of good benefits for police and firefighters. Sad that statues take more priority over humans. Oh and I don’t believe this will stop the hate or racism.”
“My point is and will always be that you have directed or should I say MISDIRECTED your focus from CRIME, jobs and poverty to issues that are not nearly as pressing.”
“You are a lousy mayor so far and haven’t really done anything for the city of Memphis. The blight, crime, roads, jobs etc. are still just as bad when you came into office. Do you really want your claim to fame to be only about removing statues?”
“Beautiful. Thank you Mayor Strickland for your transparency.”
“Together, this wonderful city of ours will continue forward sans racism.”
“Move the statue inside a museum. Let this be our true history.”
“This is the first time I’ve been happy to read an announcement from this administration. Memphis is finally doing something right in regards to racial relationships.”
“I spy a lot of white grievance in this thread.”
“LEAVE THEM ALONE 😡😡😡 I know who I’m NOT voting for next election”
“I’m glad the clergy have such an integral role in government.”
“How about doing something about the violence?”
“Thanks mayor and all of the clergy! Memphis needs to enter the 21st century since we mostly skipped the 20th.”
“Hard hitting relevant action on the tough problems of the day. Like inanimate objects in parks.”
“Enjoy your ONE term in office, Strickland.”
“Congratulations Mayor Strickland, I voted for you once, but won’t make that mistake the next time.”
“Forrest was a heroic figure in Memphis, and worthy of a big statue. He will live in history centuries after Strickland is forgotten.”
“So now we are desecrating burial sites?”
“The same people who signed this stupid letter better be prepared because those people will want the statues of Christ removed next! Glad my pastors name is not in this list!”
“Think I’m gonna start a church so I can get some tax breaks.”
“A dead white man under a bunch of concrete and a statue of him is NOT THE REASON THE CRIME IS SO BAD IN THE CITY OR ACROSS THE COUNTRY …GO SCAPEGOAT SOMETHING ELSE … #mayoratricklandjustlookingforvotesnextelection #fixthecrimerateinmemphismayorjimstrickland”
“I would have to say clergy in memphis IS part of the problem”
There are lots more worth reading.
You would think that in the opportunity to get Amazon to locate a headquarters here Strickland might concentrate on pursuing that – and other companies to come here.
Evidently that’s not on his priority list either.